Roles within the facilities at CIMeC
Approved by the CIMeC Consiglio on July 15th, 2021
The objective of these guidelines is to list a number of tasks, separated by type of role and duties, regarding the staff of the Facility.
The aim is to share advanced technologies by the shared use of resources. The objectives are to provide access to resources characterised by professional and technological excellence, to the researchers of the University of Trento, by expanding their use and sustainability, also via the increase of the scientific productivity.
This document is an integral part of the CIMeC regulations for the access and use of the facility, and does not replace the university regulations in terms of health and safety on the workplace, or the university regulation in terms of data protection.
Facility (Laboratory) – all the labs within CIMeC. The term “Facility” is meant to indicate a technological platform made by a set of highly sophisticated apparatuses, as well as the equipment and the staff, who is specialised and trained in their use. Within CIMeC, the facilities are defined as laboratories, areas to support the research.
Technician – technical personnel who supports all the activities of research and teaching within the Facilities.
Scientific Advisor (Laboratory Scientific Consultant) – Principal CIMeC Investigator as nominated by the Director, according to the Board of the centre, who offers scientific consultancy to the users of the facility, and advice for the management of the Facilities, as well as promoting it.
Facilities User(s) (Researcher) – any user of the Facilities.
Internal User(s) – researchers (either academic of research assistants, graduate students or post-doctoral students) of the University of Trento.
Collaborator(s) – researchers from other universities or research centres, connected with the University of Trento by means of Agreements of Collaboration.
External (Academic or Private) User(s) – personnel from public or private institutions who request a service to the Facility for their own purposes or for commercial purposes.
CIMeC Rules for the access and use of the Facility – document, available for each facility, outlining the criteria for access, mode and priority of use. The rules are approved by the Board of the Centre, based on a proposal by the Director.
The Facility Manager manages all the operative aspects of the facility, according to and based on the rules for the access and use of the Facility.
The Facility Manager ensures that the activities of the Facility are carried out efficiently and according to health and safety regulations, also based on the level of responsibility of the Facility User (depending on the level of access that the User will have, which is determined by the rules for the access and use of the Facility).
The Facility Manager supervises the area and the equipment of the Facility; they verify that the equipment and the software are up to date and working; they coordinate maintenance, both ordinary and extraordinary. They manage, or coordinates, any situation which slows down or obstructs operations, by deciding on the best strategy to solve the problem in the least time possible.
The Facility Manager is in charge of managing the production and conservation of the documents related to the activities of the Facility and to the safety procedures, ccording to what is stated in the Rules for the access and use of the Facility.
They propose variations on the opening time of the Facility to the Director, after consulting the Facility Users and the Scientific Advisor, based on the current needs in terms of research, experiments, and teaching or training. They propose and manages the purchase of equipment and peripheral instrumentation.
The Technical Personnel of the Facility is required to attend refresher courses and for professional development, as well as seminars or scientific events aimed at the acquisition of competences.
The tasks of the Facility Manager can vary depending on the type of Facility, but they can be resumed as followed:
General operation of the Facility
- They provide information on the procedures to the Facility Users
- They manage the periodical booking of the Facility, and organises the workflow by adopting criteria of priority in order to assign the available resources according to the directives of the Centre.
- They ensure that the users are familiar with the safety rules within the Facility, and guarantee the respect of the protocols for the control and safety described in the Rules for the access and use of the facility; where indicated, in his/her role as an expert, they train the Facility Users and other personnel assigned to the Facility, on health and safety, and on the procedures to acquire and use non-standard data.
- They define the levels and types of access of the Facility Users, by keeping an up-to-date list of the Facility Users who access the Facility, based on the types of access indicated in the Rules, if this is not in the booking system.
- They ensure that the wiki page of CIMeC is kept up to date, with the aim of transferring the technical-methodological know-how to the users, in an optimal state-of-the-art condition. In that respect, they coordinate with the other Facility Managers, in order to maintain a level of uniformity of the information and updates within CIMeC.
- They prepare equipment and material in order to conduct experiments.
- They are in charge of safekeeping of the equipment and other property in the Facility, and ensures their correct functioning.
- They manage the ordinary and extraordinary maintenance of the equipment, and is in charge of maintain, calibrate, recharge, sterilize the tools of the Facility.
- They manage and deal with the procedures for the resolution of problems of functioning, or possible deterioration, anomalies, breakages and/or damages of the equipment and materials in the Facility.
- They evaluate and carry out the best procedures in order to solve management issues, if necessary by coordinating with the Direction of the Centre and with the Scientific Advisor, by interacting with the technical and administrative personnel in charge of the matter.
- They report potential anomalies within the Facility to the health and safety personnel.
- They carry out a yearly check of the suitability and the health and safety training of the personnel of the Facility.
- They supervise the stock and manages the replenishment of materials, gases or other products as necessary to the functioning of the Facility (acting with the administration of the Centre).
- They manage, when necessary, the waste of the Facility according to the current regulations.
- They collaborate with the relevant offices for routine administrative procedures related to the management of the Facility and the research equipment, the products, and the expense sheet for the use and periodical update of the costs of the Facility.
- They manage the administrative documentation related to the purchase of goods.
- They manage the purchase of equipment and peripheral tools, both technical-scientific and hardware, as well as of the software (in collaboration with the IT centre. The purchase of IT material will be finalised by the IT office, as well as the following IT management).
- They plan the management and expense sheet of the budget of the facility, following the request of either the Centre or the administration office.
- They report the need to acquire other goods, depending on the ordinary expense plans as outlined by the administration, or depending on necessity, and reports the need to renew contracts or collaborations which are about to expire.
- They propose and compiles proposals for the purchase of goods for the renewal and improvement of the equipment, based on the strategic direction of the Centre, and in collaboration with the Scientific Advisor if necessary.
- They develop and implement procedures and best practices for the operation, data acquisition, processing of standard and non-standard data, using, if necessary, the advice of the Scientific Advisor.
- Every six months, if necessary, they propose changes to the scheduled timetable of the Facility, by formulating the timetable according to the availability of the staff and keeping into consideration the criteria used in terms of priority of use for the researchers.
- They arrange and updates regularly the Rules on procedures and quality standards of the activities of the Facility, in agreement with the Direction and the Scientific Advisor.
- On a yearly basis, or whenever requested, they compile and delivers a report on the activities of the Facilities (in their pertinent areas) to the Board, where they indicate what has been done in terms of workflow, transfer of technical know-how to the users, and report potential anomalies while simultaneously providing suggestions or proposals for the improvement of facilities (including purchases or updates).
Moreover, the Facility Manager provides the following support to the Facility Users:
- Based on their experience and training, if required, they provide support to the Facility Users at the planning or pilot stage of experiments, in order to optimise the experiment, the acquisition of data and/or the analysis of data, and in particular, depending on the feasibility of the project, in order to optimise safety and methodological procedures and available resources.
- They give support for the areas of documentation related to the projects for the Ethical Board on methodological procedures, and they provided references to any information in terms of safety and data sharing.
- They provide methodology consultancy, where requested and based on their training and competence, related to data processing.
- They support the collection of data and the organisation of the analysis when necessary, and in special cases, they carry out preliminary quantitative and qualitative analysis in order to evaluate the quality of the data.
- Where expected, they implement procedures for non-standard analysis which can be then be generalised and made available as best-practices to all the active research groups in the Facility.
- When necessary, they are in charge of optimising the procedures for acquisition and processing through optimisation projects that require the use of the Facility, in greement with the Scientific Advisor.
- They manage, where applicable and according to the guidelines, the archive/archiving of the date of the Facility.
- They coordinate periodical meetings, if necessary, for the Facility Users, in collaboration with the Scientific Advisor, which can also be related to the Project Proposal Presentation.
The Facility User must view the CIMeC Rules for the access and use of the Facility; they must have attended the courses on safety (see University Regulations in terms of health and safety in the workplace, and the specifics of the Centre), and they must have signed the form guaranteeing their responsibility in the correct use of the equipment according to the rules.
Based on the rules for the access and use of the Facility, the responsibility for the correct use of the equipment is by default transferred to the Facility User in the Facility, in the period of use/testing.
The Facility User is responsible for the safety in the Facility, according to the law, including the safety of the subjects participating in their experiments.
The direct responsibility for training, safety, and correct behaviour of the Facility Users is also applied to the Principal Investigator or the appointed person in charge of the project.
The management and saving of the data is the full responsibility of the Facility User (and the Principal Investigator), who acquires and uses the data, unless there are different specifics in the CIMeC Rules for the access and use of the Facility.
The treatment of data must be done according to the University regulations in terms of data protection, GDPR and the specifics of the Centre.
The Facility Users operating in the Facility must immediately refer to the Facility Manager in case of damage or malfunctioning of the equipment in the Facility, together with any other critical situation, in particular related to the safety of the participants and the equipment, according to the guidelines and the instructions
received during the training or presented in the Rules for the access and use of the Facility.
The Facility User must inform the Scientific Advisor about any publications or other products which use the data acquired in the Facility (it is requested that the specifics provided by the Scientific Advisor are input in the IRIS system of the University).
The Principal Investigator who is also acting as Scientific Advisor, if requested, provides scientific consultancy to other Principal Investigators for the definition of the research protocols, for the use of the Facility.
- they participate, when necessary or requested, together with the Facility Manager, in meetings for the proposal of projects (Project Proposal Presentations), aimed at determined the feasibility of the projects in terms of safety, methodological procedures, data processing and availability of the resources.
They contribute to the work of the Facility Manager, in terms of supervision and definition of the rules, procedures, standards and control systems, in order to monitor the activities of the Facilities. Any change of the rules or the procedures must be discussed with the Direction.
On a yearly basis, they present the performance of the Facility to the Board of the Centre, they check the use of the Facility via the booking system, in order to monitor the rate of activities, by presenting a list of the publications linked to the Facility. Following a meeting with the Facility Manager or other relevant figures, they evaluate the need to intervene with modifications or other useful actions which can increase efficiency, and they present them to the Director and the Board.
After consulting colleagues, the Facility Manager and other relevant figures in the area, they propose the purchase of new equipment and/or management innovations in order to improve the use of the Facility.
They provide consultancy, where requested, in the area of collaboration and scientific-methodological conventions with other institutions outside the University of Trento.