Experimental Soft Matter Physics
Safety Instructions 

Safety in our labs & elsewhere

To all visitors of this section of the website: if you notice any incorrect, misleading or otherwise inappropriate content in this section on safety, it will be greatly appreciated if you inform Jan about it. Thank you.

In case of an accident
  1. Alert the university security immediately, on internal phone 55 55, +352 46 6644 5555 from mobile/external phone, or by e-mail safety@uni.lu.
  2. IF AN EMERGENCY CALL 112 (112 is the emergency code for the country of Luxembourg)
  3. For more information concerning emergencies, read the documents under points 1, 2, and 3 in the next section.
Basic safety information and rules
Everyone working in the ESMP labs must have read all of the following documents and signed the lab safety awareness form below that is then given to Jan, confirming that you have read and understood all documents and also that you agree with the contents and promise to abide by the rules.
  1. Advice in case of an emergency (thanks Sammy and Mathias!)
  2. The ESMP groups lab safety rules (thanks Anshul!; everyone working in any of our labs must have read, understood and agreed with this document!)
  3. Report all safety related incidents that happen in the group or on any of the University grounds HERE
  4. Instructions for waste management (thanks Martin!)
  5. Monique Wiesinger's instructions for proper fumehood usage
  6. Awareness of dangers when handling liquid gases (thanks Christina & Uli)
  7. Monique Wiesinger's instructions for proper glove selection (directed towards life sciences, thus not fully adequate for us; we are in the process of revising the information on glove selection. In the meantime, you can find good information here.)

Before you are allowed to work in the lab you must print the lab safety awareness confirmation form, sign it and give it to Jan. If he is away, you may give the signed form to Zory or another group member, who will then give it to Jan upon his return.

If you have never had a proper chemistry training and/or are not confident that your knowledge of good lab practice is sufficient for the lab work you do, please read the information on this site (in English or German).

Ordering of chemicals
We now use Quartzy (online database system - www.quartzy.com ) for ordering and inventorying all of our chemical, non-chemical, and equipment supplies.

** Please contact either Anshul Sharma or Christina Schutz to ask about getting access to our ESMP group Quartzy database.

If you wish to order a chemical that has not previously been ordered, you must first fill out this pre-order chemicals safety assessment form, sign it and attach it to your Quartzy request for that chemical.
** Note that if any of the particular hazards mentioned on the form applies, you must also get your group leader's signature on the form.
Good Scientific Practice 

Good scientific practice & research ethics

To all visitors of this section of the website: if you notice any incorrect or otherwise inappropriate content in this section on good scientific practice, please contact Jan immediately about it. Thank you.

General information
Everyone in the ESMP group must have read the following three documents on good scientific practice and signed a document that is given to Jan confirming that you have read and understood all documents and also that you agree with the contents and promise to abide by the rules.
  1. The Singapore Statement on Research Integrity (1 page, via the FNR website)
  2. The Montreal Statement on Research Integrity (1 page pdf - an additional statement to the Singapore statement which highlights "responsibilities particularly relevant to collaborating partners at the individual and institutional levels, and [are] fundamental to the integrity of collaborative research."
  3. The Official Research Ethics Guidelines of the University of Luxembourg (from the University Intranet portal)
  4. The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (via the FNR website; the document is published by the European Science Foundation, ESF)
  5. FNR Research Integrity Guidelines: A guide to good and ethical conduct of research within the framework of the FNR funding schemes (via the FNR website)

Within your first two weeks as an ESMP group member, you must print this form, sign it and give it to Jan. If he is away, please scan and e-mail it to him.

In addition, all Ph.D. candidates and post-docs are expected to attend the course on Good Scientific Practice offered by the University of Luxembourg, even if you have already attended a similar course before you came to the university. Every lecturer brings up slightly different issues and puts the emphasis differently.


We also follow good lab notebook keeping practices. This statement on notebook keeping shows the strictest requirements, please ask Jan if in doubt whether your notebook adheres to the guidelines, or if there are any questions regarding the statement.
Safe data storage while you are an ESMP group member
Daily managing of your data
All post-docs and Ph.D. candidates in the ESMP group are given a well-sized backup hard disk for daily back-ups. If you do not yet have one, tell Jan immediately. If you have one but it is giving signs of imminent failure (strange noise, warning from the SMART system, ...) tell Jan immediately so it can be replaced. You are obliged to make complete backups continuously, making sure that all your data are backed up at least once a day. If you use a Mac, all you need to do is keep the hard disk connected while working and make sure that Time Machine is activated, with the backup hard disk as its destination.

You must engage encryption for your backup, to ensure that sensitive data do not become externally accessible in case the backup hard disk is stolen. However, note that you must keep the encryption password in a safe place, such that the backup can also be decrypted from a computer different from your standard one, should it be needed after e.g. computer theft or catastrophic hard disk failure on your main computer.

In addition, you must take the following precautions:
  1. You must ensure that your computer is not easily stolen. If no trusted person is in your office, the office should be locked. This will also safeguard other valuable items, like purses and wallets of yourself and your colleagues.
  2. Since you are very likely to store person-related data on your computer (e.g. student performance results, potentially sensitive e-mails, ...) you must engage password protection of your computer user account. The password protection should automatically engage in reasonable time if you leave your computer.
  3. When you are not working at the computer, your backup hard disk and computer must be stored at separate places. If you use a laptop that you bring home in the evening, leave the backup hard disk at work. If you leave your computer at work, bring your backup hard disk home.
If you are a B.Sc. or M.Sc. thesis student, please discuss with your co-supervisor and/or Jan how to ensure safe data storage on a daily basis. You may use the group's folder on Atlas, you may borrow a backup disk, or you may use a backup disk of your own. See the section below for how to manage your data before you leave the group.

Organizing primary data after dissemination of results
Every time you have disseminated results of the ESMP group in any way (journal publication, conference talk or poster, conference proceedings, ...) you must, if you are the lead author, organize all primary data in a dedicated folder. This should be done immediately after dissemination, without delay. If you are a co-author but not the lead author you still have the responsibility to provide all your primary data that was used for the dissemination to the lead author in an appropriate format. Moreover, should you notice that the lead author does not immediately start organizing the data appropriately, you should remind the lead author of her/his responsibility. The data must be saved in a format that will be readable by standard computers at least 10 years ahead. If you use encryption for these files, Jan must be given the password for decrypting the files (don't use the same password as for your private encrypted files).

You are encouraged to make primary data available publicly when appropriate, for instance using repositories managed by journals in which we publish (for example the NPG journal Scientific Data).

When we disseminate results that involve co-authors from outside the ESMP group, an ESMP lead author should try to ensure that all primary data is collected and stored appropriately, most likely with the external group as well as in the ESMP group. At the very least you must ensure that the primary data for your contribution is properly stored.

Safe storage of primary data after you leave the ESMP group
It is Jan's responsibility, as the ESMP group leader, to ensure safe storage of all primary data for all results disseminated in the group's name (journal articles, theses, conference proceedings, posters, ...) at least 10 years after the date of dissemination. To ensure this, you must summarize all such primary data on a hard drive prior to leaving the group, organized in a way that Jan can easily locate the data for each occasion of dissemination. Apart from the primary data, also the final disseminated form should be included, thus the final manuscript draft, poster file, presentation file etc. The proposed structure is as follows:
  • Thesis; by chapter
  • Journal articles; by year; by article title
  • Conference proceedings; by year; by conference name; by article title
  • Conference presentations; by year; by conference name; by presentation title
  • Any other kind of dissemination; by year; by occasion title

If you are a post-doc or Ph.D. candidate, the easy solution is to use your backup hard disk for this documentation when you are about to leave the group. Once you have organized your data following the above structure on the hard disk, you give this to Jan who has the responsibility to store it safely. If you are a B.Sc. or M.Sc. student, please clarify with Jan and your co-supervisor how you should save your data.

You of course retain the copyright for all primary data (shared with others who helped you in producing them, when others were involved) and nobody, including Jan, has the right to use the data without your consent and without giving proper reference to the source and any prior publications of the data. The copyright of published data may have been transferred to the publisher as part of the regular publication process; you must inform yourself about the situation.

If you have disseminated results without ESMP co-authors and without the ESMP group name, but with University of Luxembourg and (probably) the PhyMS RU affiliation, then you must clarify the proper storage of the primary data with the current head of PhyMS (at the moment Prof. Ludger Wirtz) or, if you did not use PhyMS as affiliation, the Dean of Research of UL (at the moment Prof. Ludwig Neyses). Note that this must be done before you leave the University of Luxembourg.