New Members

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Joining the KNI Lab

The KNI Laboratory (KNI Lab) is an open-access facility for Caltech and JPL students and researchers, as well as external academic, government and industry users. Equipment and resource use is billed on a per hour basis. Customers are invoiced quarterly for their use (Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, Jul-Sep, and Oct-Dec). You can find information on our usage rates here.

If you have general process questions or technical questions about KNI Lab resources, please email Associate Director of Technical Operations Dr. Guy DeRose. Provide as much detail as possible to ensure an efficient and timely response.

Note: There are additional requirements for external users to join the KNI Lab (see below). Please allow more time for processing.

Step 1: Submit Your KNI New User Form

Send your completed form to

Step 2: Submit Your Process Description Form (if needed)

After you have submitted your new user form, you may contact Guy DeRose for general process questions. Attach the KNI Lab New Process Description form to your email inquiry.

Step 3: Safety Training

All new lab users are required to attend the KNI-specific lab safety training, as well as Caltech's Laboratory Safety Orientation which is managed by Caltech's Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) department.

After submitting your new user form, you will receive an email from KNI Lab Coordinator and Safety Officer Bert Mendoza with all necessary information to prepare for the KNI-specific safety training session. These sessions are held weekly, every Friday at 1 pm via Zoom.

Caltech's EHS Laboratory Safety Orientation is required if you are using any lab on campus. The training is offered by EHS via Zoom twice a month. If you have not taken EHS Lab Safety Orientation, instructions to register for this training can be found here: Caltech's EHS Lab Safety Orientation

Note: You may start and complete KNI safety training before completing the EHS safety training. However, you must complete EHS Laboratory Safety Orientation in order to complete your onboarding and gain access to the KNI Lab.

Step 4: Setting Up Your Lab User Accounts & Access

After you complete safety training, you will receive an email from KNI Administrator Jennifer Palmer with further instructions on setting up your KNI Lab user accounts. You will need to coordinate a time to stop by her office and have your ID card scanned so that it is registered in our lab management system. This will allow you to swipe into the KNI Lab's entrance as well as login to the Lab's tool reservation system (FBS).

All KNI Lab users are required to join the KNI Lab Slack workspace for timely and important lab updates, as well as FBS, the KNI Lab's user and tool management software system. Be sure to complete your FBS User account activation when you receive the FBS Welcome Email. If you have any trouble logging into our FBS Facility page ("Kavli Nanoscience Institute (KNI"), email

Read the FBS User SOP for instructions on how to request training, schedule & change tool reservations, setting up your User account, notifications, and billing details.

All KNI Lab users are also signed up to the kni-notice email list.

Step 5: Tool-Specific Training

Requests for specific equipment training must be submitted through the User Activity Dashboard in FBS. From the User Dashboard, scroll down to find the name of the tool you need to use, click the "Request Training" link, then provide any useful information about why you need training on the specific tool -- also be sure to include your availability for the next two weeks.

After you submit your initial training request, the KNI technical staff member in charge of the tool will receive a notification and will contact you to schedule your first training session. Once a day/time has been agreed upon, you make go directly to the FBS Calendar (scheduler) and initiate an "Assisted Use" reservation. The staff member will receive an email notification and approve the reservation.

To schedule additional (second, third, etc.) training sessions, follow the same procedure: first submit the request from the FBS User Dashboard tool list, and after a day/time is set with the staff member, go to the FBS Calendar to initiate an "Assisted Use" reservation for the agreed-upon day/time.

Refer to our Equipment List page for details on all of the resources in the KNI Lab.

Note: Users are only charged for equipment use time during training sessions. There is no additional fee (i.e. staff time) for training sessions.

External Users

Non-Caltech Academic/Government and Industry/Corporate members are considered external users. There are additional requirements to set up an external user's KNI lab access:

  • Facilities Use Agreement (FUA)
  • Proof of Liability Insurance (COI)
  • Purchase Order (PO)
  • External Affiliate appointment (see note below)

If you are interested in joining the KNI Lab as an external user, please send the New User Form, Process Sheet and any other relevant details/timelines to We will provide information on usage terms and external user rates, along with the required documentation for setting up a lab membership.

  • Note: all external users are required to hold a formal appointment at Caltech. If you do not have one (e.g. Visitor, External Affiliate, VURP, etc.), KNI will arrange an External Affiliate appointment for you. This must be approved by our academic division office and is processed through Caltech HR.

KNI Member Offboarding

Users who no longer plan on using the KNI Lab must send an email to and complete the offboarding process before their last day. Please review the KNI Member Offboarding SOP. The SOP lists items such as Stored Items, Chemicals, Stored Data/Files, etc, which should to be addressed before your membership ends.