Use of Shared Equipment


The assets on the Shared Equipment List have been provided through funding from NSF and other U.S. Government agency grants to WHOI’s Shipboard Scientific Services Group (SSSG). These items are made available to users in the UNOLS community without a user charge. All requests for use of these assets must be made to the WHOI Marine Operations Coordinator, who is responsible for scheduling requests for ship time and for the available shared-use equipment in conjunction with equipment custodians. Principal Investigators requesting these assets must work closely with the Marine Operations Coordinator and the appropriate custodians to completely define the equipment and schedule requirements during the proposal process and submission of ship time requests.


Requests for equipment in the inventory will be prioritized on a first-come, first-served basis, and in the event of conflicts in equipment commitments, priority will be given to projects using the assets aboard WHOI’s UNOLS ships (Atlantis, Knorr and Oceanus). Reasonable efforts will be made to secure alternate arrangements for similar assets with other institutions if a commitment conflict arises, although loans of this nature frequently incur additional charges.

It is the intent of this guideline to facilitate maximum utilization of the items in the inventory, while protecting them from deterioration, damage or loss, consistent with WHOI’s “Responsibility in Property Management” and “Equipment Reutilization” policies. Equipment in this inventory is generally purchased with funds from the annual WHOI NSF Instrumentation Award. Some items may also have been provided through NSF, ONR or other U.S. Government agency grant line-items from completed projects. Asset maintenance costs are primarily funded through a daily use charge associated with the operations of WHOI ships. Costs associated with non-WHOI ship applications are not covered by funding obtained in this manner.


The equipment is generally provided with no user fees. However, if the request is not received in time (typically October of the year before the cruise) to be included into the annual WHOI NSF Technical Support proposal, or is a substantial modification to an original request, then the requester will be advised of and charged for expenses related to preparation and/or non-standard configuration and unscheduled calibrations. The user is always responsible for consumable supplies charges and certain other expenses related to the cruise (see Purchase Order section below).

Insurance and Damages

Investigators borrowing equipment from the general use pool are expected to return it in the same or better condition. If repairs or recalibration are necessary, the borrower is responsible for the costs. NSF and the other funding agencies will not necessarily pay for repair of damaged equipment or replacement of lost instruments, and subsequent cruises will be jeopardized if there is no means to recover the costs from the responsible user. Frequently, to insure the ability to meet this requirement, users will need to purchase sufficient “over-the-side” (OTS) insurance against total loss. In summary, the user who loses or damages an item must be prepared to pay for its replacement or repair.

Purchase Orders

The Principal Investigator requesting equipment from the general use pool will be asked to provide a purchase order for the estimated costs to WHOI in advance of the start of the cruise preparations. Delay in providing this purchase order may result in an equipment preparation delay. The purchase order must be sufficient to liquidate all charges for salary costs, insurance as necessary, materials and supplies which may be incurred in preparation, operation and post-cruise maintenance of the requested assets.

For more specific information, see the Financial Details page.


The interpretation of this guideline shall be at the discretion of the Manager of the Shipboard Scientific Services Group.