Research Ramp-Up Equipment Reservations Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is my name not on the reservation request list?

If you have been given approval by the ISN and your name is not on the list to request a reservation, please ensure that you have completed the required EHS and ISN trainings, including the ISN COVID Lab-Specific Training. 

If you have not received explicit approval to use shared equipment at the ISN, then you may not request reservations. Access is being granted as occupancy and social distancing limits allow.

If you think have completed all requirements, please contact Nicole at


2. Who can request access to the ISN for shared equipment?

The following groups have already been granted access:

  1. Researchers whose primary workspace is assigned at the ISN, by the ISN, and who have been listed by name in the Exercise B worksheet submitted by your PI to the ISN.
  2. Researchers whose research is related to advancing knowledge of COVID, and whose PI (researcher adviser) has requested an exception for their work.
  3. Researchers who are ISN equipment stewards and assist with maintaining ISN equipment for other users.
  4. Researchers who are working on ISN funded research, and whose PI has identified them to the ISN Facilities Leadership as needing access during MIT’s Phase-2 Research Ramp-Up.
  5. Researchers who have already been trained on the equipment that they wish to use at the ISN, and who have completed all of the requirements for returning to campus during MIT's current phase of the Research Ramp-up process.

Researchers not in one of the above groups, and anyone with an inquiry relating to new access requests, are encouraged to have their PI reach out to the ISN Laboratory and Facilities Manager, Amy Tatem-Banister ( for more information on how to gain access to equipment at the ISN.


3. How do I complete the ISN COVID Lab-Specific Training?

The ISN COVID Lab-Specific Training is held regularly on Thursdays at 1PM, unless otherwise stated.

Contact Amy ( for more information about lab access and training requirements. 


4. What equipment needs to be reserved?

The list of equipment requiring a reservation is linked at the top of the reservation form on the ISN internal website.

Please note that some equipment authorizations may have been revoked due to lack of use and may require a refresher training before you can reserve that equipment.

5. How do I reserve time on equipment?

In order to safely accommodate all equipment needs, reservations are being scheduled by the ISN on behalf of the researcher. To request time on equipment, please fill out the Request a Reservation form found at (login required). 

Same-day requests submitted through the form will not be scheduled. If you need same-day time on equipment, please email Nicole directly ( to check availability.

Your request will be coordinated with other requests for equipment in nearby areas of the lab. You may receive an email from Nicole if additional information is needed.

The priority deadline for reservation requests is 10AM two business days in advance. The final deadline to request a reservation is 4PM one business day in advance.

You will receive a confirmation email once your reservations are scheduled. Please carefully read the included information and reply to that email if any changes need to be made.


6. Can another person join me to observe, work with me, etc. during my reservation?

No. Researchers cannot work at equipment in groups of any size at this time. Remote video calls and/or screensharing are recommended for observation or collaborative work. 

If remote communication is not possible, please contact Amy ( and Nicole ( with a plan for socially distanced collaboration that will be submitted to the ISN DCM for review and approval.

7. How do I wipe-in/wipe-out?

Materials for cleaning workspaces (including high-touch surfaces and seats) are provided at Sanitation Stations throughout the lab. Please see the wipe-in and wipe-out guidance on this page for additional information. If you have questions about a specific workspace, please contact a member of the ISN staff.

Do not leave any materials or waste behind. Please ensure that you have taken your samples and disposed of any PPE, rubbish, etc. into the appropriate waste bins.


8. Do I need to make a reservation to transfer data?

If you need to access equipment outside of a reservation (e.g. to copy your data,) please email Nicole ( or check with a staff member for availability.


9. Where can I view my scheduled reservations?

Reservations can be viewed on the ISN internal website on the My Reservations page or the Adjust Reservation page. These pages can be found under the Laboratory > Equipment > Reservations tab.

10. When will my reservation be scheduled?

Reservations are added to the ISN intranet calendar twice daily around 10AM and 5PM, beginning two business days prior to the requested date.

Please do not use the form for last-minute inquiries or same-day requests. 

11. Can I request a weekend reservation?

Yes. The deadline to schedule reservations on weekends and holidays is the same as the next business day. For a typical weekend, this is 4PM on Friday.

12. How do I change or cancel a scheduled or requested reservation?

Please contact Nicole ( to extend, cancel, or otherwise modify your reservation. Reservation changes will be accommodated as occupancy and social distancing limits permit.

13. Why was my reservation not scheduled?

Requests submitted after the deadline for the day requested may not be scheduled. This is most likely to happen if a Monday reservation is requested during the weekend, or if a request is submitted after 4PM the day before. 

You will receive a confirmation email when your reservation is scheduled. Please check your reservations before coming to the lab to use equipment (see question 5).


14. What do I do if I have not received confirmation?

Reservations may not be scheduled until 10AM two business days before the requested date. If you are concerned about the status of your request, please email Nicole (


15. Why do I need to include unattended time in my request?

To maximize social distancing and best accommodate the equipment needs of all researchers, some reservations may be scheduled to overlap attended and unattended time so that occupancy and social distancing limits are maintained.

Unattended time refers to time that you will not be sitting or working at the equipment. For example, if you need 15 minutes to set up a 3 hour experiment, please indicate how long you need for set up, shut down, and if you will need to change samples or otherwise be at the equipment during the reservation.

If you indicate unattended time in your form response, please do not stay at the equipment for the entire reservation.

16. What do I do if I encounter a problem while using equipment?

During business hours, ISN lab staff will be on-site and available by email and phone to help address equipment issues. Please email to report a problem on your equipment, and be sure to also cc the steward of the equipment if they are not a member of ISN lab staff.


17. What equipment is available for training?

Please see our Equipment Training page for current information about trainings.


18. Can I train/be trained by a group member to use equipment?

Please contact Amy ( and Nicole ( to discuss intra-group training requirements for any equipment that is not listed on our Equipment Training page.


19. Who should I contact if my question was not answered here?

For all equipment, lab, and facilities access inquiries, please contact the ISN Lab and Facilities Manager, Amy Tatem-Bannister (

For equipment reservation inquiries, please contact Nicole Bohn (