Statement and Operational Procedures
The Minnesota NMR Center (MNMR) is in the University of Minnesota Medical School under the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics (BMBB). The center is housed in Mayo Memorial Building G205 located at 420 Delaware St. SE on the Minneapolis East Bank Campus. Available high field NMR instruments include a 900 MHz, 850 MHz, two 700 MHz, two 600 MHz, and two 600 MHz & 700 MHz solid state NMR spectrometers. Data processing can be on done on site in our offline computer room or in the Basic Sciences Computing Laboratory located on level 1 of Nils Hasselmo Hall.
Funding for NMR instrumentation was provided by the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Medical School, the College of Biological Science, NIH, NSF, and the Minnesota Medical Foundation.
1. Purpose and Function
The Minnesota NMR Center's goal is to make state-of-the-art instrumental resources available to researchers, providing a venue for them to pursue their projects and develop their experience in NMR methods. Top priorities of the center personnel are to maintain the performance of these instruments at the highest level and to provide basic training to new users. In addition, the resident expertise in the center is available to facilitate NMR efforts and contribute to the scientific research efforts of users in the development of strategies for data collection and analysis. The application of NMR to research projects employs some of the most complex and expensive instruments used in scientific research. The training procedures and operating policies reflect the need to protect the instrumentation investment as well as produce safe, efficient and effective use of the instruments.
2. Operating Policies
a. Training Policies and Procedures
A prospective user of the center should read the statement and policies for the center and fill out the training request form. New users are expected to understand basic NMR concepts before beginning training. New users are required to enroll in the NMR Workshop held several times throughout the year. Attendance at the workshop is required to complete training requirements. After completing the workshop, trainees should plan to spend time practicing during regular hours when center staff can be present to assist. New users may also be required to pass a check-out test that involves demonstrating proficiency with the execution of simple NMR operations and experiments. Basic instrument charges will be applied for any training hours outside the workshop.
If an individual has not been successfully checked out after completing the workshop and a maximum of five additional hours training, that person's suitability as a user or need for additional background training outside the center will be evaluated before further training is undertaken. New users are expected to work during regular business hours when assistance is available or work with an experienced member of their research group.
Additional training for advanced experiments should be discussed with and can be arranged through the center personnel. Requests from all those who expect to use the instrumentation sporadically may need additional review if the gaps between use are likely to raise the need for re-training in order to insure safe and efficient operation of the instruments. The decision to train users from outside the University will be handled on a case-by-case basis taking into account such factors as: an individual's previous NMR experience, available instrument and center personnel time, and available resources to support this activity.
b. Loss of access and privileges
The center reserves the right to deny center user privileges to anyone if the individual has insufficient knowledge and engages in unsafe practices or other unacceptable behavior. Users may not allow any other users or unauthorized users to use their accounts or have access to their accounts on the online machines. Providing unauthorized users access to accounts and to the instruments will result in loss of center access and user privileges.
To re-gain user privileges, the user may be required to do one or more of the following: re-take the practical NMR workshop, pass a check-out test, and/or participate in one-on-one training with center personnel. Upon completion of re-training, the user will be granted access to the 600 MHz instruments during regular hours, 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday-Friday. The user must request NMR time at least 24 hrs. in advance so that NMR center personnel may confirm that a staff person will be present. After a probationary period, the center personnel will re-evaluate the user's status and privileges based on the user's research requirements and skills as an independent, effective user of the NMR instruments.
c. Other operating policies
- The NMR center is located in a card-access only area of the Mayo building. New users are granted card access upon successful completion of their training and required forms.
- When new users finish training, accounts will be created for them on the instruments as needed. Appropriate disk storage space will be assigned for their NMR usage as determined by the manager. Users are responsible for saving, archiving, and moving their data off the on-line disks before exceeding their allotted disk space. Although the center does back up all computers, all users are responsible for backing up their own data. The center is not responsible for user data and does not archive user data.
- Instrument time is reserved on Wednesdays from 8 am to 12 noon for cryogen fills and other maintenance. Experiments that need to infringe on this time require prior approval from the center personnel. Notices of repairs, down time due to building air shutoffs and any other interruption in service will be sent via e-mail and posted on the web site.
- While this is a user center, under special circumstances and special arrangement, data collection by staff can be arranged at assisted rates.
- Probe changes will be done by center personnel only, unless special permission is given.
- Remote operation of the instruments is not allowed without approval.
- The center reserves the right to deny user privileges to anyone if the individual has insufficient knowledge and engages in unsafe practices or other unacceptable behavior.
- Users may not allow any other users or unauthorized users to use their accounts or have access to their accounts on the online machines.
- Users are asked to report problems as soon as possible so that the personnel may address them.
d. Sign-up and Use Charges
Users should submit requests for NMR time using the web site (http://www.umn.edu/nmr) by going through the “Schedule” section under each area tab. This section is password protected. New users will receive access to this area after completing the necessary training. Requests for NMR time will be filled based on the order received and every effort will be made to ensure equality in the distribution of scheduled time. The schedule is posted and can be viewed under the “Schedule” section under each area tab. The staff has the discretion to make schedule adjustments on short notice, if necessary, to balance specific requirements, and in an effort to optimize instrument use. Internal rates apply to academic researchers within the University of Minnesota system and members of MNSCU.
Instrument time is a valuable commodity. Time requests need to be cancelled up to 24 hours in advance of the start of the time block to avoid penalty. Any unused time schedule by a user that is greater than 24 hours and is not used by another user will incur a penalty equaling half of the unused time (ie. If you scheduled 48 hours and only used 24 hours and did not cancel the extra time, you will be charged 36 hours). To help avoid unused blocks of time, users should plan their experiments carefully and inform the staff of any unnecessary time as soon as possible. Center personnel may make exceptions to this policy on a case-by-case basis.
Users MUST sign in upon arrival using the instrument log books. Users should fill in their name/group, date and time when they started, date and time when they finished, billing string, and experiment information. Charges will be levied as indicated by the cancellation procedures for time that is reserved, but not used, unless the cancellation procedures above are followed. Regardless of whether an experiment is successful or not, there will be a charge for the time used except if an instrument hardware or software problem, as verified by center personnel, is the source of an experiment failure. Any verified problem MUST be indicated in the log book in the comments section for the block of time that was affected.
e. Center Personnel Activities
Center personnel provide a resource for enhancing the effectiveness of the NMR Center through teaching, training and interacting with users which can augment expertise in the individual research groups. While major instructional priority of the staff is to provide operational training to users, we anticipate that their knowledge and expertise will be called upon to varying degrees by users in the pursuit of the research projects for such things as developing new applications, implementing new pulse sequences, optimizing experiments for particular systems, and processing and analysis of multidimensional NMR data. Not only do such efforts involve the investment of time on the part of the personnel, but also may constitute significant intellectual and scientific contributions to the research project. Depending on the magnitude of these contributions, appropriate support for, and recognition of, these efforts needs to be made. Situations involving significant time commitments on the part of the personnel should be arranged in advance through personnel and the director. Users are also expected to invest time in enhancing and expanding their knowledge and proficiency in NMR and to utilize the expertise available within their research group in order to become more independent.
Personnel have the option of voluntarily engaging in collaborative projects at a level that does not overwhelm their responsibilities. This option provides an opportunity for them to keep current in the field and maintain their scientific standing. Occasional NMR spectral service is provided with the requestor being charged for personnel time.
f. NMR User Committee
The NMR User Committee currently includes all principal investigators who aid in establishing broad policy related to the academic and research usage of the instruments in the center including special allocations of instrument time, rates, upgrades, and grants submitted on behalf of the center. Meetings of the user committee are to be held approximately once every two months. All members of user groups are invited to attend.
g. NMR Steering Committee
This is a smaller committee consisting of the principal investigators of the main user groups within BMBB. This committee meets every two months to discuss more detailed technical and strategic issues, then their results and recommendations are reported to the users, by email and/or at the Users Committee meeting. The five year strategic plan is also generated by the NMR Steering Committee.
A staff person should be included as a co-author in any publication that received a significant intellectual contribution from that person. Significant intellectual input may include experimental design and optimization, interpretation and analysis of results, or writing (editing) significant portions of a manuscript. Research advisors should contact the director with questions about this policy or about a staff person's contribution to a project. If a publication contains routine data that was obtained with minimal assistance from a staff person, co-authorship is not required, but recognition of that staff person in Acknowledgements is recommended. Such acknowledgements help document the value of the center personnel to the research community. Service fees charged for experimental data collection do not serve as a substitute for proper acknowledgement or co-authorship of center personnel.
All publications including any research work that utilized the NMR center must contain an acknowledgement statement of the funding sources of the instruments and equipment. Please include this statement in publications: “Funding for NMR instrumentation was provided by the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Medical School, the College of Biological Science, NIH, NSF, and the Minnesota Medical Foundation." A complete list of these publications must be maintained by the center to document the need for the equipment and to assist with any future funding opportunities. Research advisors are asked to send copies of all publications that include work that utilized the NMR center instrumentation to the manager.
j. Industry Use
External industry use of the center is welcomed. Instrument rates are posted but additional fees may apply based on additional services requested.
Metabolomic projects typically require consultation with a staff person. We will provide free consultation on these projects and we can provide quotes for this service work.
Please contact Todd Rappe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-625-9147 to inquire.