Junior Faculty 'Shop’ for Free Lab Equipment at West Campus

In addition to land and buildings, Yale’s recent purchase of the West Campus included an inventory of laboratory equipment and consumable supplies (i.e., test tubes, culture plates, etc.) with a fair market value of nearly $2 million.

The Provost’s Office is making it all available — at no cost — to non-tenured ladder-track faculty in lab-based disciplines.

To ensure equitable access to the inventory, each of the roughly 700 junior faculty were randomly assigned a visit date between Jan. 29 and Feb. 19. On that day, or any one day following, each faculty member and an assistant could visit the warehouse to take consumables with them and to select large equipment to be delivered for use in their lab.

Maps of the West Campus warehouse layout and a “shopping list” of the equipment and consumables initially available were sent to all of the participating faculty. That list included everything from centrifuges and refrigerators to chromatography equipment and robotic workstations, and from disposable pipette tips to amber bottles.

Eric Dufresne, who made his selections on the second day, said, “The consumables section was fantastic. It was like going to the supermarket. We filled up our cart with thousands of dollars worth in about 30 ­minutes.”

“Although it is easier to identify consumables, the large equipment is also getting a good look,” said Lisa D’Angelo, associate director of science cores and one of the coordinators of the event. Just as at a tag sale, all items are “as is,” she notes, and come without a warranty — but they are free.

“The goal was to support members of our untenured ladder faculty as they build their research programs and tenure cases,” said Steven Girvin, deputy provost for science and technology. “Many are still in the process of setting up their labs and do not yet have significant amounts of external funding. We felt that giving priority to this segment of our community would have the greatest positive impact on research programs across the University.”

— By Janet Rettig Emanuel

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Media Contact

Janet Rettig Emanuel: janet.emanuel@yale.edu, 203-432-2157