October 6, 2022


Center personnel provide a resource for enhancing the effectiveness of the NMR Center through teaching, training and interacting with users which can augment expertise in the individual research groups. While major instructional priority of the staff is to provide operational training to users, we anticipate that their knowledge and expertise will be called upon to varying degrees by users in the pursuit of the research projects for such things as developing new applications, implementing new pulse sequences, optimizing experiments for particular systems, and processing and analysis of multidimensional NMR data. Not only do such efforts involve the investment of time on the part of the personnel, but also may constitute significant intellectual and scientific contributions to the research project. Users are also expected to invest time in enhancing and expanding their knowledge and proficiency in NMR and to utilize the expertise available within their research group in order to become more independent.

Personnel have the option of voluntarily engaging in collaborative projects at a level that does not overwhelm their responsibilities. This option provides an opportunity for them to keep current in the field and maintain their scientific standing. Occasional NMR spectral service is provided with the requestor being charged for personnel time.

NMR time is allocated to users of the NMR Center using the online calendar at CoreResearch@Duke.

FFSC 400 and 500 MHz spectrometers:
The time periods from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday-Friday are reserved for use in short-time blocks of up to 1 hr.
From 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. a 4 hour block of time may be scheduled.
Evenings after 10:00 p.m. and weekends may be scheduled in extended time blocks for larger experiments.

Skilled operators, who have been previously trained and checked out by Center staff and can operate unsupervised, are generally scheduled in the time slots when staff are not normally available to assist or respond to questions.

LSRC 500, 600, 700, and 800 MHz and FFSC 700 MHz spectrometers
These spectrometers are generally scheduled for extended time blocks as needed by users.

The spectrometers in both NMR Center locations are available on a 24 hours-a day, 7 days-a-week basis. Scheduling requests and hands-on use of the instruments in the NMR Center is restricted to trained operators who are able to function safely and effectively without supervision particularly during the evening and weekend periods. Currently the Center is staffed during the day Monday through Friday to assist users.

Submitted samples from users who do not have a trained and approved operator are scheduled by Center staff on a time available basis. Since the Center has very limited capacity to provide this service, submitted sample requests are discouraged. Training for new users, however, is provided by the Center staff and research programs are encouraged to designate one or more members to become trained operators.

Occasionally time will be reserved by the Center staff for instrument maintenance, and repairs. In situations where unanticipated repairs are required and a spectrometer is down, the staff will make every effort to accommodate experiments on alternate instruments if available.

The following list of charges has been approved by CoreResearch@Duke, the DMRSC Steering Committee, and Duke University administration for the academic year 2021-2022:

User-Operated Basis for the 400 and 500 MHz instruments (users supply their own operators)


Duke University and Duke-Va Researchers:$12.00/hr

External Academic:$19.32/hr

Government Agency:$19.32/hr

Industry or For-Profit Entity:Please contact

User-Operated Basis for the 600 and 700 and 800 MHz instruments

Duke University and Duke-Va Researchers:$13.50/hr

External Academic:$21.75/hr

Government Agency:$21.75/hr

Industry or For-Profit Entity:Please contact

Submitted Sample Basis (run by Center staff)

Duke University and Duke-Va Researchers:$30/hr

External Academic:$48/hr

Government Agency:$48/hr

Industry of For-Profit Entity:Please contact

Sample preparation and all related expenses (NMR tubes, solvents, etc.) are the responsibility of the user.

Charges will be assessed for repair to or replacement of equipment damaged due to negligence on the part of a user.

NMR spectroscopy can be a daunting and complicated technique for those that require access to the data that it can provide, but are not experts in the field. To address this need, in addition to providing state-of-the-art instrumentation, the experienced PhD scientific staff train investigators in the use of the equipment and assist in planning and implementing experiments, in data collection and analysis, and in manuscript preparation. Activities of the resource staff also include development of methods aimed at increasing the efficiency with which investigators acquire and process their data. Resource staff also assist in the design and the incorporation of modifications to the instrumentation that enhance performance and/or address specific goals of investigators.

User groups are encouraged to operate the instruments on their own after suitable training and/or checkout of one or more designated operators. It is expected that each person who is approved to be an operator will have, at the minimum, prior experience on a modern NMR instrument, either through outside NMR activities or hands-on training at the Duke NMR Center. Those not meeting this criterion are encouraged to attend a training course on the operation of the appropriate Agilent/Varian or Bruker spectrometer offered by the Duke NMR Center staff. Training sessions for small groups and individuals are scheduled according to demand. The hands-on part of the training will preferably be associated with experiments of research interest to the individual and the instrument time needed will be charged to the project. The extent of training will depend on the complexity of the experiments required for the project. Each person requesting operator status will be required to demonstrate competence on the instrumentation to Duke NMR Center staff members before being permitted unsupervised access to the spectrometers.

Only personnel approved as operators by Duke NMR Center staff may operate any Duke NMR Center equipment.

Users may alternatively elect to submit samples on a limited basis to the Center for NMR analysis carried out by the Center staff. While the staff will attempt to assist users in this way when possible, there is no provision within the Center budget to provide for regular service of this type. Again, all expenses relating to the sample (sample preparation, NMR tubes, solvents, etc.) are the responsibility of the user.

Anyone wishing to make comments on or suggestions for improvement of the Center or its operating policies is invited to write directly to the Director:

Dr. Ronald Venters