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Helpful Information for Current Graduate Students in Chemistry

Ivan Gitsov, Chair
David J. Kieber, Associate Chair for Undergraduate Laboratories
Theodore S. Dibble, Associate Chair for Graduate and Undergraduate Programs

Topics

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Safety

Chemical Safety/Waste Handling

The Environmental Health and Safety Office is directed by John Wasiel (x6896) with the assistance of Pete Vandemark (x6964). After hours, contact University Police at x6666.

Each laboratory has a Laboratory Safety Manual in a plastic holder by the door. Study it!

Radiation Safety
See web page or contact Mark Driscoll (x6848)
After hours: contact University Police at x6666.

Note the emergency telephones around campus (marked by a blue light).

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Computers/Networks and General Computing Issues

 

Network issues, software and operating system glitches for college-owned PCs are handled by consultants from Computing and Network Services

(CNS). CNS also coordinate hardware repair for computers purchased with state and grant funds. They also advise on computer purchases and are the access point for academic discounts on purchases of hardware and software. All communications should go to HelpDesk@esf.edu or x6861, and should be directed there by a faculty or staff member on behalf of the student. The HelpDesk is physically located in room 317 Baker Labs.

Note that for issues with classroom computers, you should contact Institutional Technology Services (its@esf.edu), x6727).

Personal laptops

The ESF network is accessible to personal laptops after having been checked by Computing and Network Services and with your advisor's signature. For routine use of personal computers, you also have access to computer clusters at ESF and SU.

EMAIL
You should get an SU account through Information and Technology Services or 443-2677.

Policies
Read ESF policies regarding use of computers and the internet.

Webpages

All Chemistry graduate students can edit their entry at the Current Graduate Students page by logging into MyESF; you are welcome to add notes as well as links to any external web site you have (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.). To add a picture of yourself or a graphic illustrating your research, e-mail it to web@esf.edu with the note to add it to your section of the web page for Current Graduate Students in Chemistry.

Faculty members may forget to update their web pages! To add content and links to your advisor's web page (with his/her permission), send the information to the department secretary or web@esf.edu. To get graphics placed properly on a web page, you probably need to work with web@esf.edu.

If you see the need to edit text or hyperlinks in Chemistry department web pages, inform the department secretary.

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Journals and Library Resources

Journals

From on campus, you can access electronic journal articles from campus from any link that takes you to the journal article (and to which we have access).

From off campus, go to the Moon Library page for journals and databases. Search Library Publications (the second search box down) for specific journals.

Databases are arranged alphabetically in the tabs on the top of the page. You will be prompted to log in through the proxy server and then granted access to the

publisher/database site.

Interlibrary Loan

Journal articles and books not available here can be ordered via Interlibrary Loan at theILLiad site. Contact Ruth Owens (rmowens@esf.edu) for questions about interlibrary loan.

Sci-finder - a key tool for your literature searches

     From on-campus, go to the SciFinder site.

When off campus, SciFinder can be accessed starting from http://libguides.esf.edu/resources:

Select SciFinder. You will be prompted to log in through the proxy server before you can login to SciFinder. See also this guide on SciFinder: http://libguides.esf.edu/scifinder.

Photocopying
  • The copier in 121 Jahn can be used for photocopying for research and teaching. Course instructors can give you the passcode relevant to any course for which you are a graduate teaching assistant.
  • Moon Library has a photocopier/scanner that allows you to scan documents directly to a thumb or flash drive. One can use the copier to print copies at a cost of $0.10 per page (change required). The SU libraries sell photocopy cards to be used in their libraries that charge 10 cents per copy in addition to having coin operated photocopiers.

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Buying Stuff

Chemicals, standard lab equipment, compressed gases

See Marlene Braun (x6869) in the A&TS stockroom on the 116 Baker Lab: it will save you time and shipping costs. Discounts and contract pricing from Fisher, VWR, etc. are available, as well as special orders. Items in stock include labware, chemicals, compressed gas, dry ice, and liquid nitrogen. Check the stockroom database online.

To take advantage of contract pricing and free delivery, order all compressed gases through the stockroom to avoid $200 shipping fees when returning empty cylinders. You will also (usually) get faster results and lower cylinder rental fees this way.

Purchasing (1st floor Bray hall x6685)

         Use the State or Research Foundation Purchase Request Formsor get pre-printed forms. Complete the form and have it signed by your research advisor (or whichever faculty member is appropriate). Then bring the form to Purchasing (100 Bray Hall, x 6685) or just drop it in a campus mailbox. Purchasing will generate a Purchase Order, a copy of which will be sent to the signatory on the account.

         For purchases on Research Foundation accounts, you need to provide a justification of how the purchase relates to the grant. This is especially important for items that have multiple potential uses (e.g., aluminum foil, office supplies, etc.).

         For purchases of computers on Research Foundation accounts, check with the Research Office.

         If you are in a rush, ask the Purchasing Officeto fax the Purchase Order. If you are in abigrush, bypass Purchasing and order direct from the supplier or go to the store. To get reimbursed, fill out a Purchase Request (with you as supplier), and attach the receipt. If the item (plus shipping, if any) is less than $250, your refund is processed by the Cashier's office in Bray Hall (x6630). Larger amounts go through the Purchasing Office

         Items over $5,000 purchased with State money (including State matching funds)

         Check with the Head of Purchasing for definite instructions. In general, if you pick out two equivalent items from competing companies and have quotes send to Purchasing, they can process the purchase of the lowest cost version. Remember, you pick the competition for the item you want!

         Note that you are not supposed to share information to get the lower price from your preferred vendor. More importantly, there are strict laws regarding items over $5,000 purchased with state money. Don't talk money with the vendor; get Head of Purchasing to do the talking for you

         Items over $20,000 purchased with State money (including State matching funds)

         Check with Purchasing for definite instructions. These items usually require a solicitation of sealed bids to be posted in the NYS Contract Reporter. The process takes ~ 2 months, so get your ducks in a row ahead of time. Try to get the ball rolling as soon as you have verbal confirmation of the availability of funds, even if the funds are not yet officially available. You will be asked to suggest bidders (!!!), but cannot solicit the bids yourself.

  • You cannot be reimbursed for sales tax! At a store you should be able to use tax exempt certificates(available from Purchasing) to avoid the tax.

NOTE: Prior planning and/or the hints above can save a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on overnight shipping!

  • Your advisor will get a copy of the Purchase Order once your Purchase Request has been processed. Use it to track the item in case you don't receive the order in a timely way. This could be due to a number of causes, including:
  • the company loses/never receives the order
  • the order is delivered to the wrong institution or lab
  • Take the initiative to find out why the items you ordered (and need for your research) are not yet delivered!
Account numbers

Your research advisor can tell you which account numbers to use to purchase items from the A&TS stockroom, prepare Purchase Requests, or get reimbursed for expenses.

Matching Funds for Equipment

This can be a big help to researchers seeking a grant. The Provost authorizes allocations of matching funds. Ask at least a couple of weeks before you submit your proposal (1 month is better). You do this by sending a memo or email asking for a 50% match of the proposed equipment purchases (equipment = durable goods over $5,000). Give the provost an outline of the budget (including overhead) and explain briefly how important the proposal is (how it fits into your research plans, how many graduate/undergraduate students will be supported, etc.). We assume that the provost prefers to provide matching funds where the payoff (overhead plus the Academic Year recoupment of your salary, see below) at least equals the amount of the match, but other considerations do apply!

Research Grants

Office of Research Programs (x6606, 200 Bray Hall)

Get in touch with them a few weeks ahead of the due date for your proposal. Kate (Wall) Edwards handles proposals for the Chemistry Department. This office will help you prepare a budget, confirm matching funds commitments from the provost, revise your list of Current and Pending proposals, and do many other tasks.

Academic Year (AY) Salary: Currently, the administration adds a few thousand dollars a year to most grants under the category "Academic Year Salary". Don't worry, this money is not for you! This can inflate the apparent budget total in a category that program managers and reviewers may be unhappy to fund. Negotiate with the Research Office if this appears to be a problem.

Overhead, AKA Indirect Costs: ESF charges grant agencies overhead, in amounts that are determined by the Research Foundation, subject to the limit imposed by some agencies/programs.

In the past, when granting agencies limited overheard, Research Office staff have sometimes tried to collect extra funds for the College by adding extra Academic Year Salary. Don't let them!! Speak to the Director of the Research Office if this happens!

Tuition: Graduate student tuition is budgeted at a flat rate, with no distinction between in-state and out-of-state students. Once a PhD has passed their candidacy exam they will usually cost less than before, since they are officially full time even if they are only taking 1 credit of research. An M.S. student in their final semester gets a similar deal.

Research Foundation (represented here by the Office of Research Programs)

Headquartered in Albany, they are the official recipient of the grant. They take a cut of the overheard in order to provide us with an accounting system sufficient for 100,000,000,000,000 account numbers: at least a million accounts for each potential PI in SUNY! They have a lot of faith in your ability to get grants, so do not let them down!

Summer Salary

You can earn extra pay directly from your grants. gthis should be reflected in your proposal budget. Careful questioning of the program manager at the granting agency can yield clues (sometimes direct information) about their policies on your collecting summer salary (extra pay!) from research grants (if it is allowed at all). NSF is balking at paying more than 1 month total salary for a PI (summer salary plus the academic year salary that ESF collects.)

 

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Instrumentation Repair and Fabrication

  • Instrument Repair at Analytical and Technical Services
    Kevin Guerin (x 6868) 125 Baker Lab
    Fee: ONLY $10 per job plus a 10% surcharge on parts he orders

Kevin will also help you specify, design, and build new electronic devices, and find sources for new and replacement electronic components or devices. He also:

  • designs mechanical apparatus
  • welds and machines parts for apparatus he designs (may no longer be true)
  • helps find information (e.g., chemical compatibility) from his many manuals and catalogs
  • gives out surplus electronics, tubing, electrical components, pumps, power supplies, flow meters, et cetera, et cetera, that he has acquired
  • Glassblower at SU: Sally Prasch (443-3665), 0-204 Ctr. for Sci. & Technol. (in the basement)
    Sally has a 45% discount on the cost of most glass parts!
  • SU Physics Machine Shop
    443-2221 (SE corner of the sub-basement of Physics Bldg.)
    A 3 person staff for mechanical work. They are great at design and construction.

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Travel

ESF Business Office Travel Website Look here for the latest information and forms

         Travel Authorization Form Fill this out in advance of your trip.

         Mileage (54 cents per mile as of 1/1/16, but changes annually)

         Renting a college vehicle

         As of this writing, some of the rules for travel are changing. Check with the Travel Office (Lisa Gonzalez, x4827, travel@esf.edu, or Patti Mayette x6640 pdmayett@esf.edu)

      To Get Reimbursed

        Fill out and sign a Travel Expense Voucher (State or Research Foundation) and have your advisor sign it.

  • You can claim a per diem for breakfast and dinner (allowable amounts can be found at the Travel Website).
  • Save and submit receipts for hotels, rental cars, and major parking expenses, also for large taxi bills. Small (< $20) parking and taxi bills may not to require receipts.
  • Make a photocopy of all receipts before having your advisor sign. Mail or hand-deliver the Travel Expense Voucher with all receipts attached to the Travel Office (102 Bray Hall).

Money for Travel:

1) See the link for information on "Professional Development Awards" from UUP. Apply for the maximum award of but don't expect more than $400 for the costs of attending a conference. The annual RFP comes out late in the Fall semester.

2) ESF has provided travel grants for faculty, and, separately, for graduate students.

 

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