Alerts

Dear SEA Users:

In cooperation with the Office of Research and the Crisis Management Team, SEA has implemented the following protocols:

All Users must continue to follow Rice protocols. These protocols change as Rice responds to changes in the local conditions.

Current Rice policy no longer requires wearing a mask indoors if you are fully vaccinated and boosted. If you are not fully vaccinated and boosted, masks are required indoors at all times. Even when not required, it is recommended that everyone have a mask with them, and that you err on the side of caution if in doubt. Accordingly, if you are working closely with SEA staff and they request that you wear a mask, we kindly ask that you consider doing so.

Indoor gatherings have no limitations, but gatherings of more than 100 must be approved.

Users should observe physical distancing where possible.

SEA instruments hosted in PI labs may have limited or no access, as determined by the PI host.

See chart below:

Instrument PI Lab Access allowed If yes, requirement, if any
Fluorometer Xiao BRC 330C Yes No change
Nanosight, zetasizer Segatori BRC 350 Yes Trained users only. Cleaning protocols as instructed in the summer.
LSM800 Bao BRC 440D Yes No change
Axioimager Z2 Tao BRC 640B Yes No change and very little usage
RNA/DNA analyzer Hilton BRC 660D Yes Trained users only
Freeze Dryer Bennett, G BRC 810C Yes Trained users only maintain soc dist
IVIS, vibr microtome Miller BRC420D Yes
Centrifuges, shaker McNew BRC710 Yes Trained users only
Centrifuge, LAS4000, Scint counter McNew BRC730B Yes Trained users only
Cell sorter Tabor BRC840 Yes Pis must contact Dr Tabor about access to students using SEA space
Qsense Biswal GBRE 255 Yes No new trainings
CD Silberg Keck 201 No
POM, ARES Rheometer Pasqualli Keck 232 Yes No change, lab limit set up in FOM
Potentiostat Ajo-Franklin Keck 309 Yes any User will need to contact the super-user 5 business days in advance to arrange training etc.
Tecan plate reader Chappell Keck 327 Yes Ask users to use new PRs in Keck 328, if want to use, notify Chappell lab
Various Silberg Keck 328 Yes Lab limits. Sign on lab door. Flow instruments restricted on FOM

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EXTERNAL USER POLICY

Effective immediately, in cooperation with the Rice Office of Research and the Crisis Management Team, SEA is implementing the following policies with regard to External Users coming to Rice.

As always, all users must follow Rice guidelines on PPE use and distancing. Current Rice policy no longer requires wearing a mask indoors if you are fully vaccinated and boosted. If you are not fully vaccinated and boosted, masks are required indoors at all times. Even when not required, it is recommended that everyone have a mask with them, and that you err on the side of caution if in doubt. Accordingly, if you are working closely with SEA staff and they request that you wear a mask, we kindly ask that you consider doing so.

Indoor gatherings are not restricted, but gatherings of more than 100 must be approved.

External User applications can be approved and new External User trainings can be scheduled.

Effective February 14, 2022, to be considered fully vaccinated, vaccine boosters will be required if it has been at least six months since you finished your two-shot Pfizer or Moderna regime. If you had the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine, you are not required to wait six months and you should get boosted with a second dose of vaccine as soon as possible. There is strong evidence that if you get a booster shot, you are far less likely to be infected with any of the SARS-CoV-2 variants including omicron – and if you become infected, you are much less likely to become seriously ill. As a reminder, the booster shot takes two weeks to be fully effective.

Effective May 17, 2022 SEA will no longer require submission of a negative test result, regardless of vaccination status. Having said that, we know that COVID is still very much a concern, and we implore all of our users to take reasonable protective measures. If you believe you have been exposed, we strongly recommend taking an at-home rapid test. If you are not feeling well and cannot access a test, please do not come to campus. And if any other user or staff member asks you to comply with a request, such as to wear a mask or maintain physical distance, we appreciate your cooperation.

Questions about these policies can be directed to Angelo Benedetto - angelo@rice.edu.

These guidelines are a minimum – any work must be approved by the instrument manager first, who might require further restrictions.

SEA Facilities and their general availability to External Users are as follows:

Instrument Suite

Open for External Users?

Open for Fee-for-Service?

NMR

200 MHz - No

500 MHz - Yes

Yes

Mass Spec

Yes, for currently trained users

Yes

Cleanroom and SST 020

Yes

Yes, but limited capacity

XRD

DMax, SmartLab, SQUID - Yes

SCX - No

Yes

SEM, AFM, Raman, TGA, Denton Sputterer, FTIR

Yes

Yes

TEM

Yes

Yes

TOF-SIMS

Yes

Yes

Bio NMR

Yes

Yes

Optical Microscopes

Nikon A1 - Yes

Others - No

Yes

Nanodrop, qPCR, Thermal Cyclers

Yes

Yes

Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorters

Yes

Yes

XPS, BET, L80XP Centrifuge, Plasma Cleaner

Yes

Yes

Auto CPD, Ultramicrotome

Yes

Yes

EMC (Electron Microscopy)

Yes

Yes

Biomaterials Lab

Yes

Yes

Fee-for-service work will continue to be an option for many instruments.

In general, Super-User managed instruments may not be available. Exceptions might be made by arrangement with the PI instrument host on a case-by-case basis.

Please remember that while we try to accommodate external users, our primary mission is to support Rice research and keep our community safe. During these extraordinary times, we must take all reasonable steps to protect the health and safety of our Rice community.

We anticipate that there may be a higher than usual volume of users needing SEA resources once they are available. As such, users may experience delays in accessing SEA tools. SEA appreciates your cooperation and understanding.

Questions or concerns about these policies should be directed to Angelo Benedetto (angelo@rice.edu).

Thank you,

Angelo Benedetto, Ph.D.
Rice University - Shared Equipment Authority
Director of Operations
(713) 348-8207 (w)
(281) 686-4924 (c)