FUN Equipment Loan Program

Call for Proposals for the FUN 2023-2024 Equipment Loan Program
 
The Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience (FUN) is pleased to announce the Call for Proposals for the 2023-2024 Equipment Loan Program Cycle. Annually, the FUN Equipment Loan Program (ELP) works through collaborations with equipment vendors to develop opportunities for neuroscience faculty to offer their products, services, and trainings on their equipment for up to a two-year loan with the intent to purchase the equipment at the end of the grant program. The vendors are always willing to work with the scientists so please apply even if you want a different version of the equipment listed here.
Through generous donations from ADInstruments, Nikon Instruments, Med-Associates, Elements-ic, Stoelting, Kent Scientific, ConductScienceMed Associates, and San Diego Instruments we are now accepting applications for proposals requesting a loan for equipment supporting neuroscience faculty research and/or teaching for FUN members. A complete list of equipment that will be available for loan during this grant program cycle can be found below. Please note that only single versions of the equipment listed below are available for loan at this time – it is not possible to request multiple pieces of a single item (unless otherwise noted or the awardee is seeking to purchase these additional pieces of equipment beyond the terms of the FUN ELP).

All current dues-paying members of FUN are eligible to apply for this program. If you are not a member and would like to become one, please visit our member application page to register.

Applications will be submitted electronically as a single PDF file to the Co-Chairs of the ELP program:
Dr. Lorenz S. Neuwirth email
Dr. James H. Peters email

The deadline for the FUN 2023-24 ELP application submission is: APRIL 15th, 2024 by 11:59 pm (EST). Awards will be announced by the second week of May 2024 and equipment will be sent in late May or early June 2024 unless specified by the vendor.


Terms of the FUN 2023-2024 Equipment Loan Program:
•    Awardees will be given full use of the neuroscience equipment granted for a period of up two years. For this cycle, all equipment can be requested for a two-year loan period unless otherwise noted (see Noldus).
•    Awardees will absorb all costs associated with shipping the equipment to and from the equipment vendor/supplier.
•    If an awardee is unable to purchase the equipment after the loan period has expired, they will be required to return the neuroscience equipment at the end of the loan period cleaned, sanitized (if/when appropriate or requested specifically by the neuroscience equipment vendor/supplier), and in good working order to the vendor/supplier. Please note that some equipment cannot be returned and will have to be outright purchased at the end of the loan period (see vendor information regarding these details). Additionally, if parts of the equipment that are returned to the vendor are not in working order, the awardee is responsible for costs to remedy these repairs.
•    Any publications, presentations or grants, resulting from the use of the equipment that was loaned through this program will acknowledge the neuroscience vendor/supplier company providing the equipment, as well as the FUN two-year Equipment Loan Program (ELP) grant. Notification of these publications are to be submitted via email the Co-Chairs of the ELP annually during the course of the grant:
Dr. Lorenz S. Neuwirth email
Dr. James H. Peters email
•    Any software that is included with a FUN two-year ELP grant will require that the grantee sign a provision that all software will be removed from their computers at the end of the grant program period.
 
HOW TO APPLY:
Applications should be no more than 5 pages in length (i.e., excluding cover page and reference pages). Applications may be single spaced, with font size no less than 11, top and bottom margins of 1” as well as right and left margins of 0.75”. Applications should be organized in the following manner:
•    Application Cover Page (i.e., Name, Position/Title, affiliation, and equipment requested)
•    Research proposal (i.e., including specific neuroscience equipment requested to be loaned, the proposed research, description of how the equipment will be used to complete the study proposed, and the expected outcomes from the research through the loaned equipment). This section should be between 3-4 pages.
•    Impact of the neuroscience equipment loaned on seeking future research grant funding (i.e., intramural and extramural to purchase the equipment), and the long-term development of the neuroscience faculty member’s research program. This section should be between half a page and a page.
•    Role of undergraduate students in the classroom or undergraduate student research assistants in the research proposal outlining the training to be provided. This section should be between half a page and a page.
•    Institutional support for the proposal. This may include such things as matching grants from the institution (i.e., cost sharing or covering the purchase costs for the loaned items at the conclusion of the two-year equipment loan grant period, undergraduate research stipends, additional supply money, salary support for the faculty member, etc.) or other forms of institutional support.
•    Reference page(s) must be included. It is encourages to highlight undergraduate students in the reference page for all publications and presentations noted as evidence for the faculty training and supporting undergraduate student involvement.
Factors to be considered when reviewing the proposals will include:
•    The scientific merit of the proposed research and use of the requested neuroscience equipment
•    Some preference is given to faculty in the early stages of their career, although awards may also be made to more senior faculty, for example, if a faculty member is developing a new area of research or changing their research focus
•    Evidence that the loan will enhance the faculty members long-term research and/or teaching efforts
•    Demonstrated institutional support for the project.

Dr. Lorenz S. Neuwirth - email
Dr. James H. Peters - email

History:
See the sub-page linked from the FUN website menu for a list of previous ELP winners: https://www.funfaculty.org/equipment_loan_program_winners

Available Scientific Equipment for the 2022-2023 FUN Equipment Loan Program


Supplier # 1 - 
ADInstruments

ADInstruments PowerLab system is a high-speed multichannel computer-based data acquisition system appropriate for upper division undergraduate student neuroscience projects as well as research applications. PowerLab data acquisition potential applications include: extracellular/intracellular recordings, evoked potentials, current/voltage clamping, biopotential recordings and many other neuroscience protocols. The Team at ADInstruments will work with the award winner to configure the system to best meet the needs of the work that is proposed. The final form of the system might vary, but in general would make use of the Powerlab 4/26T platform and LabChart software.

PowerLab 4/26T (QTY 1)
http://www.adinstruments.com/products/hardware/education/product/ML856/
The PowerLab 26T is an integrated data recording unit featuring a dual Bio Amp, an isolated stimulator, trigger input and two independent analog outputs (non-isolated). The ML856 provides the option of up to four general DIN inputs (Inputs 3 & 4 are shared between the dual Bio Amp). With appropriate transducers and accessories, the PowerLab 26T covers the broad experimental requirements in neurobiology education.
The ML856 PowerLab 26T includes:
  • LabChartScope and LabTutor software
  • Teaching Resources CD (includes LabChart Experiments)
  • Cable Kit including Power Cord, BNC to DIN Test Cable, USB Cable
  • Getting Started with PowerLab Manual
  • LabChart Quick Reference Guide
  • MLA2540 5-Lead Shielded Bio Amp Cable
  • MLA2505 Shielded Lead Wires (5)
  • MLADDF30 Stimulating Bar Electrode
  • MLAC22 BNC to DIN Smart Adapter (2)
  • MLT1010/D Finger PulseTransducer
PTK 19 (QTY 1) 
  • http://www.adinstruments.com/products/hardware/education/product/PTK19/
    The PTK19 is ideal for conducting experiments using isolated animal nerve, skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscle preparations. The Bridge Pod and transducer measure muscle contractile force. The cables connect to the Nerve Chamber or the Muscle Holder and plug directly into the analog inputs and analog outputs of the PowerLab system for recording and stimulating tissues.
The PTK 19 Nerve/Muscle Kit II Includes:
  • ML301 Bridge Pod (signal amplifier)
  • MLT500/A Force Transducer (0 - 500 g)
  • MLT016/B Nerve Chamber with Cable Options B
  • MLA0320 Animal Nerve Stimulating Electrode
  • MLA013 Muscle Holder
  • MLA1605 Shielded Lead Wires (25cm)
  • MLA40 Manipulator and Stand
Complete software overview can be found here: http://www.adinstruments.com/solutions/research/Neurophysiology/.
The included LabChart software has integrated post-hoc data analysis modules including Peak Analysis http://www.adinstruments.com/products/software/research/modules/Peak- Analysis/Windows/ and Spike Histogram http://www.adinstruments.com/products/software/research/modules/Spike- Histogram/Windows/.
Although the acquisition software must be removed at the termination of the loan period, ADI does offer free downloads of the LabChart Reader software for review of previously collected data. http://www.adinstruments.com/products/software/research/LabChart-Reader/
Awardees are responsible for shipping costs associated with returning the equipment to the supplier. Equipment must be returned and insured (up to $5K) via a registered carrier (i.e., UPS or FedEx) and in good working condition.
 
 

Suppliers # 2 and 3 - Stoelting and Kent Scientific

Two awards--the Stereotaxic and ANY-Maze packages--are available for proposals.
1) Stereotaxic Package
Digital Just for Mouse™ Stereotaxic Instrument (51730D) with Integrated warmer  in the base (53800) and Stereotaxic Surgical Tool Kit (52189) with the Mouse Stereotaxic Gas Anesthesia Mask (51609M
Our Just for Mouse Stereotaxic was specifically designed for use with knock-out and transgenic mice. It is Stoelting’s most popular stereotaxic instrument. Unique only to Stoelting is an integrated warming base that aids in improving surgical outcomes and overall longevity. The stereotaxic package also includes Stoelting’s Stereotaxic Surgical Instrument kit. This kit contains all the necessary tools for mouse stereotaxic surgery; Stoelting surgical instruments including a double sterilizing tray that will fit all the tools. Indeed, this kit also includes the Kane Retractor, exclusive to Stoelting for retracting the skin for optimal view of the skull without causing trauma to the surrounding tissue.

Kent Scientifice’s SomnoFlo® Low-Flow Anesthesia System is designed to deliver the precise amount of gas anesthesia to the animal with minute volume rates as low as 50 mL per minute. This design ensures that minimal waste anesthesia gas is produced, which is an important feature for stereotaxic procedures. Simple to operate using room air or compressed gas, the SomnoFlo® will come equipped with a Starter Kit of accessories including induction chamber, appropriate nose cones, tubing, and charcoal WAG canisters.
 
In addition to low-flow anesthesia systems, Kent Scientific also offers a variety of small animal physiological monitoring devices including warming, pulse oximetry and heart rate monitoring, non-invasive blood pressure monitoring, and ventilation. Any one or combination of these equipment can be requested through this program for a 1-2-year loan. Awardees are responsible for shipping costs and insurance associated with returning the equipment to the supplier. Equipment must be cleaned, decontaminated, and returned in good working condition.
 
Together, the Stoelting Digital Just for Mouse and the Kent Scientific SomnoFlo represent the state of the art equipment for performing stereotaxic procedures safely and accurately.


Surgical Instrument Kit includes:
  • Large Ring Dissecting Scissors
  • Micro-Dissecting Forceps, Curved and Straight
  • Stainless-Steel Forceps
  • Micro Friedman Rongeur, Curved
  • Kane Retractor
  • Sterile Scalpel Blades
  • Scalpel Handle
  • Halsey Needle Holder
  • Double Sterilizing Tray
Additional information is available at: www.StoeltingCo.com
Awardees are responsible for shipping costs associated with returning the equipment to the supplier.  Equipment must be cleaned, decontaminated and returned in good working condition.
 
2) ANY-maze Behavioral Tracking Package
ANY-maze behavioral tracking software with camera and accessories bundle (60605). The bundle includes a camera, lens, ceiling-mount and necessary cables.  (*This package does not include a computer, the awardee will need a Windows OS 10/11 laptop or desktop computer available. Please click https://www.anymaze.com/equipment/computers/ for computer specifications). Training and support are available to aid you in getting started. Any-maze is probably the most advanced video tracking system in the world. Trusted by thousands of researchers around the world, ANY-maze couples an unrivalled depth of features with a simple, familiar design, to provide automated testing in virtually any behavioral test including Morris water maze, elevated plus maze, open field maze, and so many more! The ANY-maze software can of course track behavior in mice and rats, but it can also track behavior in zebrafish & fruit flies. Much more information is available at: www. ANY-maze.com and watch the 2-minute introduction video.
 
The software also includes unlimited technical support to aid you in getting started.
ANY-maze is today’s most advanced video tracking system. Trusted by thousands of researchers around the world, ANY-maze couples an unrivalled depth of features with a simple, familiar design, to provide automated testing in virtually any behavioral test.
Additional information is available at: www.ANY-maze.com

 

Supplier # 4 – Nikon Instruments

Nikon E400
Upright fluorescence microscope with Cfi60 Plan Fluor 4x, 10x, 40x, and 100x Oil Immersion objectives. Microscope has trinocular head ready to accept camera. Fluorescence illuminator with six position fluorescence turret. Fluorescence cubes for DAPI, FITC, TRITC, and CY5. Fluorescence illumination utilizing Nikon Intensilight System; long life mercury halide bulb with liquid light guide. Qi2 Black and White SCMOS Camera and Nikon Elements AR acquisition and analysis software.
  • Desktop computer and monitor to be provided by grant recipient (computer specifications to be provided by Nikon)
  • Special components (i.e., fluorescence filters, specimen holders, etc.) may be provided at Nikon’s discretion.
  • Nikon will provide installation and on-site training at no cost.
  • Grant recipient is responsible for repair costs above normal usage.
  • IN order to offer this equipment to future FUN ELP grant recipients – this equipment is not available for purchase.
  • Term of loan is 24 months from date of setup and on-site training. Receipent must provide Nikon access to Nikon to pack up and ship the microscope at loan termination.
Nikon Instruments Inc. and FUN Grant should be references in any publications that result from this loan. 

 

SUPPLIER # 5 – Elements-ic

ELEMEMTS srl -  https://elements-ic.com/ (see website for video demonstrations of equipment listed below).
We are an Italian company that designs and produces custom ASICs (i.e., microchips) that are optimized and dedicated for pico- and nano-scale currents and measurements.  Our microchips allow us to produce miniaturized instruments, that are affordable and easy-to-use, to acquire and analyze very low ion currents in electrophysiology and electrochemistry.
As part of the FUN Equipment Loan Program, we are providing the following two setups for a one-year loan period:
  • Setup 1 – patch-clamp, includes:
    • ePatch amplifier with voltage and current clamp modes.
    • 1 Pipette holder and 1 rod-bar or dovetail attachment.
    • EZ patch software.
    • You may find details, specs, and other resources about this setup here: https://elements-ic.com/epatch-amplifier/
  • Setup 2 – lipid bilayer, includes:
    • eNPR-100KHz amplifier.
    • 2 sets of 3 polyimide BLM chips with hole sizes 100 μm, and 150 μm.
    • EDR acquisition and analysis software for Windows and Mac OS.
    • You may find details, specs, and other resources about this setup here: https://elements-ic.com/nanopore-reader-100-khz/
 Applicable terms & conditions:
  • We will ship in the US free of charge and the awardee is responsible for the insured return shipment by FedEx or UPS ground.
  • Equipment must be cleaned, decontaminated, and returned in good working condition.
  • We will provide remote (i.e., email, phone, or online) installation and support at no cost.
  • Duration of loan is one-year; at the end of the loan period, the awardee may either return the equipment or buy it at list price.
  • Only three setups of each type are available at any given time.
  • The equipment may not be disassembled, misused, reversed-engineered, or compromised in any way.
  • The loan is not transferable to anyone other than the awardee. 
 

SUPPLIER # 6 – ConductScience

ConductScience will provide one of each of the following pieces of behavioral equipment for a two-year loan period. Some pieces of equipment may come with additional software or service packages which includes:
  • Equipment option # 1: Grip Strength with service package & Behavior Cloud behavioral tracking software
  • Equipment option # 2: Rotarod with service package & Behavior Cloud behavioral tracking software
Hardware, Software, and Services
If an applicant can justify the need to have more than one piece of equipment within their proposal, they can do so, and ConductScience will consider offering up to a maximum of one piece of equipment for one awardee for a given two-year loan period.
Please see our range of service packages here that can be offered alongside our hardware products. Remote (i.e., email, phone, or online) installation and support is given at no extra cost. Complimentary service packages begin at 10 hours worth of services with further hours being available to purchase subject to standard service charges/rates as per ConductScience’s policies.

If applicable, please make sure you have a PC laptop for relevant software or service
 packages. ConductScience will advise regarding compatible computer and video hardware/software. Our warranty period is one year.

The details of these packages will be discussed and agreed upon at the time of award.


Any additional service requests that go beyond the terms of the two-year loan
 agreement will be subject to standard service charges/rates as per ConductScience’s policies.

Any ConductScience apparatus purchases made during the loan period will receive
 10% off.

Loan and Purchasing Terms

If after the two-year loan term expires, and the awardee is unable to purchase the equipment, the awardee will be responsible for proper decontamination, shipping through a registered vendor (i.e., FedEX or UPS), and insuring the equipment and where applicable software, at the value of its sale price. Any loaned software package must be removed from any computers at the termination of the loan period.

The awardee is responsible for costs associated with any damage to the product upon return and if deemed unrepairable, the awardee will be responsible for the full cost of the item along with repairs and they will be allowed to keep the equipment at that time
of decision.

Requirements for loans

Every loan of equipment requires a contractual agreement between the vendor and ConductScience with the following:
  • A statement of work with the following completed categories:
  • Project objectives
  • Project scope
  • Required products (hardware, software, and services) as line items
  • Major predicted deliverables
  • Timeline for completion of work
  • Proposed purchase plan and terms
Capital Equipment
If the total costs of items, services, freight and any other costs purchased at the end of the loan period exceed $5000 and have a lifetime use of more than 1 year, it is considered a capital equipment expense and is considered a tax-free expense to ConductScience.

About ConductScience
We are a science ecommerce platform that focuses on cost-effective solutions for highest quality scientific instruments. Our spotlight and best sellers include our animal behavior analysis range of both manual and automated mazes and associated products to study cognition, memory, motor skills, sociability, depression and more. Our strength is our ability to customize apparatus in design and dimensions and integrate this into our specialized software to fit our clients needs. We have hundreds of customers from prestigious institutions and leading corporations worldwide with hundreds of citations featuring our apparatus.
 

SUPPLIER # 7 – Med Associates

Operant Conditioning System -

Med Associates is the leading manufacturer, software developer and supplier of products for behavioral psychology, pharmacology, neuroscience, and related fields of research.  We have put together a package that consists of your choice of a Mouse or Rat Operant Conditioning chamber.  Included is a Sound Attenuation Cubicle, modular test chamber, two fixed levers, cue lights over each lever, a pellet dispenser with trough style receptacle, house light and 4 input/ 8 output controller.  Everything to operate this chamber from a standalone interface including the operating software and a dedicated Mini NUC computer with this software all pre-installed.  https://med-associates.com/product/behavioral-test-packages-for-rat/

Chamber Package Includes:
  • Sound attenuation cubicle
  • Modular test chamber with stainless steel grid floor
    • Two fixed levers
    • Two LED stimulus lights, mouse lights are yellow LED, Rat lights are white
    • Pellet dispenser and trough receptacles, (your choice of 20 or 45mg dispenser)
    • LED House Light
  • Interface - Smart control connection with 4 inputs/8outputs, USB standalone interface, Med-PC®  V , Med-PC 2Xl, MedState Notation code
  • Computer with software pre-loaded
Wireless Running Wheel System of 4 –
The current trend of housing mouse colonies in individually ventilated cages (IVCs) has allowed for dramatic increases in housing density, improved environmental control, and better biosecurity. However, the low-profile configuration of many mouse IVCs has made it more difficult to add enrichment devices, such as a running wheel, to the mouse home cage. Our wireless low-profile mouse running wheel (ENV-047) represents a state-of-the-art device that enables quantitative measurements of mouse running levels in most standard IVCs. We use the popular Fast Trac™ running wheel surface from BioServ® along with our proprietary wireless transmitter to get running data from the home cage to a computer without any wires or cables. We have created a package that consists of 4 wireless running wheels, a USB hub that is capable of controlling up to 40 wireless wheels, operating software, analysis software and a computer with the software pre-installed.  https://med-associates.com/product/low-profile-wireless-running-wheel/

Wheel Package Includes:
  • Wireless low-profile mouse running wheel
  • Wireless Device USB Hub
  • Wheel Manager Data Acquisition Software
  • Wheel Analysis Software
  • Computer with software pre-loaded
 
Awardees are responsible for shipping costs to and from the supplier and shipping insurance is highly encouraged. If the equipment is not insured and is damaged, the awardee will be responsible for covering all necessary repair costs.  Equipment must be cleaned, sanitized, and returned in good working condition.  Med Associates will provide a one-year manufacturer’s warranty on the loaned equipment.  After one year, the awardee can request to purchase an additional one-year warranty to cover the term of the loan program.  This equipment would have the option to purchase at the end of the loan program, please contact sales@med-associates.com for details.  Technical support to help setup or troubleshoot the system is available through Med Associates.  
 

SUPPLIER # 8 – San Diego Instruments

SR-Lab System

San Diego Instruments has served the behavioral scientific community for over 30 years as a comprehensive resource for the design, manufacture and distribution of scientific testing systems.  We are providing you with a complete two station SR-Lab system to perform Pre-Pulse Inhibition studies on either mice or rats.  The SR-Lab startle response system is the world’s most widely used startle reflex behavioral research system for successfully measuring startle and pre-pulse inhibition.

System Includes:

               Control Box

               Two Test Cabinets

               Two Animal Enclosures (mice or rat)

               Standardization Unit

               Software

               All necessary cables and power supply

 

The awardee will be responsible to provide a Windows 10 computer to operate the system.  The loan includes unlimited support during the loan period.  The SR-Lab system can provide additional startle paradigm kits such as Tactile, Fear potentiated startle, and pure tone.  These kits would need to be purchased by the awardee if desired.  Additional information on the system can be found at www.sandiegoinstruments.com.  At the end of the loan program, the awardee has the ability to purchase the equipment at a reduced cost. The awardee is responsible for shipping costs and must return the equipment cleaned, decontaminated and in good working condition.

FUN-ELP GENERAL DISCALAIMER:
Awardees are responsible for costs of shipping to and from the vendor/supplier and insuring the equipment is highly encouraged. All neuroscience equipment must be returned cleaned, sanitized and in good working condition. If the equipment is not insured with shipment and is damaged, the awardee will be responsible for covering all necessary costs of the loaned neuroscience equipment.