Information for Users

The CGM seeks to help users improve their science at the proposal, design, construction, testing, and interpretation stages through personalized guidance and technical support. Individuals interested in using the facilities can get additional information and guidance about the facility capabilities by emailing or directly contacting Associate Director Dan Wilson.

Additional online information about the facility, research applications, and operational practices are described in presentation materials from past CGM Centrifuge Users Workshops. Presentation materials from recent workshops are posted at the DesignSafe-CI website (UC Davis Experimental Facility – Workshops).

Operational issues:

Our Equipment Site Utilization Form (ESUF – word document) contains valuable information for new users and proposers on (1) roles and responsibilities, and (2) training procedures and requirements.

The recharge rates for use of the CGM facilities are summarized separately for the large centrifuge and small centrifuge, with different rates being applicable for NSF and non-NSF users (recharge rates available here – PDF). The current rates were reviewed and approved in November 2015.

Technologies and capabilities:

Users interested in learning about the technical resources available at the CGM are encouraged to first review the presentations from the UC Davis Centrifuge Users Workshop series, as described above.

The CGM maintains core technologies, such as the centrifuge and shaker, and a robust infrastructure to support integration of new capabilities. The technological capabilities for the facility are continually advancing as new capabilities are developed. New technologies move from concept, to prototype, to standardization for routine use with time and use. New users are encouraged to first evaluate their technology needs focused on their research objectives and then contact the CGM directly to discuss how to accomplish their goals and whether they fit within the existing framework. The recharge rate sheet includes costs for standardized routine tasks, and CGM costs for developing new capabilities are covered on a time and materials basis. Individuals interested in current and developing technologies can contact the Associate Director for an update on current capabilities, information about emerging capabilities, or a discussion of possible custom solutions to meet specific research needs.


The CGM recommends new experimentalists complete an on-site apprenticeship to obtain training on a full spectrum of the required research tasks. The new researcher arranges to spend from 4-6 weeks assisting an experienced researcher perform their test; most experiments require two active researchers, so the more experienced researcher gains valuable assistance while the new researcher gains hands-on training. In many cases, an agreement may be reached where the assistance is returned on the new researcher’s experiment. Apprenticeship-based training has been the most successful method of training new experimentalists in our experience. The recharge rates include a credit for completion of an apprenticeship.

New Principal Investigators from academia or industry who are considering using the CGM facilities for the first time may have a wide range of questions and concerns, depending on their familiarity with centrifuge modeling and the stage of their career. The CGM provides confidential consultations regarding proposal ideas, with advice covering aspects of the scientific hypotheses, experimental designs, procedures, technologies, costs, schedule, and proposal writing. The CGM has also established the CGM Mentors for New Users, a volunteer group of experienced CGM users, who supplement the CGM in providing confidential consultations to potential new users regarding proposal ideas.

roles-responsibilitiesPhotos: CGM staff train and assist researchers in complex tasks.

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