Application & Usage Process
- Review our available instrumentation, associated costs, and policies.
- Check out our User Portal to receive recommendations on which instrument or technique might be able to help you answer your research questions.
- Complete the quick and easy NanoEarth application (detailed info about the application is below).
- An instrument specialist will contact you for additional information if necessary and to schedule your visit.
- Complete a Purchase Order from your home organization. You will need a completed PO before beginning work.
- If you have been approved for a travel grant, complete a W-9 form. If you are a Foreign National complete the W-8BEN and the Foreign National Data Form. These forms should be submitted to Susette Sowers who you will work with for travel arrangements.
- Review, sign, and submit the NanoEarth Acknowledgement Agreement and Media Release form.
- Review the Visit Us page for more information about our locations and Virginia Tech visitor information.
- For publications that result, in full or in part, from using NanoEarth facilities, please use the below acknowledgement statements.
In the case of regular users:
This work used shared facilities at the Virginia Tech National Center for Earth and Environmental Nanotechnology Infrastructure (NanoEarth), a member of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), supported by NSF (ECCS 1542100 and ECCS 2025151).
In the case of users who received financial support (e.g., MUNI):
This work was supported by the Virginia Tech National Center for Earth and Environmental Nanotechnology Infrastructure (NanoEarth), a member of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), supported by NSF (ECCS 1542100 and ECCS 2025151).
We recommend that you submit an access request form early in your research project, if possible before you collect your samples. This way, our instrument specialists can help you decide the best way to collect and preserve environmental samples for analysis.
Form submission guidelines:
Download and complete the word document form. The access request form consists of two sections:
Part 1: Project information
Please fill out this section with your contact information and preliminary project. Please include other PIs who will be collaborating in this project and also include students or postdocs who will be travelling to our facilities under “Other participants”.
Part 2: Project description
Access request forms should include the following elements:
1. An overall description of the work to be done and analytical methods needed,
2. A brief explanation of the experience level of the person(s) who will be visiting our facilities, both in terms of the proposed project, and the methods to be use at our site.
Previous experience in using instrumentation is not necessary,
but knowing your experience level will help us better schedule your visit,
3. Publication/dissemination plans, if applicable.
The project description should be no longer than 2 pages, including figures and/or tables, and key references, if needed.
Send the completed form to NanoEarth@vt.edu
Access request forms are accepted and evaluated continually.
Applications are evaluated only for technical feasibility and safety, not technical merit - all legitimate users are welcome.
In case of proprietary work, our laboratory staff only needs to know enough information about the materials to be analyzed in order to determine analytical compatibility and for safety and handling purposes. Users retain all intellectual property for their data, with no entanglement by Virginia Tech.
What instrument or technique can help you answer your research questions?
It can be intimidating to work with a nanoscience laboratory when you are not familiar with all of the sophisticated tools available. The User Portal tool can help you narrow down which instrument or technique might be able to help you answer your research questions.
NanoEarth does not want funding stress to be a barrier from using our services. To alleviate this barrier, we have a limited amount of available grant funding to help with travel and instrument usage costs for multicultural and underserved populations.