Already know how to use Sundial?
New Sundial release- note changes
A new version of Sundial has just been released. Please note that you
must now include both the PI and the users submitting the request in the
Investigator section. The names of the PI and the user must be enter
exactly as they appear in your registration. For example: if Jon Smith
registered as Jonathon Smith then Sundial will not recognize Jon as the
Given name in the Investigators section of the time request.
Also, all of the Varians have new consoles and are now called
VNMRS/VnmrJ rather than Varian Unity Inova or Varian DirectDrive.
Please be sure to select VNMRS/VnmJ under Console Experience or Sundial
will auto-fill that you need training.
New to Sundial?
Sundial, a module of sesame, is used to request and schedule time on the NMR spectrometers at NMRFAM. Sundial is also an interactive calendar where users can view their scheduled time or reserve open time once the calendar for a given month has been released.
People who wish to run experiments on a given spectrometer must first register with the facility and then complete and submit an official time request in order to be considered for time. New users are encouraged to contact NMRFAM directly by either calling or e-mailing Dr. Rita Hannah or (608) 262-3173) to ensure that the facility is equipped to meet their needs. The user must submit an overview of the project as well as specific experimental details such as a list of proposed experiments and pulse programs to be used and the amount of time required to complete the experiment. An electronic permit system ensures that only authorized individuals are able to request time on the spectrometers.
These help pages are arranged in three major sections corresponding to the three main types of Sundial users. If you have already registered with Sundial and are familiar with the basic set up of the site please click on one of the user descriptions below to skip directly to help in that area. The three basic types of Sundial users are the:
The User is a member of a research group. Most people that use this site and an NMR facility will sign up only as a User. The User does not usually direct the overall course of the research, although the User may be in charge of the details of the project. For the purposes of this system, the User is not ultimately responsible for paying any bills accrued at a Facility. The User operates under the control of a Principal Investigator and must be part of a Principal Investigator’s group in order to gain access to a Site.
The PI is a leader of a research group. The PI directs the course of the research projects of their group and is ultimately responsible for paying any bills incurred at a Site by all members of their group.
The SA is the main contact point for a specific Site. The SA is responsible for maintaining the list of currently available instrumentation the Site possesses. The SA is responsible for inviting (or accepting the invitation requests from) Principal Investigators for his/her Site. Overall maintenance of the Site falls to the Site Administrator. Few users of Sundial will ever designate themselves as an SA.
If you are new to a facility, the first thing you must do is Register in Sundial whether you are a PI or a user.
1. Open Sundial, and under Options, choose Register.
Note: Sesame does require that your computer have the Java 7 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition (JRE) installed. Sesame will guide you through installation if required.
2. You will be asked for a little information about yourself. After choosing a user name and password, you will be asked to fill out a brief profile.
This profile consists of name, address and contact information. Registering once allows the User to request access to all spectrometers using Sundial. The other Sesame modules, including Sheherazade, can be accessed using the Sundial user name and password. Please see (link here) for more information about these modules.
It should be noted that the passwords are stored in an encrypted form so that no one (not even the Sesame developers) can see your password. If you forget your password, we can change it but we cannot tell you what it is.
3. The next step varies depending upon whether you are registering as a user or a PI.
To become a PI:
If you want to be the PI of a group (meaning you will be responsible for the bills), go back to the main Sundial window after registering and under Options, choose Associations.
The Membership Associations window will open. Under Associations choose Create Association and in the window that appears, enter your user name and choose PI as the type.
To inform the Site Administrator (SA) that you would like to be invited to the facility:
After becoming a PI, go back to the main Sundial Window and under Options choose Memberships.
When the Memberships window opens, click on the green + on the right hand side of the Applications box a window will open with a drop-down menu listing NMR facilities.
Choose NMRFAM from the drop-down menu and make sure Site-PI relation is in the Type box. Click on the Create button.
Once you have completed this step, please send an e-mail message to the Site Administrator (email@example.com) who will invite you into the facility. This is not an automated process so it may take a day or two for the Site Administrator so issue an invitation.
To accept an invitation to a facility:
Once the SA has issued the invitation, the PI needs to accept it. First open Sundial and log-on. The Board Sundial window should automatically open with the Memberships window displayed. In the Invitations box, first click on NMRFAM and then on the green +
Now you are a registered PI in NMRFAM.
To invite users into your group:
As a PI you can invite users into your group. You will be responsible for paying the bills incurred by the users in your group. If you want to schedule time yourself, then you need to invite yourself as a user into the group. To invite either yourself or another person into your group go to Sundial, choose Options then Associations and highlight your name in the Associations window.
Then, in the Invitations box, click on the green +
and the User Search Panel window will open.
Enter either the User’s (or yours if you are becoming a user in your own group) User Name, Given (first) Name, or Family (last) Name and then click on the magnifying glass in the symbol row. The name of the User should appear in the lower window. Highlight the User’s Name and drag-and-drop it into the top bar of the Associations window.
The bar should turn from grey to blue if the drag-and-drop was successful. If you are inviting yourself into your group then you are finished. If you are inviting another person into your group, that person needs to log in and accept the invitation.
To add funds:
In order to use the facility, you will need to enter the fund you want to use to pay for the NMR time. First log onto Sundial, then go under Options to PI Resources and choose Funds.
Under PI funds, choose Add New PI Funds. Fill in the Grant Title, Agency (NIH, NSF, etc), Grant Code, and Institution Code. Then go under PI Funds and choose Save PI Funds.
To create a permit:
In order to submit a time request, each user in the PI’s group must have a permit. A Fund must be created prior to creating a permit. First go to Sundial, choose Options, PI Resources, then Permits. In the Permit Administration window, highlight the user you wish to create a permit for.
Then click on the green + in the box below the User Name box. Fill in the site nickname (NMRFAM), the end date (this is the date on which the permit will expire and have to be renewed if the user is still running samples at the facility), and title (please pick something the user will recognize like name permit). Click on the green + next to funds and the name of the fund you entered should appear in the box (this is why you need to add funds before creating a permit). Enter 100% into the box next to the fund you want to use to pay for NMR time. If you want to split a user’s permit among multiple funds then enter the correct percentage for each fund with the total equaling 100%.
To accept an invitation into a PI’s group
First the user needs to log-on to Sundial. The Board Sundial window should open with the Memberships window displayed. In the Invitations box, first click on the PI’s name (shown as NMRFAM here) and then on the green + . The User is now part of the PI’s group.
Now that you are registered as a User at NMRFAM you probably want to request NMR time. There are two ways to obtain NMR time: 1) submit a time request (see below) to the SA prior to 4 pm on the 19th day of the month of the month preceding the one in which you would like time (ie. Submit a request by 4 pm on April 19 for time in May). Submitting a request this way gives you the best chance of getting the time you want. 2) submit a time request and then sign up for open time (see below) on the Sundial calendar. This method will only allow you to sign up for time that has not already been assigned to another user.
To create a time request:
General Overview of the Time Request
For each billing period, the user must submit a new time request for each spectrometer for which time is desired. In order to be valid, a time request must be completed correctly. If you have any questions at all please contact the NMRFAM Site Administrator (Dr. Rita Hannah at firstname.lastname@example.org or (608) 262-3173).
Much of the information required in the time request is required by granting agencies in yearly summaries and reports. More specifically, this information comes directly from the guidelines handed down to NMRFAM (where Sesame orginates) from its granting agency. This information is used to complete “sub-project” forms for each project conducted at NMRFAM throughout the year and will be included in NMRFAM’s Annual Report to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIH, in turn, uses this information for obtaining Congressional funding in order to support the continued operation of NMRFAM and other National Centers for Research Resource facilities around the country. Be aware that NIH may post your abstract on one of their web sites, and that this is completely under their control. If your project contains proprietary or sensitive information, you may wish to alter your wording with this in mind. Complete and accurate reporting of the information requested will help insure that your time request will be considered and filled. The system will not accept incomplete time requests, but can be “fooled.” The people processing your request also will not accept an incomplete request, but unlike the system, they cannot be fooled. Please be sure you are providing as complete and accurate information as possible. As a general rule, the more flexible the user in requesting time, the more likely it is that the request will be filled.
To open a new request:
In the Sundial window go to New, then Requests and a blank time request will open.
The different fields of the information table look very similar, but they come in several different types: 1) text boxes, 2) pull down menus, 3) expandable tool assortments, and 4) uneditable. If in doubt, click on the field and see what happens.
Below is a description of the various editable fields that make up the time request. Note: very few of these fields are optional. The non-editable fields of the time request are supplied by Sesame and are not discussed here.
|Permit||List of electronic permits available to a User. It is absolutely critical that a permit is selected when working with a time request. If you don’t see any permits listed other than Browse, your PI probably has not added you to the lab group yet. If your permit is highlighted in pink, that means that it has expired and you should contact your PI to get it updated.|
|Project Title||Please use title case|
|Billing Period||Use the drop-down menu to select the month in which you are requesting time|
|Requested Time||Ideal amount of time requested and minimum amount of time required, in hours|
|Ways to Divide Time||Description of desired time blocks (ie. 144 hours split into 2x 72 hours or do not divide)|
|Comments on Time||Other information regarding how time is allocated (ie. not during the first week of the month)|
|Spectrometer||Use the drop-down menu to select your instrument of choice|
|Alternative Spectrometer||Listing of other acceptable instruments or none if no other machine is acceptable|
|Probes||To add a probe, click the green button and select the probe from the list presented. To delete a probe, highlight it in the list of probes and click the red button. Note that every time a new spectrometer is selected, a new probe must be selected|
|Operator||Name of the person who will be operating the spectrometer|
|Console Experience||This field impacts the need for training|
|Training||For requesting training, please contact Dr. Hannah if you need training|
|Assistance||For requesting staff assistance, the user can request aid in a number of different areas|
|Experiment Description||Should describe the experiments that are planned and provide a rationalization for the amount of time for which you are asking|
|Pulse Programs||Use the green and red buttons to add and remove list elements|
|Sample Information||Important fields for safety reasons|
|Investigators||The preferred order is (1) PI (2) User (3) Other lab members (4) Collaborating facility staff members.To add investigators, click on the â€œ+â€.To remove investigators, click on the â€œ-â€œ.|
|Abstract||A general narrative describing your project (~300 words in length and sufficiently describing the rationale of why your project is important)|
|Keywords||Three or four is a good number of keywords|
|Axis Code (I and II)||NIH derived subject areas, multiple areas can be selected|
|Resulting Publications||Only generally filled out after a project has matured|
|Accompanying persons||Anyone else who will be coming to the facility|
|Extranet access IP#||Required if user wishes to access the NMRFAM Extranet|
Although initially it may seem like a great deal of information needs to be entered in every time request, in actuality, very little information changes from request to request, so once the data are entered, much of the time request stays the same and does not need to be re-entered on a regular basis. In general, when submitting a time request, users will open an existing request, modify a few key fields such as the date and then save it as a new request.
To open an existing request:
In the Sundial window, click on Search, then Time Request, then As User.
Fill in the search fields with the appropriate information (usually filling in one or two fields is sufficient for a search) and click on the Search button. The number of requests meeting your criteria will appear and if you click on the Expand Tree button on the top-right of the window, the PI, User, and the time requests will appear.
Double click on the desired time request to open it and then go to Request, Save as a New Request. Another time request will appear, with the same information but a different number. Change the appropriate fields (ie the date, the requested time, etc), save the request, then submit it.
To Save and Submit Time Requests:
At any given time, requests can be designated in the Status field as New, Submitted or Accepted. The definition of each term is given below:
Requests that are being actively worked on by a User should be designated as New. When it comes time for the facility to schedule spectrometers, New requests will NOT be considered.
Once a request has been completed (and verified) it must be designated as Submitted so that the person scheduling instruments for the facility knows that this particular request should be considered for time.
Once a submitted time request has been acknowledged by the facility, the status will change to Accepted. This indicates that the facility is considering this request. Only the SA can change the status of a time request to Accepted.
Once a time request has been completed, the User must save and submit it in order to be considered for time (ie for the status field to change from New to Submitted).
Go to the Sundial window and select Request. You will be given several choices.
Save As New Request-assigns a fresh data base number to the request (i.e. it does not overwrite the content of the original request). The new request by default has the status field set to New.
Save Request-overwrites the content of the time request. Only requests with a New status can be saved like this. Requests with either the Submitted or Accepted status must be Saved As New Request. The rule, as with any computer-related activity, is SAVE EARLY, SAVE OFTEN. Please make liberal use of the Save option – you’ll be glad you did.
Verify Request-will check your request for completeness without actually saving any of your work. If there are errors, an error box will pop up listing the problems.
Submit Request – submits a request for consideration by the facility. A request must be officially submitted in order to be considered for scheduling. Use of this option results in the status of a request being set to Submitted.
Withdraw Request-retracts the submission of a request (i.e. changes a request from Submitted to New). This allows you to make changes on the request and re-submit it.
Delete Request-completely deletes a request. Only a time request with the New status can be removed from the database.
A request marked as Accepted has been reviewed by the facility and accepted for consideration (this does not guarantee that you will be given time, only that your request is being considered). The only way to withdraw an Accepted request or make changes to it is to contact the Site Administrator (email@example.com) directly.
After Submitting a Time Request
Once a time request is successfully submitted, it becomes the responsibility of the facility SA to recognize the request and schedule it (provided that the request is complete and reasonable and there is sufficient spectrometer time available). Alternatively, a submitted time request can be used to immediately sign up for available blocks of instrument time in any open time period.
To Schedule Open Time
Once the SA has completed and released the schedule, the color of the calendar will change from red to green. If there is open time available on the spectrometer, you can schedule the open time. In order to schedule the time, you first need to submit a time request for the desired spectrometer. If you are scheduling time on multiple spectrometers, you must submit mutliple requests – one for each spectrometer you want to use.
To open the desired calendar, go to the main Sundial window and click on the crystal ball. The calendar search box will open and you can specify a spectrometer and a billing period and then hit
the search button. The desired calendar will open in the Sundial Board.
Next, go to the calendar and click on the open slot you wish to schedule (you may only do this on a green calendar). Two windows will open- the Open Calendar Slot window and the Time Requests window.
In the Open Calendar Slot window, you can change the start and end time of the open period to meet your needs. If you do not change the time, you will be scheduled for the entire period. If there is only one request in the Time Requests window, click on it and your username should appear in the Open Calendar Slot window under User Name. If there is more than one request, select the desired time request and drag it to the top bar of the Open Calendar Slot window and drop it into the top bar. NOTE: You must submit a time request for the desired spectrometer before you schedule open time. If your drag-and-drop has been successful, the bar will change from grey to blue and a small, white clock button will appear above the calendar.
Click the clock button and your time request will appear on the calendar. If you have any problems or questions about this, please contact the Site Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To Cancel a Time Request
If you request time or schedule time yourself and later realize that you will be unable to use it, please cancel the time as soon as possible so that others may use it. If you sign up for time and do not cancel it more than 24 hours before the time begins, you may be charged for the time even if you do not use it. If someone else uses the time, you will not be charged. To cancel a time request, open the desired calendar as described above. The double click on your time (service in this example) and the Calendar Slot window will open your your time request displayed. Click on the clock with the red X through it to cancel your time.