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SRIF's Mission

SRIF's primary purpose is to provide analytical chemical and biochemical instruments for independent research. SRIF has a large selection of state-of-the-art instruments for conducting applied scientific research. These instruments are available to faculty, staff and students at George Mason University. There is no cost for using SRIF's instruments.

Instrument use can be reserved by using the sign up sheets in located in room 221 in Discovery Hall (Prince William Building II). Before you can sign up, you must read and understand the lab policy . If you haven't used the instrument before, be sure to check with the lab manager before you sign up.

SRIF's other goal is to assist researchers in their projects. SRIF has several qualified chemists, biochemists, and biologists who can help you with a project. We may also be able to refer you to other experts.

However, SRIF cannot--and does not--guarantee that your project will be successful, nor are we responsible for its success. We can only give advise based on our own experience which may not include your specific application. Therefore, researchers must gain a knowledge of the method requirements before attempting to begin a project. Expect to spend time conducting library journal research prior to projects. Remember: it is much easier and less frustrating to find out how others have conducted similar work than it is trying to reinvent the process in the lab!

Important disclaimer: SRIF is not an academic department. Our goal is to teach you how use our instruments, but we cannot teach fundamental chemical analysis skills or general laboratory techniques. We cannot be responsible for teaching you how to do your specific analysis since there are tens of thousands of possible methods. If you haven't taken a class in instrumental analysis (CHEM 455 or BIOL 380), please consider doing so, especially if your project is a long term one. You should also read a chapter in a textbook such as Skoog and Leary (Saunders College Publishing) prior to starting a project so you have some background information available.

Once you understand your methods, you should register for one of SRIF's instrumental seminars . Our seminars will show how to start, run, and collect data from our instrument. However, they cannot teach all aspects of instrumental analysis. Only hands-on experience over a long period of time can do that.

Be sure to read our Guide to Student Projects for further details.