Upon entry and use of the EM Labs, you agree to abide by these following policies:

  1. Users and staff will act in an inclusive, friendly and respectful manner with other facility users in all situations. Immediately walk away once safe to do so and alert staff members if any problem is brewing or has occurred.
  2. Users may only access instrumentation appropriate to the level of their training. Each individual is associated with differing training levels for different instruments. Please read Individual Training to understand what is permitted at each training level. Fill out a Training Request to schedule a demonstration of your knowledge and skills to raise in level for a particular instrument. Only EM Lab staff and Super-Users may train individuals on instrument use. Only EM Staff may evaluate training levels.
  3. You must treat all the instruments and their computers with love. Get help from a staff member or a Super-User if you don’t know what to do next. Do not ask another user of lower training questions about instrument use! Do not use USB fobs or install software on any computers. Do not take on the responsibilities of EM Lab staff, like reorganizing labs or removing items from labs, causing resources to “go missing.” Ask permission from an EM Lab staff member before allowing untrained or unknown people inside, especially after hours. Likewise, do not leave any lab with its door open. Finally, CLEAN UP after yourself and put things back where found.
  4. Use of instrumentation requires a reservation. Meaning, ad-hoc instrument usage is never allowed. Experiments must also be completed when planned. Presently, the reservations and durations are being assigned to active PI labs in a cyclic manner. However, EM Labs will transition to use of the iLab system. The Vitrobot scheduling already uses iLab. After this transition occurs, booking durations will become less restrictive, you must arrive within 60 min of your start time unless EM Lab staff are notified ahead of time, and a discussion with EM Lab staff will be required to schedule further electron microscope time once you fail to show up for 3 reservations in a row. When you cause chaos with microscope scheduling, you royally mess with other researcher’s efforts, samples and experiments. Apologies and some behavioral change are then in order…
  5. Users must ultimately take responsibility for maintaining their own data to insure some redundancy. While it is true that data storage is backed-up by Hormel Institute IT staff, please do not depend on these backups. EM Labs does not yet implement a data bomb period, after which all your files are erased. Data storage may become congested because of this, however. In such situations, the oldest, seemingly out of date data will be removed after trying to contact those we believe are the owners. In some emergencies, this very stale data may be removed even after we fail to contact “those we believe may be the owners”, especially if your files reside on storage devices dedicated to new data collection.
  6. At all times, no drinking, eating, grooming (e.g. hair, skin, lips) is allowed in either the microscope rooms or the Cryo-EM sample preparatory laboratory. These spaces are research laboratories, with the same lab safety rules expected for a wet lab.