UMass Boston

Administration and Policies

The Environmental Analytical Core Facility (EACF) in the School for the Environment (SFE) at the University of Massachusetts Boston (the University) is home to environmental analytical instrumentation and sample processing laboratories. The primary aim of the EACF is to support research activities of the University's students, faculty, and staff; however, the EACF does provide analyses of environmental samples to outside users. The EACF does not operate as a commercial high volume facility.

The goal of the EACF is to provide access to instrumentation and chemical analyses to university students, faculty, and staff and outside users in a research (i.e., non-commercial) facility. The EACF also supports method development and novel analytical research initiatives. 

Organizational Structure. The overall administration and oversight of the instrumentation is under the direction of School for the Environment, Dr. Karen Johannesson. Instrumentation and analyese are overseen by the senior laboratoy scientist, D. Peng Ho. 

Core Services Offered. The EACF provides various fee-for-service environmental chemical analyses and microscopy. Services levels for internal and external ORSP contract (government, external academic, and industry/private) users.  The EACF provides access to instrumentation and laboratories to university students, faculty, and staff and to outside users.

Location. Currently the EACF is located in four laboratories in the Integrated Sciences Complex (ISC): ISC 1640 (Field Processing),  ISC 2740 (Environmental Imaging), ISC 3350 (School for the Environment Instrumentation Lab), ISC 3351 (Trace Element Lab), and ISC 3352 (Class 100 Clean Room).

Operating Guidelines.  Given the diverse research applications of the EACF instrumentation, maintenance and operation of the instrumentation is primarily conducted by the director/lab manager, technicians, and graduate student assistants. The goal of the EACF is to be a cost recovery center in a research setting (i.e. non-commercial) and continuation of support of these staff are supported by funds provided by UMB and user fees. 

Access. Users are required to schedule instrument access time only after consultation with the EACF lab director and/or manager. Consultation includes discussion of the analysis(es) to be performed, appropriate instrumentation for the intended use, discussion of sample preparation needs, needs for standards, number of samples, expectations of hours of use needed and a clear plan for payment for analyses. After confirmation of user needs, the lab director or manager will provide a quote to the user. Once accepted, the user will provide the samples for analyses along with a method of payment. Users are required to book their days of use 2 business days (at least 48 hrs) in advance or more. Users who will not be able to use their assigned days must notify the EACF lab manager 1 business day (at least 24 hrs) in advance or will be charged a cancelation fee unless another user can be found. Users can switch days with other users only by permission of the EACF lab manager.

  • User Priority – Instrument use and analyses scheduling is generally on a first come, first serve basis.  Users can request specific times, but must acknowledge that if another full-service user has a high priority, the EACF staff has the right to request access to the instrumentation during the requested block.  Priority levels ranking, especially with eminent deadlines based on workload and time: 1) EACF contracts, 2) grant funded projects, 3) proposal deadlines, 4) undergraduate and graduate theses deadlines, 5) external users, 6) other circumstances. Scheduling conflicts are handled by the lab director or lab manager, however, the EACF staff may be asked to review priority scheduling issues.
  • External Users – The EACF is charged with generating funds to support its activities, and therefore users external to the university will be solicited from industry, agencies and other universities/colleges. These users will undergo the same process for access as internal users but will be charged various university established indirect cost rate for non-contract and contract (via ORSP) in addition to the user level rate.
    Maintenance Days – To ensure that the instrumentation is properly maintained and is working order, 1 day per week/month (depending on the instrument) for each instrument will be not available for use as it undergoes maintenance. 

Indirect Costs.  Indirect Rates - Applied to direct costs based upon the end user account type. Account types include “internal”, “government”, “academic”, and “industry." The indirect rate of the DHHS approved (provided by ORSP) indirect rate is applied by the EACF and billed to the client for sponsored research activities.