Access and Priorities Policy

1. The MSG (Molecular Structures Group) exists, first and foremost, to provide services and instrument access for faculty, students, postdocs, and other research staff at the University of Kansas who are conducting publishable research. They should receive the shortest possible turnaround times in the labs. Broadly, "first come, first served," will apply, within constraints such as short experiments may be turned around more quickly than long ones, and lab operations may be streamlined by grouping similar tasks which require an instrument to be set up in a particular way. Lab staff are to ensure that different users are being treated equitably, taking into account such factors as timely progress toward a degree, preparing presentations, finishing papers, etc.
2. Visitors, such as REU students or faculty on sabbatical from another university, will receive access to the MSG labs for projects intended for joint publication or presentation with KU faculty and students. Their faculty sponsors will be responsible for making sure the necessary resources are available (ideally, before inviting the visitor) and seeing that lab charges incurred by visitors are paid. But in the event that the lab's capacities are stretched or exceeded (for example, by a lengthy instrument breakdown), the priority order for service will ordinarily be: graduate students, postdocs, undergraduates, visitors, and users from outside the University. However, lab staff will leave priority decisions within a research group to the discretion of faculty.
3. Samples originating outside the University as part of a faculty member's external collaboration, where lab charges are paid from KU grant funds and joint publication of results is planned, will have the same priority as samples originating inside the University.
4. The labs may accept samples directly from other universities or colleges as long as there is sufficient instrument time available. These services will be billed at standard rates for direct costs, but a charge equivalent to KU's indirect cost rate (currently 46%) will be added. Some lab resources, particularly software with single-user or KU site licenses, will be unavailable if the terms of the license prohibit such use. Joint publication, when feasible, should be sought; otherwise, the MSG should be acknowledged in any publications that result.
5. Samples from industry may also be accepted if time is available, and if the industrial client's goals are compatible with ours. However, the labs will not advertise for such work. Lab staff will be responsible for setting charges in this case that do not undercut commercial vendors of the same service. In addition to the software licensing issues mentioned above, specific services may be unavailable to industrial clients if KU received an academic discount when purchasing equipment or licensing software and the vendor prohibits such use. For lengthy projects, grant funding and/or publication rights are desirable outcomes, and lab staff should try to negotiate for them with the client.
6. Individuals without an academic or industrial affiliation will ordinarily not be allowed to use the MSG laboratory facilities or receive results from them. Under rare circumstances, exceptions may be made, if no licensing or liability issues are raised, and there is some compelling benefit to the University (such as recruitment of a prospective student).
Approved by the MSG Steering Committee, Robert Hanzlik, Chair, 1/12/2000
Approved by the Center for Research, James Roberts, Vice Chancellor

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