Information for Labs

How to Become an AGeS Lab

Any lab in the United States or its territories can become an AGeS lab at any point by submitting a brief (1-3 page) Lab Profile to the AGeS program (send to rebecca.flowers@colorado.edu). Your lab name, contact information, and Lab Profile will be posted on the AGeS Lab database page to help students connect with potential host facilities.

Although Lab Profiles can vary significantly, labs should try to provide a realistic overview of the types of research and learning experiences a student should expect when visiting the lab. The AGeS program does not fund contract work. Numerous examples of Lab Profiles are available in the List of AGeS Labs.

The Lab Profile must include the following information:

  • Provide a brief overview of the laboratory facilities available for student use.
  • Give a realistic time frame for a student visit that includes training, sample preparation, and facility usage. If a technique requires special steps that take significant amounts of time (e.g., sample irradiation), the lab outline must discuss plans to address this given the limited timeframe of a student visit.
  • Provide a complete list of costs and expenses for lab use that a student would be expected to budget when writing their grant proposal, such as equipment, training, sample processing, and sample analysis. We expect individual student grants to average ~$8,500, and be no more than $10,000. These costs include travel support for the student. The laboratory-related expenses will be paid directly by invoice to Professor Ramon Arrowsmith, School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University.
  • Describe what a student needs to accomplish prior to visiting and what materials should be brought for the visit. In particular, address what type of samples a student should have when they arrive, and whether or not they need to do any sample processing, data preparation, or additional training before working in the lab.
  • List which laboratory staff will train and oversee the student while s/he is working in the lab.
  • Discuss what steps are involved with data reduction and interpretation, and how laboratory staff will help advise this process.
  • Estimate the average waiting time for lab use. Can a lab typically fit a visitor in quickly, or should a student schedule time 6 months or more in advance?
  • List the name(s) and email address(es) of lab personnel who should be contacted by students interested in initiating a new collaboration.

 

To submit a new Lab Profile or to update an existing one, please send it to: rebecca.flowers@colorado.edu.

Limits on Proposals per Lab

If desired, labs can support up to 4 proposals in an application cycle. If a lab is approached by more than 4 students about supporting projects, then please suggest alternate labs that the additional students should consider approaching about their projects.

How to Support an AGeS Proposal

AGeS proposals are initiated and submitted by graduate students. Interested students will contact an AGeS lab to discuss a potential project, including timelines and why the geochronology technique will help address the fundamental questions in their research proposal. If the lab director feels that this is a mutually beneficial opportunity, the lab will help the student refine and clarify their proposed research and will provide a support letter for this specific project.

Labs are under no obligation to collaborate on a project if approached by a student. If the lab director decides that the project is not a good fit, then the lab is encouraged to suggest alternate labs that may be more interested in or more appropriate for the project. Different labs that use the same dating tool commonly specialize in specific techniques and problems, so certain projects may be better suited for some labs than others.

Assessment

To better assess the program activity and outcomes, AGeS will carry out several surveys that are required of all funded students, labs, and advisors. If your lab receives support from AGeS, then your responses to these assessments are essential for evaluating the overall effectiveness of the program. The assessment results are being used to improve the program and will be a factor in NSF's decision whether to continue supporting AGeS in the future.