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Facility Access and User Policy

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We welcome applications for instrument time from qualified investigators in the Solid Earth and Ocean Sciences.

On this page: Making Reservations | User Fees and Billing Procedure | Analytical Service | Necessary Formalities | Publication and Acknowledgement | Request service

Making Reservations
Access to the IMS 3f and 1280 instruments will be decided by the steering committee once scheduling requests are submitted online (see scheduling services below). Since switchovers to and from the duoplasmatron (O- or O2- ion source) and Cs (133Cs+ ions source) are straightforward and not time-consuming at the IMS 1280 instrument, scheduling no longer is restricted by the schedule of the ion-sources, and users’ desired timeframes can be easily met.

Generally, users may reserve a up to a full week at a time with the option of running into the weekend if necessary. If more machine time is needed, longer reservations are possible through discussions with Monteleone/Shimizu. 

User Fees and Billing Procedure
The current hourly user fee rates are $65 for the 3f and $120 for the 1280 during weekdays; weekend and holiday hours are counted as 0.85 hours. These fee rates have been maintained since 2006 and apply to all projects currently funded NSF and other government agencies. These rates should also be used to budget machine time for future proposals. Note that our UNSUBSIDIZED hourly rate is currently $165/hour and $300/hour, for 3f and 1280, respectively. Non-federally funded projects, including foreign funding are subject to an additional 15% administrative fee.

The ion probe time begins at 9am and is charged at the hourly rates. The Facility is available for use by experienced operators during the night at the standard rates and during weekends and holidays at weekend rates. Effective use of machine time is responsibility of user; time unused throughout user’s fault is billed to the user.

Billing is made based only on actual usage of the instruments. Users are not charged for routine instrument setup time by NENIMF personnel and these costs are billed to the facility. Time for analysis of reference standards to establish calibration curves − a necessary procedure for all analytical protocols to ensure acquisition of high-quality analytical data − is charged to users. Users are expected to make entries into the log-book with start and end time of their analytical work. Users are also expected to notify NENIMF personnel of any abnormal instrument behavior. Based on the log-book entries, the time to be billed is calculated as a difference between logout and login times.

In some special cases, when users need a limited number of critical additional data points to bring the results to publishable levels, the NENIMF may offer additional instrument time with no extra costs to users.

Analytical Service
Our experience over the past two years has shown that visits to the facility by many university faculty members are, in many cases, difficult to arrange due to schedule conflicts. In an effort to provide flexibility for them, and to make facility access easier to a broader spectrum of the community, we will offer analytical services, where a client (a user of the facility) mails in samples and the NENIMF personnel perform the measurements. These services will be restricted to government-sponsored research projects, and will be limited to routinely available analytical platforms: U, Th-Pb dating of zircon; Ti-in-zircon thermometry (Ti concentration in zircon); Ti-in-quartz thermometry (Ti concentration in quartz); Pb isotopes in glasses and K-feldspars; boron and sulfur isotopes, and abundances of volatile components (H2O, CO2, F, S, Cl) in glasses; concentrations of rare earth elements (La, Ce, Nd, Sm, Eu, Dy, Er, Yb) and trace elements (Ti, Cr, Sr, Y, Zr, Nb, Ba) in silicate glasses and minerals; Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca, Ba/Ca, B/Ca in carbonates. The rate of these services will be $1,500/day, based on 8-hour day with the regular rate for the 1280 of $120/hour plus charges for sample/data handling. Although we may occaionally analyze samples for users on weekends, samples run on weekends by NENIMF personnel are not eligible for discounted rates. Contact the facility management for this service.

Necessary Formalities
All visiting scientists must establish an accounting protocol with WHOI administration (purchase order – invoice – payment). Immediately after scheduling discussions with the facility management, users are contacted by the facility administrator (presently Kelly Servant, Geology & Geophysics Department, email: about accounting procedures. Billing is made based on actual usage of the instrument as log-book entries made by user.

Publication and Acknowledgement
All Facility staff takes an active interest in assisting and supporting visitors to the Facility. There is no requirement or expectation for NENIMF staff to become co-author on any publication unless the staff member was part of the initial science proposal or contributed significantly to technique development, current data acquisition and interpretation of results. If, however, the visitor wishes to acknowledge the support received from the entire Facility, then the group name NENIMF (North-East National Ion Microprobe Facility) maybe added as a co-author.

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Last updated: June 7, 2012

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