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Lab Safety Training & Requirements

Please check with Tyler as you develop your research plan. Given the diversity of research interests in our lab, each researcher may have to meet different responsibilities. Fulfilling some of these responsibilities may require several weeks of planning before lab work can begin.

University Training & Requirements

To work in the molecular lab, minimal requirements at Brown include:

  • Lab safety training
  • Biosafety training
  • We provide an Annual Calendar to complete trainings in advance of the semester you would like to begin participating in the lab.
  • There our lab-specific protocols are printed and kept in binders in the lab; digital copies are available through our "LabShare" drive.

Brown University Undergraduates

If you are an undergraduate with interest in joining the lab for an independent study, senior thesis, or other opportunity, this section includes some brief tips and links for you. Undergraduates will have the opportunity to develop independent project ideas and/or contribute to ongoing projects where opportunities allow. We love to collaborate with students from many concentrations, and can facilitate research involving fieldwork, lab work, and computational research; but not all such opportunities are available all the time. Students interested in joining the lab should:

  • Check out the information on independent studies, honors theses, and other research opportunities by reviewing the Biology Undergraduate Education and IBES Undergraduate Education pages.
  • Contact Tyler early in the process to identify research and training opportunities in the lab.
  • Participate in our weekly lab meetings, even before research begins. This will give you insights into what the lab does, what opportunities may be available, and what research strategies are likely to succeed. The more time you spend with the lab, the more opportunities you will have.
  • Develop a research proposal together with Tyler, which can be used to obtain research funding for internships, independent study credit, and thesis research. This is especially important if you are interested in field- or lab-based research. At Brown, relevant funding opportunities include the Voss Undergraduate Fellowship from IBES, Royce, UTRA, LINK (including domestic and international internships with partners). If funding for self-guided research is not available, there may be opportunities to participate in ongoing research led by postdocs and graduate students. Please ask.
  • If planning to work in the molecular lab: complete the Lab Techniques Basic Skills Workshop or be able to discuss relevant previous research experience.

Lab organizational resources

  • LabArchives: Your digital lab notebook for strategies, recipes, images, results.
  • Google Calendar: Scheduling use of equipment in the molecular lab.
  • IBES lab server: Where raw data in active use should be backed up and shared.
  • The LabShare GoogleDrive for internal resources

Shipping and Receiving

Receiving packages

It is the responsibility of the person expecting a package to pick it up and store it. If the package comes when the receiver is away, it is that person's responsibility to coordinate with someone else in the lab about how to unpack/store the contents. Whenever new packages are received, they should be removed from the shipping box/envelope and placed in the incoming area so the recipient can claim when ready.

  • Incoming package area in the lab main lab: bench to the left when you enter the lab from the office.
  • For temperature-sensitive reagents: -20 top shelf.

Dry Ice

Shipping DNA on dry ice may be necessary in some cases. Confer with Tyler. This type of shipping requires pre-planning. Here is an overview of the steps involved.

  • Dry ice shipments require an Environmental Health Safety (EHS) representative for packaging (lab members that do this very often may be trained as "authorized shippers").
  • EHS appreciates an email 72 hours in advance to schedule packaging. Send this email to all three of the following individuals: Shannon Benjamin shannon_benjamin@brown.edu, Linda Olmsted linda_olmsted@brown.edu, Linda Laporte linda_laporte@brown.edu.
  • Complete the EHS shipping form, a dry ice safety sheet, and a waybill from the shipper (FedEx, UPS, USPS; please compare prices). Please note that the EHS representative that packages the shipment must be listed as sender on the waybill.
  • Dry ice can be obtained from BioMed stock room. They do not store large quantities of dry ice, so ensure that dry will available on the day of your shipment.
  • Dry ice must be in a Styrofoam box, placed within a cardboard box. There should be little to no space between the styrofoam and cardboard boxes. Containers can be reused as long as they are in good condition and previous markings are covered.
  • Prior to EHS arriving: weigh and record the weight of the box and dry ice separately (in kg); ensure all forms are complete; obtain clear packing tape but do not close the box prior to approval from EHS.

International Fieldwork