Proposal Boilerplate Library

Below you will find a number of resources to assist in the development of your proposal.

Key Institutional Data for FIU

The following information is often requested by sponsors.

  • FIU Federal ID Number: 65-0177616
  • DUNS Number (aka CCR Number): 07-129-8814
  • CAGE Code: 1JHM5
  • Tax Exempt Number: 85-8012622369C-4
  • CEC Number: 07-220-891B
  • FIU’s NIH IPF number: 513809
  • FIU’s Federal-Wide Assurance (FWA): FWA00000060 (Expires: 07-05-2022)
  • Health Sciences IRB Registration Number: IRB00008168
  • Social and Behavioral IRB Registration Number: IRB00008169
  • Animal Welfare Assurance number: A3096-01

Facilities

About the Boilerplate Text Library

The information provided in this section is offered to assist investigators in the preparation of grants and contract proposals. It is a compilation of information requested by many federal, state, and local funding agencies and private foundations. Sources for text are identified, and when applicable, links are provided to additional information and/or relevant university policies.

Please note that FIU’s office of Analysis and Information Management (AIM) is the official source of University statistics. The AIM website a is a rich resource for investigators completing applications that require in-depth data on students, faculty, and employees. Quick Facts, the university’s Fact Book, and the Common Data Set for FIU, all of which are updated regularly, are among the most pertinent resources on that website.

Information in this section may be copied-and-pasted into documents and used as the foundation to create individualized proposals. Please note that the information provided in the boilerplate is not exhaustive and may not be applicable to specific agencies or grant guidelines. Therefore, please review both the grant guidelines and the boilerplate text carefully and use only what is appropriate.

Available Boilerplate Text

Boilerplate Text

General Overview of FIU:

Florida International University (FIU) is a multi-campus public research university offering a broad array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. The university has two main campuses: the 344-acre Modesto A. Maidique campus in western Miami-Dade County and the 200-acre Biscayne Bay Campus in northeast Miami-Dade County. Through 10 colleges and schools, FIU offers more than 190 bachelor, master, and doctoral degree programs and conducts basic and applied research. Interdisciplinary centers and institutes conduct collaborative research to seek innovative solutions to economic, technological, health, and social problems.  Annual research expenditures are currently $225 million.  FIU is ranked R1 (Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity), the highest level awarded in The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education®.   With a student body of nearly 54,000 students (Fall 2020 enrollment), nearly 1,800 full-time instructional faculty, and approximately 16,000 degrees awarded during the 2019 – 2020 academic year, FIU is the largest university in South Florida. Ninety-nine percent of FIU’s full-time tenured or tenure-track instructional faculty hold doctorates or the highest degrees attainable in their fields.  (Source:  FIU Office of Analysis and Information Management, 2020).

FIU is a diverse community with a student body that represents the future of American public universities.  Eighty-five percent of FIU’s current students are Hispanics, Blacks, Asians or Pacific islanders, or other minority groups.  More than half of FIU undergraduates qualify for Pell grants and are the first in their families to graduate from college.

FIU has been climbing steadily in national as well as global rankings.  Of particular note, U.S. News & World Report ranks FIU as a Top 100 Public National University, with its Undergraduate International Business Program and International MBA programs ranked #2 and #3, respectively, in U.S. News & World Report Top 50 rankings.  FIU placed in the Top 50 in additional prestigious surveys, including Positive Impact (Times Higher Education Impact Ratings), National Public University (Washington Monthly), and Top Performers in Social Mobility (U.S. News & World Report).  Within the State of Florida, FIU is very pleased to earn designation as an “Emerging Preeminent State Research University” by the Florida Board of Governors.  For more information about FIU’s rankings, please visit https://www.fiu.edu/about/rankings-facts/index.html.

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FIU History:

Chartered by the Florida Legislature in 1965, Florida International University (FIU) opened its doors in 1972 to the largest opening-day enrollment in the history of American higher education. Initially a two-year, upper-division school with limited graduate programs, FIU added lower-division classes in 1981 and began offering degree programs at the doctoral level in 1984. From a single building on an abandoned airfield, FIU has grown to be one of the largest universities in the nation.

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FIU Mission, Vision, and Values

FIU Mission:  Florida International University is an urban, multi-campus, public research university serving its students and the diverse population of South Florida. It is committed to high-quality teaching, state-of-the-art research and creative activity, and collaborative engagement with our local and global communities.

FIU Vision:  Florida International University will achieve exceptional student-centered learning and upward economic mobility, produce meaningful research and creative activities, and lead transformative innovations locally and globally, resulting in recognition as a Top-50 public university.

FIU Values:  Florida International University is committed to the following core values:

  • Truth:  in the pursuit, generation, dissemination, and application of knowledge
  • Freedom:  of thought and expression
  • Respect:  for diversity and the dignity of the individual
  • Responsibility:  as stewards of the environment and citizens of the world
  • Excellence:  in intellectual, personal, and operational endeavors

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 Strategic Plan

Grant guidelines may specify that project aims are in alignment with institutional goals. The strategic goals and priorities of FIU’s latest strategic plan, Next Horizon 2025, appear below. For additional information, please consult the full strategic plan, located online: https://stratplan.fiu.edu/docs/20338_EXT_Strategic_Plan_2025_Booklet_Phase_2_052720.pdf

Strategic Priorities (per FIU Next Horizon 2025):

Amplify Learner Success & Institutional Affinity

Goals:

  • Ensure timely graduation for all admitted students and provide exceptional, accessible, and personalized educational experiences at every level of the university
  • Align curriculum with career needs to ensure employment readiness, postgraduation success, and workforce and industry advancement Accelerate Preeminence & Research and Innovation Impact
  • Connect with alumni and our communities (local, regional, national, global) through targeted marketing and communication campaigns, foster engagement opportunities for current students, and build corporate/business and philanthropic partnerships Assure Responsible Stewardship

Accelerate Preeminence & Research and Innovation Impact

Goals:

  • Cultivate novel and interdisciplinary research, scholarship, and creative activities across all levels of the university
  • Support and continue to group our preeminent programs
  • Amplify our culture of social innovation and entrepreneurship along with increased opportunities for technology transfer
  • Enhance FIU’s national and global reputation among prioritized rankings, surveys, and metrics

Assure Responsible Stewardship

Goals:

  • Establish a flexible workforce structure in support of efficiency, productivity, and retention
  • Ensure that all investments are in support of the university and its mission
  • Optimize operations and sustainability performance

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FIU as Hispanic-Serving Institution

Florida International University (FIU) is a national leader in the education of Hispanic students.   In 2018 – 2019, it once again ranked first in the nation in awarding bachelor and master’s degrees to Hispanics.  FIU also ranked first in the number of nursing degrees awarded to Hispanic students.  For medical degrees awarded to Hispanic students, FIU ranked sixth in the country (Diverse® Issues in Higher Education, 2020).

Hispanic students currently comprise 61 percent of FlU’s undergraduate enrollment (Fall 2020).  In 13 fields of study, FIU ranked first in bachelor’s degrees awarded to Hispanics in 2019: Accounting and Related Services; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Communications, Journalism, and Related Programs; Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services; Education; English Language and Literature/Letters; Finance and Financial Management Services; Hospitality Administration/ Management; Human Resources Management and Services; Marketing; Philosophy and Religious Studies; Physical Sciences; and Psychology.  FIU ranked second for the greatest number of Hispanic undergraduates earning degrees in Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services and Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities (Diverse® Issues in Higher Education, 2020).

For the number of master’s degrees earned by students who are Hispanic, FIU was ranked first in the fields of Architecture and Related Services; Business Administration, Management, and Operations; Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Health Processions and Related Programs; Hospitality Administration/Management; and Marketing. In six disciplines, FIU ranked number two in master’s degrees awarded to Hispanics:  Accounting and Related Services; Engineering; Finance and Financial Management Services; Human Resources Management and Services; Legal Professions and Studies; and Rehabilitation and Therapeutic Professions (Diverse® Issues in Higher Education, 2020).

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Animal Facilities

Animal Care

Florida International University (FIU) Animal Care and Use Program (ACUP) complies with all federal, state, and local regulations for laboratory animal care and with the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) guidelines as stated in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, 2011. In addition, FIU’s ACUP is fully accredited by the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International (AAALAC Unit #1535), indicating verified compliance with the requirements for the proper care and treatment of all vertebrate laboratory animals, irrespective of species, location, investigator, use, or funding source. With the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW), FIU has on file an approved Assurance Statement (#A3096-01) and is registered under the Animal Welfare Act by USDA as a research facility – Registration 58-R-0136.

All animal care is under the centralized jurisdiction of the Director of the Office of Laboratory Animal Research (OLAR), Horatiu V. Vinerean, DVM, Diplomate ACLAM. OLAR staff includes 2 facilities managers, and 6 laboratory animal technicians.

The combined square footage of all the animal facilities is approximately 35,000 square feet within secure perimeters (three rodent facilities and two aquatic facilities). Animals housed include, pigs, rabbits, rodents, psittacines, reptiles, fish, and amphibians.

The main vivarium at MMC is approximately 19,000 square feet, divided as a transgenic facility (3,550 square feet), SPF vivarium (3,000 square feet), auxiliary facility (6,910 square feet) and core facilities / surgical suites (5,540 square feet).

The Port St. Lucie animal facility is housed in a state of the art, green-certified facility which includes 107,000 sq. ft. of laboratory, scientific research and support service space including a 9,990 sq. ft. vivarium.

MMC Animal Facility:

  • Holding rooms: The average holding room size is 260 square feet. The room has individually ventilated cages, sink, a cage changing station and workstation are installed in each holding room.
  • Procedure Room: The facility has a ratio of a procedure room for 1.75 holding rooms. The average procedure room is 125 square feet. A sink, eye wash, metal casework and a biosafety cabinet are installed in each procedure room.
  • Cold Room: The facility has a prefabricated 95 square feet cold room for feed storage with insulated walls, floor and ceiling.
  • Air Showers: The facility Two air showers are provided for personnel to access the transgenic area.
  • Washrooms: Two bulk sterilizers and two cage/rack washers are installed in the clean and soiled washrooms. The facility has a bottle filling station, an automated, vacuum assisted dump station and a bedding dispenser station. Water for the animals is supplied by the main building RO water system that feeds a Hydropac machine that produces water pouches. The water is chlorinated to 3 ppm via a Proportioner.
  • Support Spaces: The vivarium suite has a dedicated space for an office for the personnel taking care of the animals. Also, it has a break room and locker/shower rooms. Janitorial closets are located within the vivarium for easy access.
  • Access to the Vivarium Suite: the Vivarium suite has been designed to have limited access to the public and maintenance personnel. Authorized personnel will have to enter the suite throw the locker rooms. All personnel will follow specific guidelines regarding hygiene and clothing when they enter into the animal husbandry area.
  • Security and Safety: the vivarium includes an automated security system with components typical for vivarium occupancies. Access control for the facility includes cameras and key card access systems. The vivarium also includes an environmental and animal monitoring system (Edstrom Pulse), to facilitate data logging for research and to demonstrate AAALAC environmental condition compliance. The vivarium suite has emergency showers and eye wash stations through the suite. Fire alarm devices (low frequency) and fire sprinkler system are installed in the vivarium suite. All corridors are 7 feet wide minimum
  • Loading/Receiving/Waste: A dedicated vivarium loading dock and waste handling area is located along the west elevation of the facility at the ground floor. The dock is used for periodic deliveries of animal food and bedding, and infrequent delivery of equipment, caging, and service personnel and animals from commercial breeders. A dedicated sealed dumpster (20 cubic yards -roll off) is utilized for waste bedding to contain smells and dust. Security at the loading dock reflects the overall level of security in the vivarium.
  • Architectural Finishes: The vivarium barrier spaces include finishes typical to a SPF/Transgenic rodent facility including impact resistant gypsum board and CMU walls with epoxy paint. Flooring is monolithic 2-part epoxy with integral cove base for animal holding rooms, corridors and procedure rooms. Ceilings are monolithic in the animal holding and procedure areas and moisture resistant in the washrooms (plaster). Corridors and washrooms have continuous wall protection (aluminum crash rails). Doors are hollow metal with integral caps and gaskets/door bottoms. All casework will be painted metal with stainless steel countertops. All sinks at holding rooms are also stainless steel.
  • Lighting: High efficiency fluorescent fixtures are installed in the Vivarium suite. Lighting is sealed/gasketed fixtures with light control capabilities in the holding rooms. Also dual-level lighting and a red light is provided in the animal holding rooms. Lighting levels have been designed per requirements from the building code and the Guide for the Use and Care of Laboratory Animals.
  • Electrical: The Vivarium suite has emergency power from the 250 kW building generator. Vivarium ventilation, support systems, and other equipment are connected to the emergency power to maintain an operational vivarium in case of a loss of power.
  • Mechanical Systems: Mechanical systems for the vivarium are designed and constructed in accordance with the following codes and standards:
    • 2003 Edition of the International Mechanical Code
    • ASH RAE Data Books for design standards.
    • National Fire Protection Association Standards. (NFPA 13,14,20,45 and 101)
    • 2003 Edition of the International Building Code
    • ASH RAE 90.1-2004
  • Vivarium Design Conditions:
  • Offices, Break Rooms: 72°F, 50% RH
  • Vivarium (holding and procedure): 70°F +/- 2°F
  • Note: Rodent rooms with IVC ventilated racks require a 69F space temperature to maintain 72°F within the cages in the racks. Design conditions for other animals follow the recommendations from the “Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals”.
  • Vivarium HVAC System: The vivarium is served by 100% outside air handling units with 30% filters, 65% filters. The Transgenic Suite includes HEPA filter caissons on the air supply side. The airflow within certain rooms of the Vivarium is based on an air change rate within the rooms as follows (air change rates are refined as specific criteria are developed for each individual space):
    • Animal Holding Rooms (conventional micro isolator cages): 15 air changes per hour
    • Animal Holding Rooms (IVC racks): air changes per hour as required by makeup air calculations & heat load
    • Procedure Rooms: 15 air changes per hour
    • Clean Cagewash: 25 air changes per hour (heat load driven)
    • Dirty Cagewash: 25 air changes per hour (heat load driven)
    • Bedding Storage: 10 air changes per hour
  • The air change rates noted above are the minimum air change rates during occupied periods. Actual air-change rates may exceed the rate noted due to sensible heat gain or make-up air requirements. Airflow cannot be setback in animal holding rooms and procedure rooms. During periods when the building is served by emergency power the minimum air change rates for animal areas only during occupied periods will be maintained.
  • Air systems are provided as follows:
    • Central air handling system
    • Stand-alone air-to-air sensible energy recovery system
    • General exhaust system
    • Cage-wash exhaust system
  • Supply air systems are single duct, variable volume/reheat systems with air handling units designed to operate with 100% outside air. Outdoor air is routed to air-to-air sensible energy recovery system before entering air handling unit. Supply air systems have redundant unit capabilities. Humidification, if necessary, will be provided in supply air duct work servicing animal holding rooms. Vivarium exhaust systems are separated into a dedicated general exhaust system and a dedicated cage-wash exhaust system. General exhaust will be routed back to its air-to-air sensible energy recovery system before entering exhaust air system. General exhaust systems have redundant exhaust fan capabilities. Cage-wash exhaust system will directly exhaust air from the building.
  • Pressure independent, variable volume, exhaust air terminal valves are provided to serve general exhaust grilles. Pressure independent, variable volume, supply air terminal valves with HHW coil will be provided to provide space supply air. Room supply and exhaust air terminals are modulated to maintain space temperature and the required offset in air flow (pressurization). Animal holding rooms are provided with terminals and controls to accommodate the proposed type of cage racks.
  • Exhaust fans have pack-less type sound attenuating devices on the exhaust main. Exhaust air terminal valves have pack-less type sound attenuating devices at air terminal inlets. Supply air systems have media-type sound attenuating devices at air handling unit discharge, and at air terminal outlets. All supply air duct work and general exhaust duct-work are galvanized steel. All cage-wash duct-work is 304 stainless steel with all seams fully welded.

 

Port St. Lucie Animal Facility

  • The animal facility, which is 9,990 sq. ft., is located on the first floor, in the south wing at the front of the building, while all investigators using animals’ research laboratories are located on the second and third floor in the north wing. The facility is a double corridor system (clean corridor and dirty corridor) which has a PPE station outside the locker rooms. Before entering the Vivarium, clean scrubs/ lab coat and appropriate PPE are donned. The clean corridor is primarily unidirectional, traversing around the vivarium in a “U” shape from the clean cage wash area to the entrance of the vivarium near the locker rooms. Cages are primarily opened in biosafety cabinets or mobile cage changing stations available in each holding room.
  • There is a segregated and self-contained containment ABSL-2 suite inside the vivarium- two animal holding rooms (179A Sq ft. = 184 and 180 Sq ft. = 223) and one procedure room (Sq ft. =132). The procedure room is equipped with a biosafety cabinet, pass-through autoclave to dirty cage wash, CO2 tank and snorkel for scavenging. Exhaust air is handled via localized exhaust, scrubbing and general exhaust by the mechanical system. Exhaust air is ducted directly from the facility to the outdoors. Work with particularly hazardous agents is performed in biosafety cabinets equipped with high efficiency filtration and charcoal scrubbers There is also a quarantine room near the entrance to the vivarium.
  • Cagewash area is located in the south corner of the vivarium. The clean and soiled cage wash areas are separated. Soiled caging equipment is moved through the dirty corridor and then processed from the soiled cage wash area into the clean cage wash area. There are 2 rack washers for sanitizing caging equipment, supplies, and ventilated racks. Items are loaded in soiled cage wash and are then unloaded in the clean cage wash area. There is a pass-through autoclave between the ABSL 2 suite and soiled cage wash. There is a single-door bulk autoclave located in the clean cage wash area. There is a bottle filler station located in the clean side of cage wash. a bedding dispenser station. Water for the animals is supplied by the main building RO water system that feeds a Hydropac machine that produces water pouches. The water is chlorinated to 3 ppm via a Proportioner.
  • Support Spaces: The vivarium suite has a dedicated space for 2 offices for the personnel taking care of the animals. Also, it has a break room and locker/shower rooms. Janitorial closets are located within the vivarium for easy access.
  • Access to the Vivarium Suite: The entrance of the building is gated and controlled via security personnel 24 hours a day. There is a fence surrounding the majority of the perimeter of the facility. Every entry way is locked with cameras placed to see incoming/outgoing traffic. To gain access into the building one must have a key fob which you scan to unlock the door. The vivarium has its own set of security features. After employees complete the appropriate training, they are granted electronic access to the vivarium where they must scan their electronic key to enter. The entrance/ exit of the vivarium is controlled via a security camera.
  • Loading/Receiving/Waste: A dedicated vivarium loading dock and waste handling area is located along the south elevation of the facility at the ground floor. The dock is used for periodic deliveries of animal food and bedding, and infrequent delivery of equipment, caging, and service personnel and animals from commercial breeders. Security at the loading dock reflects the overall level of security in the vivarium.
  • Architectural Finishes: The paint utilized in the Vivarium consists of two-part epoxy paint applied on DensArmorPlus paperless wallboard on walls & hard ceilings. A hard epoxy finish was applied on the floors and cove base. The suspended ceiling(s) in the office area and corridors consist of dens board while the walls are masonry block. Doors are made of steel and are self-closing. The holding room and procedure room doors have floor sweeps on the bottom.
  • Lighting: High efficiency fluorescent fixtures are installed in the Vivarium suite. Lighting is sealed/gasketed fixtures with light control capabilities in the holding rooms. Also dual-level lighting and a red light is provided in the animal holding rooms. Lighting levels have been designed per requirements from the building code and the Guide for the Use and Care of Laboratory Animals.
  • Electrical: The entire vivarium is on emergency power. The emergency power generator, which is onsite, provides electricity to the HVAC system, all lights, emergency power outlets, and power sources in the vivarium.
  • Mechanical Systems: All systems are monitored by the Building Management System (BMS). If a failure accrues, the BMS sends out an e-mail notification to the Facilities repair personnel. This is backed up by having the email notifications sent to two facilities personnel on the list if a response has not been completed in 30 minutes. The animal facilities mechanical systems are monitored electronically by facility personnel through the building management system. If a significant failure occurs outside of regular work hours facility personnel will respond to the e-mail alarm. If for any reason a situation arises and personnel whom are within the vivarium note the mechanical failure before facilities, they are taught to contact the director of the facilities or the vivarium manager via contact lists posted throughout the facility. If correction of the problem will not be able to occur in a timely fashion, the veterinary staff will be contacted for further help and to assess the overall well-being of the animals.
  • Vivarium Design Conditions:
    • Offices, Break Rooms: 72°F, 50% RH
    • Vivarium (holding and procedure): 70°F +/- 2°F
    • Note: Rodent rooms with IVC ventilated racks require a 69F space temperature to maintain 72°F within the cages in the racks. Design conditions for other animals follow the recommendations from the “Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals”.
  • Vivarium HVAC System: The vivarium has a stand-alone air handling unit (AHU) tied into the chill water system. The AHU is VFD driven to maintain static pressure. As the room temperature changes, there will be an increase or decrease of air flow. The AHU will back off or increase to maintain static pressure. There are bypass dampers on the exhaust fans that will also adjust to maintain either a negative or positive pressure depending on location in the vivarium. The vivarium is served by 100% outside air handling units with 30% filters, 65% filters.

BBC Aquatic Facility

There are close to 50 different species of fish housed in different aquatic facilities at FIU. Each fish species requirement for Life Support Systems (LSS) varies widely.

Enclosures that use water as the primary medium must comply with Guide recommendations and be monitored daily, or as required for the species. Aquatic systems should allow for the normal physiological and behavioral needs of the animal and allow conspecific social interactions. The system should provide a balanced, stable environment that supports the animal’s physiologic needs. The aquatic areas must not present electrical hazards.

The BBC Aquatic facility is comprised of the following distinct units:

  • BBC Aquarium
  • BBC Mesocosms
  • Ecotoxicology and Risk Assessment Laboratory

BBC Aquarium

The facility is located indoor on the ground floor of the Marine Science building. Seawater is supplied via a redundant well and filtration system and piped into the lab with multiple taps available to supply water at the turn of a valve. There is a 200-gallon reservoir of seawater that is filtered with a protein skimmer and ozonizer to supply high-quality seawater (suitable for coral and larval fish) for closed system work.

The aquarium room consists of open floor space that allows flexible set up to meet individual needs, as well as some existing setups available for use. Existing setups are a tank rack system that can accommodate up to 20-gallon long sized fish tanks and a “coral rack”.

The “coral rack” is a system of 24 individual 10-gallon size insulated tanks with the ability for individual temperature control. A chilled water loop provides chilled water to individually controlled heat exchangers to allow for precise chilling. If heating is needed, researcher-supplied heaters can readily be plugged into the available outlets on the back of the rack. Lighting is supplied by 4 bulb T-5 fluorescent fixtures, with each fixture covering a set of 3 tanks and on individual timers.

BBC Mesocosms

Housing units are fenced in field enclosures. Permanently installed tanks are on cement slabs and covered with awning. Open areas within the fence are available for the set-up of experiments requiring direct sunlight. Cover (habitat) is provided within tanks, based on the requirements of species and experimental protocol. Different species, if kept together, are grouped based on compatibility and experimental protocol.

Ecotoxicology and Risk Assessment Laboratory

The Southeast Environmental Research Center (SERC) Ecotoxicology and Risk Assessment laboratory building (3,000 sq. ft.) (EL1) at FIU is a state-of- the-art facility situated on Biscayne Bay.

The laboratory has distinct indoor areas:

(1) one location to conduct static, flowing-water and sediment ecotoxicity studies (Rm 105);
(2) a culture holding room to raise and grow organisms (Rm 110A);
(3) a water holding area (Rm 110) for UV-sterilization and mixing freshwater and saltwater to make estuarine waters (on the wall, the room contains a freshwater/saltwater/estuarine control box interphase system);

(4) a temperature-controlled room for static and static-renewal ecotoxicity studies or culturing based on needs (Rm 102); and

(5) an instrument room (Rm 101) with a hood, microscopes, balances, coulter counter, etc.

Aquatic Habitat Stand-Alone Systems

Four individual Aquatic Habitat Stand-Alone Systems (Aquatic HabitatsTM AH689). Each stand-alone system consists of a rack with five shelves that has its own sump with mechanical filter tray and biofiltration media, titanium heater, water pump, air pump, mechanical canister filter, activated carbon canister filter, UV sterilizer, heat pump/chiller, in-line pH and conductivity probes, automated dosing system for dosing alkalinity/hardness maintenance solutions, programmable automated water renewal solenoid, interchangeable tanks (3L or 10L), and a programmable controller (for all onboard systems). All systems are connected to an automatic top-off valve and can be set up to automatically renew. Overflow screens with different mesh sizes are available. Ideal for small fish culture and holding.

Freshwater (FW) culture system

One rack with n=2, 8’x4’ recirculating water troughs to maintain water temperatures in glass aquaria (20L or 40L). System is set up with an in-ground sump, 3/4 HP sand filter (for mechanical filtration-backwashed weekly), second sump filled with biofloss for biological filtration, a UV sterilizer, and a heat/chiller pump to control temperature. System recirculates and fills automatically using float valves and automated solenoids connected to clean source waters.

Saltwater (SW) or estuarine culture system

One rack with n=2, 8’x4’ recirculating water troughs to maintain water temperatures in glass aquaria (20L or 40L). It is a duplicate of the FW culture system above but connected to estuarine or natural seawater sources (~30ppt).

Automated electric gear pump diluter systems

Mini diluter system

Computer automated system that controls syringe pumps to deliver a user- defined series of dilutions of a toxicant (ideal for effluent samples or a stock toxicant solution) to small glass chambers held in a temperature-controlled water bath. This system is ideal for small organisms requiring low water volumes (less than 1L).

Sediment diluter systems

Computer automated system that delivers at a user-defined frequency, overlaying water renewals to trays of containers holding sediment, which are held in a temperature-controlled water bath. Ideal for prepared sediment or field-collected sediment samples with sediment dwelling organisms.

Stand-up incubators

Plant incubators with programmable controls for lighting and temperature cycling. Ideal for temperature and lighting control for static testing in smaller containers.

Swimming Performance Facility Five swimming performance systems

  • 2x Small capacity (5L)
    •1x Medium capacity (10L)
    •1x Large capacity (30L)
    •1x Extra-large capacity (90L)

Each system is a stand-alone respirometer tunnel used for physiology, energetics, behavior, biomechanics, and kinematics of swimming fish. All are computer controlled flow chambers that control flow velocity and record temperature and O2 parameters. Remote viewing is provided by cameras and HD monitors.

Behavior Facility

  • Adult fish studies – One 40-gallon tank (24” x 51” x 8”) that fits in a larger trough to regulate and maintain temperature. A camera is mounted above chamber for tracking organisms. Observation tank is surrounded by black-out curtain.
  • Larval fish studies
    • DanioVision, self-contained exposure and tracking chamber designed to hold well-plates. It is ideal for small organisms or embryonic or larval fish.
    • EthoVisionXT (Noldus) – Video tracking software connected to both systems designed to track and analyze the behavior, movement, and activity of any animal. A cost-effective solution for all standard behavioral tests such as the Morris water maze and open field testing. It allows for high-throughput and high-content testing. It is suitable for sophisticated test-protocols.

Outdoor areas include:

(1) effluent treatment systems for wastewaters leaving the laboratory (not sanitary) (100E1);
(2) saltwater well and filtration systems for freshwater and full strength saltwater (100E1);

(3) bio- and sand-filtration systems (100E2) for recirculating waters in culture room along with UV sterilizers; and

(4) a recirculating filtration system for tanks (100E2) to house organisms outdoors before bringing them into the laboratory for acclimation and testing.

Veterinary Care

The veterinary care program at FIU is overseen by the Attending Veterinarian (AV) and meets all federal, state, and local regulations and guidelines for laboratory animal care and is fully accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International. Trained animal technicians or research staff monitor the health of the animal colony 24/ 7/365. Any animal showing symptoms of disease, pain, or distress, either spontaneously or after an experimental procedure, is examined by the AV or appropriately qualified designee (e.g. emergency back-up veterinarian). The AV notes initial observations, health evaluations, diagnosis, and recommends a treatment or resolution plan. The PI or responsible protocol personnel is notified (by phone or email) to ensure that the proposed treatment plan does not interfere with the experimental treatments/manipulations and must respond to the AV’s treatment request within 24 hours to ensure timely resolution of clinical problems. In most cases treatment is initiated right away. In cases of emergency, or when there is severe pain, distress, or an illness not addressed specifically in the approved protocol, then the PI understands and agrees to allow the AV or designee to provide emergency veterinary care (or euthanasia) without their explicit consent.

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NIH Research Performance Progress Reports (RPRR): Individual Development Plans (IDP)

As of October 1, 2014, all NIH progress reports using the Research Performance Progress Report (RPRR) must indicate whether and how Individual Development Plans (IDP) are used to help manage the career development of all graduate students, including postdoctoral fellows, supported by a NIH grant award. NIH does not require but strongly encourages institutions to develop and use IDP’s for all graduate students and postdoctoral scholars supported by NIH awards, regardless of their position titles. AHRQ awardees are the only exceptions to this policy.

FIU has elected to require IDP’s for all graduate students and postdoctoral fellows associated with a NIH grant award. FIU faculty must ensure that IDP’s are drafted, refined, and executed by all graduate students and postdoctoral fellows funded by a NIH grant award. Please note that IDP’s are not sent to NIH or DOR; IDP’s are confidential documents that students prepare and share with their faculty mentors. Please click here for sample text for RPRR’s and suggested formats for IDP’s.

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