Proposal Deadline
March 31, 2018

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Working at the Foundry

This page provides logistical information about working at the Molecular Foundry, for users who will be working on-site. If you need to submit a proposal, see the New User Guide.


Where to Get Help

The User Office staff  are here to help you at any point before, during, and after your visit to the Foundry.

  • Email:
  • Phone:  510-486-7423
  • Office location: Building 67, Room 3201 (3rd floor)
  • Mailing address: 1 Cyclotron Road, Mail Stop 67-3207, Berkeley CA 94720
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Orientation to Working On-Site at the Foundry

The Molecular Foundry (Foundry) consists of two main buildings (B67 and B72) located on the main campus of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab; also abbreviated as LBNL or LBL). Berkeley Lab  is located in Berkeley, California, in the hills above the University of California Berkeley campus (UC Berkeley). The University of California manages Berkeley Lab, but Berkeley Lab is not part of UC Berkeley.

Most Foundry user projects involve users coming to work on-site at the Foundry for some period of time, anywhere from a few days to a year. In order to work on-site at the Foundry, a user must be issued a Berkeley Lab badge (as described in the New User Guide) and complete a number of safety training courses specific to the work they will be doing.

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Your Foundry User Profile and Proposal

User Profile

All users must have an account on the Foundry User Portal. Your email address will be your login name on the User Portal. If you are logging in to the User Portal for the first time but are already listed as a user on a Foundry proposal, make sure you use the same email address for your User Portal account as is listed on the proposal in order to avoid creating a duplicate account. If you need help with your User Portal account, contact the User Office.  

During your Foundry orientation, you will be asked to update your user profile with your local contact information and a photograph. You can enter those details or make other changes at any time through the User Portal.

If your affiliation or contact information changes, please update your user profile promptly.


User Proposal

In order to work at the Foundry, you must be listed as an on-site user on an approved user proposal. You can view all your current and past Foundry proposals by logging in to the User Portal. Before you can begin work on an approved proposal, it must first be activated by your Assigned Scientist. 

You should be familiar with the following information for your approved proposal before starting work:

  • Assigned Scientist: This is your scientific and safety point of contact. If you aren’t sure who your Assigned Scientist is, log in to the User Portal to view your proposal.
  • Lead Facility:  This is the home facility for your proposal and typically is where you’ll do the majority of your work.
  • Support Facilities: Your proposal may have requested access to one or more additional support facilities at the Foundry. Access to these facilities may be contingent on further discussion of your project with facility staff.
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Berkeley Lab Badge, Identity, Email, and Google Account

All users working on-site at the Foundry (and some of those who work off-site) will be issued a Berkeley Lab badge and a Berkeley Lab identity, also called an “LDAP.” Your Berkeley Lab identity credentials are used to access the online safety and training systems, instrument reservation calendars, compute clusters, and Berkeley Lab email.

Berkeley Lab uses the Google Suite of tools, including gmail, calendar, and documents. Log in here with your Berkeley Lab identity credentials to access your email and the Google Suite.

You will be expected to receive and read any messages sent to your Berkeley Lab email account during your time at the Foundry. If you don’t plan to check your Berkeley Lab email on a regular basis, you must set up automatic forwarding from your Berkeley Lab account to your preferred email address.

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Training and Safety


Safety is a core value at Berkeley Lab and the Molecular Foundry. As an on-site user, you are expected to know and follow all safety requirements and to contribute to our strong safety culture. Note that these requirements may be different from those at your home institution.

Safety Training

Your Assigned Scientist and other staff contacts will inform you of all necessary safety training required for your work at the Foundry. Safety training is a combination of online courses, in-person courses, and on-the-job training by Foundry scientists and technicians. All required safety training must be completed and any controls specific to your project must be implemented before you may begin work.

Safety training requirements can be extensive for certain types of work at the Foundry and can take a day or more to complete. In order to get an early start on your safety training requirements, it is possible to complete some of the core safety training courses online before you arrive. To view and complete the recommended core safety training courses for your project, log on to the User Portal and navigate to the section titled, "Complete online safety training."

Users who will be onsite for five days or less and who will be working under the constant direct supervision of Foundry staff are exempt from formal safety training requirements, but must be familiar with all relevant safety requirements.

Work Planning and Control

Work Planning and Control (WPC) is a web-based tool for implementing Integrated Safety Management (ISM) at Berkeley Lab. WPC is used to identify and control hazards for all work activities, and to record worker assignments and authorizations.

Any work activity you perform at the Foundry must be covered by an authorized WPC activity. Foundry staff will add you to the appropriate WPC activities at the start of your project, and may add you to additional activities if your project scope evolves.

Each WPC activity includes some required training, either online or in person, which you must complete before being authorized to do the associated work activity. You will complete online training through the Berkeley Lab Training website and sign up for in-person training courses on the Classroom Courses website.

Working with Chemicals

If your work involves the use of chemicals, you will receive specialized online and on-the-job training.
Chemicals at the Foundry are tracked and managed in the Chemical Management System (CMS).
All chemicals and other hazardous waste must be properly disposed of through the Hazardous Waste Requisition System.

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Instrument Reservations

The Foundry uses two instrument reservation systems:

Use your Berkeley Lab identity credentials to log on to these systems. Once your training is completed, staff will grant you access to the appropriate instrument reservation calendars and show you how to use them. Learn more about resource allocation to user proposals.

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Desk Space

Your Lead Facility may be able to provide a desk for you to use during the course of your project. If not, day-use desks are available in the third-floor user area in Building 67 (the main Foundry building). You may also request an assigned desk in the third-floor user area by contacting the User Office.

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Building and Room Access

Once training is completed, you may be eligible for badge access to certain rooms and/or buildings. Your Assigned Scientist will request access for you, if appropriate, by emailing the User Office.  

Working alone

Due to potential hazards in Foundry laboratories, many operations are not permitted when working alone in laboratories outside of normal business hours or under unusual circumstances. All users must read and abide by our Working Alone Policy.            

Disability and Special Access Needs

If you require accommodation for a disability or have other special access needs, please notify the User Office prior to your visit (roughly one month in advance is ideal). The Foundry is happy to accommodate all user access needs.

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Working at ALS

If your proposal requested access to the Advanced Light Source (ALS), you will receive instructions for creating an ALS Hub account and scheduling beamtime (ALS Hub link) shortly after your Foundry proposal is activated.

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Where to Eat

The Berkeley Lab cafeteria is located half a mile from the Foundry and can be reached by foot or using the free Berkeley Lab shuttle. Many more options are available around the University of California, Berkeley, campus, which can also be reached on the Berkeley Lab shuttle. For quick snacks, there is a vending machine on the first floor of the main Foundry building (B67), near the loading dock. See the Berkeley lab site map and interactive site map for directions.

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Local Transportation and Parking

Directions to the Foundry can be found in the Resources section

A free Berkeley Lab shuttle service provides transportation to and around Berkeley Lab.

Most users are eligible for a temporary Berkeley Lab parking permit, which will be provided during the badging appointment. Under Berkeley Lab policy, undergraduate and graduate students are not eligible for parking permits. To request special temporary parking accommodation for a student, please contact the User Office to inquire if a reserved space is available. A permit is not required to park at Berkeley Lab between 3 PM to 8 AM.

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Travel and Accommodation

The Foundry does not arrange or financially support travel or accommodation for users, though it does offer a limited number of needs-based Opportunity Travel Grants.

For short-term accommodation on-site at Berkeley Lab, the Berkeley Lab Guest House is a good choice.

The following accommodation resources are not endorsed by the Foundry or Berkeley Lab:
UC Berkeley Visiting Scholar Housing Resources
Berkeley Scholar Hostel
UC Berkeley International House
YMCA Berkeley
AirBnB (search for Berkeley or zip code 94720)

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Resources for New Parents

Nursing and lactation: A designated lactation room is available for nursing mothers in Building 67, Room 3235A. This is a small, private room with a sink and refrigerator, intended for one person at a time. Please contact the User Office for access to room 3235A.

Other lactation rooms are available around Berkeley Lab.

Parking during pregnancy: See this page for instructions on requesting a temporary blue triangle parking pass for expectant mothers.

Stop the clock: New parents who need to take parental leave will be granted an extension to their proposal activation deadline and end date. Email the User Office to request an extension.

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Events and Getting Involved

User Executive Committee

The User Executive Committee (UEC) is an elected body of representatives for users at the Molecular Foundry that serves as an advocacy group for users and helps promote communication between the Foundry user community and Foundry management. The UEC is also responsible for organizing the scientific content of the Annual User Meeting.

All users are encouraged to interact with the UEC and get involved. More information on the UEC can be found on the UEC website.

Foundry Events

The Foundry hosts a number of scientific and social events throughout the year for users and staff.

  • Nanosocial: A social coffee hour is held in the Foundry lobby on alternate Thursdays.
  • Seminars: The Foundry hosts frequent seminars from visiting and local speakers, including three Seminar Series each year. 
  • User Meeting: An annual conference highlighting Foundry user research, typically held in August. Archived websites are available for past User Meetings: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014
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End of Project and Leaving the Foundry

See the User Guide for steps required at the end of your project.

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Foundry Acknowledgement and Reporting Publications

You are required to acknowledge support from the Foundry in any publication or presentation resulting in part or in whole from your work at the Foundry. These acknowledgements are critically important to the Foundry’s ongoing success and funding.

You are also required to report any peer-reviewed publications resulting from your work at the Foundry, either directly to the User Office or using the online form. 

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Providing Feedback and Reporting Problems

The User Office welcomes feedback to help improve user services. To share feedback, users are encouraged to either email the User Office, contact members of staff directly, or visit the User Office on the third floor of the Foundry.

If you encounter a problem while working at the Foundry, your primary resources are your Assigned Scientist, any Facility Director, the User Executive Committee, the User Office staff, and the User Program Director. Logistical and scientific problems might be best addressed to your Assigned Scientist or the User Office staff. For more serious concerns about Foundry culture, or conflicts with other users or staff, you should contact the User Program Director or your Lead Facility Director. You are encouraged to contact any of these resources, or to reach out to other individuals in the organizaton, as needed.

As part of an annual DOE reporting process, the Molecular Foundry and other DOE facilities are required to ask users to take part in a survey to provide demographic information and feedback to the Office of Basic Energy Science (BES). Users will receive an email invitation to complete the survey (usually in September) and are asked to respond in order to improve user services at the Molecular Foundry.

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Data Management

All proposals submitted to the Molecular Foundry should include written acknowledgment of, and agreement with, the Molecular Foundry's Data Management Statement, as given here.

If you propose to use facilities or resources at the Molecular Foundry, please be aware of the following information, either for inclusion in your Molecular Foundry User Proposal or an associated request for DOE funds leveraging Molecular Foundry resources, which must contain a Data Management Plan.

Currently, all Molecular Foundry Users are responsible for their own Data Management associated with their approved and active User Projects. If you have questions regarding our Data Management policy, you are encouraged to contact the User Office at and/or your User Project’s Assigned Staff Scientist.

Resources: Users are free to use personal mass storage devices, laptops, tablets, cell phones and lab notebooks for data storage and eventual transfer to their home institution. Foundry facility-based access to cloud storage and backup is available to Users, in some cases for a nominal fee (e.g., Google Drive, Dropbox, Carbonite). Data stored in the cloud can be shared by standard means. For user work performed on instruments within our facilities, Users must transfer data first to a file server or local storage device or else request the transfer via Foundry staff. Software for data analysis is available on local computer desktops in-house; users are free to utilize their own provided resources. Computational resources exist and follow LBNL standard practice for temporary storage of User data files backup for the duration of their projects.

Practices: For specific instruments in most facilities, staff-originated data back-ups occur regularly; files transferred to institutional storage (file servers) are backed up daily, but Users are generally responsible for their own data preservation. User data is only preserved during the project lifetime and no guarantees are provided once the project ends, although some facilities maintain data long term/indefinitely. Access to data is associated with the status of a User Project and once terminated data access and preservation rights may be lost. All data generated on collaborative non-proprietary user projects funded by DOE and referenced, utilized or included in subsequent publications is expected to be made public upon request.

Policy: All data generated on a Foundry collaborative project is jointly owned by both users and LBNL unless otherwise defined in executed User Agreement documents. Data generated on non-collaborative projects may be owned exclusively by the Users. No restrictions on file formats due to heterogeneity currently exist.