General Lab Information

Laboratory for Biomolecular Structure

User Guide

Your proposal was allocated time. What's next?

1. Register for a user appointment

All facility users performing experiments at LBMS are required to have an active appointment with Brookhaven National Laboratory. Requests are submitted through the online Guest Information System. Users who have previously registered and have an active Brookhaven Lab appointment may skip this step.

When registering:

  • Select NSLS-II (PS) as the "BNL Department"
  • Select CRYOEM as the "Research Facility"

Users must register through the Guest Information System at least 30 days prior to the microscope time. Please provide a clear justification for the visit including the microscope(s) that will be used. The request must also be approved by the LBMS staff. Appointments expire after two years but can be renewed.

2. Complete required training

Once the guest appointment has been approved, users must complete the online training modules prior to the start of microscope time. Please complete the following training courses. Returning users can check their training status online.

* Required only for onsite users (not remote-access users).

3. Submit Safety Approval Forms

All materials, equipment, and researchers involved in the experiments are listed on the Safety Approval Form (SAF), which includes an explanation and risk analysis for the tasks to be completed during the microscope time (at the microscope and within the EM preparation laboratories). SAFs must be submitted at least 14 days for remote users and 21 days for onsite users* prior to the start of microscope time. Failure to submit a SAF on time can result in cancellation of the microscope time and reallocation to another user. All SAFs are valid for one year except Rapid Access, which are valid for one cycle. Risks outside the standard hazard envelope (e.g. work with biohazards) require more processing time. In these cases, users should contact the LBMS staff as early as practical during experiment planning.

SAFs are submitted via the Proposal Allocation, Safety, and Scheduling (PASS) system once a proposal is allocated microscope time.

4. Request user account and data access

To run beamline experiments and access data at NSLS-II, all active users are being issued a computer account, which is also known as a "BNL domain account." These accounts follow a single sign-on strategy and replace the “controls” accounts that some users have used in the past. Additionally, to ensure that your BNL domain account is ready for you, you also need to be prepared to use two-factor authentication (2FA) through DUO before you can use any computer or log onto any system. Currently, due to the upcoming changes to in the sign-on strategy, NSLS-II users need two different services "Duo Commercial" and "Duo Federal."

Please read more details about how to get an BNL domain account and how to set up your two-factor authentication (2FA) on our user accounts and data access website.

5. Prepare for your microscope time

Reserve accommodations
For users coming to LBMS to collect data, there are a number of hotels near Brookhaven and the Laboratory also offers inexpensive onsite housing. See hotels near Brookhaven Lab and onsite housing options.

Ship materials to LBMS
Users should ship materials to and from LBMS in coordination with their home institution or via Federal Express. Samples must arrive at LBMS at least one week prior to the allocated microscope time. In addition, a completed imaging parameters form must be submitted at least one week prior to the allocated microscope time. If this is not possible, or for questions, please contact the LBMS scientist responsible for your microscope time. To ensure a timely handling of the shipment, please use the shipping address shown in the Dry Shipper Information form (PDF), put a copy of the completed form and a FedEx return label inside the dry shipper, and email “FedEx Incoming” tracking numbers to your LBMS contact.

Bring required identification
Users traveling to LBMS must bring the required identification to finalize (or renew) their appointment and receive a Brookhaven photo badge. The photo badge is required for each visit. Expired documents will result in delays in accessing the Brookhaven site and may prevent entry. Foreign nationals are strongly encouraged to bring their valid passport and all visa documents during every visit, which are required to be on file with the GUV Center and current at all times. Users are also encouraged to carry medical insurance and prescription cards. Additional details.

When you arrive at BNL

All new LBMS users and returning users with expired appointments or access cards must arrive at BNL Monday through Friday (and not a holiday) between 7:30 AM and 3:30 PM and check in at the Guest, User, and Visitor (GUV) Center in Building 400 (see map). At the GUV center, you can pick up your user badge, your access card to LBMS, and other useful information for your stay here at the Lab. The Housing Office, ATM, Micro Food Mart, and Starbucks are located in the same building. After checking in at the GUV Center, you can proceed to LBMS (see map).

For users that must arrive after hours, please email the LBMS User Office at least 1 week in advance to make arrangements.