Everything you wanted to know and more!
The Science Support Center is here to help you with your research needs. Below is an outline of the steps you can take to make the research process go as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Whether you're doing research in a faculty lab or for a program, it is important to have your faculty on board for your project. They will serve as a mentor to direct your learning and evaluate your work when it's over.
Once you have a faculty sponsor, the next step is to complete a Project Information and Approval Form (PDF). This is what you will use to outline your research, list any materials you may need, and obtain a space to work on your project.
You will also fill out the Equipment/Chemical Request Form (PDF) and attach it to your Project Information and Approval Form.
If you are doing a Spring project or the Science Carnival, give the SIT (Scientific Instructional Technician) for your program your completed and form with faculty signature. Be sure to attach your methodology. This will help your SIT determine what type of space you will need, if you will need any specialized equipment, or if you will need specific trainings.
If you are doing an Independent Learning Contract, an SOS, Master's research, or are an undergraduate researcher who will need support, turn in your forms complete with your faculty sponsor's signature to the Science Support Center and we will find an SIT (Scientific Instructional Technician) to aid with your studies. An SIT will help you with your research by helping find an appropriate lab space for you to be assigned to, collecting any materials you need and assisting you in having a successful project.
Your SIT will work with the SSC to get the materials you need once all these steps are complete. The SSC staff will contact you when your materials are available to pick up. The process can take between 1 to 2 weeks after you've completed your part, so be sure to consider this in your planning time.
Chemicals? Vertebrates? Collecting Permits?
If your research involves the use of chemicals, it is important to pick up and fill out a Chemical Fact Sheet (only available in hardcopy at the SSC) for each chemical you want to use. Filling this out will help you understand the dangers and risks associated with each chemical you plan to work with, and tell you how to properly protect yourself from them. Each chemical substance you are working with will require a completed Fact Sheet, and each sheet will also require a faculty signature, so make sure to give yourself time to fill these sheets out and acquire signatures before you actually need your chemicals. Once you've turned your Fact Sheets in, your SIT can collect your chemicals and make them available to you.
Does your research involve vertebrate animals? Be sure to fill out the IACUC Animal Use Protocol Form (PDF) with your faculty. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is a self-regulating entity that, according to U.S. federal law, must be established by institutions that use laboratory animals for research or instructional purposes to oversee and evaluate all aspects of the institution's animal care and use program. The National Research Council publishes a Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (PDF) that can help you with the Animal Use Protocol Form. The IACUC committee only meets once a month, so plan this lead time in to your project outline.
Interested in collecting animals (vertebrate and/or invertebrate) as a component of your research? The Evergreen State College currently only has state permits that cover salvage of terrestrial vertebrates (i.e. organisms that are already dead) and collection of marine animals. You must work under the supervision of the faculty who is listed on the collecting permit, and permits are not modifiable with respect to taxon, location, or gear. The state permitting process takes a minimum of two months for review and costs $120, so advanced planning by your faculty is required for collecting events outside of existing permits. Please remember, that in accordance with state and federal guidelines, if living material is collected and release is intended, it must occur immediately following collection, in the place of capture. It is not permitted to release organisms once they have been brought to the laboratory.
If you ever have any more questions, or just need help working through the process, we are here to help you.