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Welcome to the Turro group!

Included in this document are the important procedures you need to do to begin life at Columbia.

First, click here to download a document from the Chemistry Department that has the most important instructions to start your life at Columbia.
Administrative Inprocessing into the Turro Group for New Graduates Students Graduates and Postdoctoral Fellows

Administrative inprocessing into the Turro group as a new member consists of the following items:

  1. Say HELLO to the BOSS!
  2. Get a desk and lab bench from Steffen
  3. Get a notebook from a group member or from ChemStores
The following information may also be useful depending on your particular situation:
  1. Campus Map: View an interactive campus map here.

  2. Housing Information for Postdocs and Visiting Scientists: Please visit the Columbia Housing Information Homepage. Also please contact Italia Mancinelli (im1@columbia.edu) or Martha Mc Andrew (mcm5@columbia.edu) to process your paper work with regard to housing.

    Housing Information for Summer or Short Term Visitors: Short term visitors have several options when looking for housing in New York City:

  3. Signatures, Columbia ID & Lab Key: Go see Sandy Turro to get the proper paperwork regarding your appointment with the proper signatures. You must have a letter from Sandy that you'll work in the Turro Group.
    Sandy will give you authorization to get an ID card in the 2nd floor of Kent.
    Steffen will give you the key to the labs on 7th floor.

  4. Official Paper Work: Ask Sandy which papers and pieces of information you need to meet with Lorrie Lind, than go to her office (Havemeyer, Room 338) to get appointed into the department.

    Guidelines for Non-Columbia Undergraduates and Minors: This document must be reviewed, and the forms on the final pages need to be filled out and returned to Jay Kirschenbaum's departmental mailbox.

  5. Office of Postdoctoral Affairs: Postdoctoral students may find useful information on their website or via email.

  6. Health Benefits: Lorrie will also provide information concerning Health Benefits. Go to Benefits office (Interchurch 1901) to obtain a list of medical packets available. There is an orientation meeting (at Interchurch, Room 1220) every Monday morning at 9:00am and the last Tuesday of the month at 2:00pm. Please register for sessions at Columbia Human Resources, call 870-2100, email hrtraining@columbia.edu or visit their website

  7. ID Card Activation & Mail Box: Go see M. Danielle Farrell in the chemistry main office (Havemeyer, Room 344, phone 854-2202, email mdf2105@columbia.edu) to get your ID card activated for access to Havemeyer. This should be done very soon after your arrival. She will also give you access to a departmental mailbox.

    Undergraduate students, visitors, and collaborators are not eligible for card swipe access in order to work in the building when it is closed, and should never work alone in lab without an FDNY certificate holder present. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

  8. Departmental Keys: Go to Bill Reynolds in Chemstores on the 1st floor of Chandler to get the appropriate forms to obtain departmental keys (if required).

  9. Note: If you are an NSF, NIH or other external USA fellowship Postdoctoral Fellow you should go to Beth Israel (Engineering Terracea Rm 351) for information about fellowship stipend and allocation and appointment. Bring NSF pamphlet about NSF fellowship.

  10. Note: If you are a foreign postdoctoral fellow with your own funds you should skip the section on Health benefits.

  11. ISSO - International Students and Scholar Office: If you are not familiar with the American way of life go to ISSO (524 Riverside Drive, Suite 200) or visit their website! They have important information about daily life, bank accounts, taxes, visas... If you are an international student or scholar, you will have to recertify your documents at ISSO.

    Columbia Salary Information for International Students:

    • As soon as you arrive, go to the ISSO office at 524 Riverside Drive to complete the immigration registration. They will sign your DS-2019 form, and then you can apply for a Social Security Number (SSN, below).

    • Speak to Sandy before going to visit Deb Carter (Havemeyer, Room 344) in order to receive the relevant forms to fill for you to get paid.

    • Complete I-9 form at 210 Kent Hall, ask for a receipt and return it to Deb Carter.

    • Complete the other forms given to you by Deb. All the forms come with instructions. BE SURE that you specify your status as non-resident alien (if you are) if you want to apply for a tax treaty with U.S. This can save you from unwanted complications with tax payments.

      Return the forms after discussing with Sandy if you need help/suggestions if you want to apply for a tax treaty.

    • A SSN is needed to put you in the Columbia payroll system. To get one go to a Social Security Office located outside campus. Ask ISSO for updated information about office location and which specific documents you need. Usually you need to bring with you:

      • Your passport with the I-94 you got at the airport when you arrived here
      • Your Visa
      • Your DS 2019 form (or comparable form)
      • A letter from Columbia stating you will work for university. Usually you get one from Sandy, otherwise ask for it.

      You usually receive your SSN one day after requesting it. Download more information on obtaining a Social Security Number (.doc). Regarding funds, usually people make their own arrangements for getting the money in USA (e.g. open an account here and transfer the money from your own institution to here or do otherwise if you choose).

    • Apply for a tax treaty. Check if you are eligible here.

    • Fill the IRS Form 8233.

    • In case of doubt ask Sandy or other members of the group.

  12. Email Account:

    1. Activate your UNI account online here ASAP.

  13. Readings: It is expected that everyone in the group has read Modern Molecular Photochemistry. If you have not, obtain a copy from Sandy and read it. From time to time the group goes over certain aspects of the book.

    In addition, each group member should read the following articles:

    1. L. B. Rigby, "Motivation: its origins and nature" Chem. Tech. 1971, 348. pdf

    2. A. F. Chalmers, "What is this Thing Called Science?" Chapter 8 "Theories as Structures: Kuhn's Paradigms", 1982, p. 39. about | library

    3. N. J. Turro, "Geometric and Topological Thinking in Organic Chemistry", Angew. Chem. Inter. Ed. Eng. 1986, 25, 882. doi

    4. J. R. Platt, "Strong Inference", Science 1964, 146, 347. doi

    5. W. E. Drissel, "The Laws of Inference", Chem. Tech. 1991, 520. pdf

  14. Computers, Server: See Jeffrey to grant you access to the group's File Servers, then find instructions on how to connect here.

    Ensure your computer has up-to-date versions of the following:

    If you are missing any software, see Jeffrey for the installation discs.

    Additional software is available from CUIT, however some is available only to Faculty and Staff (postdocs).

  15. Glassware: To find your own glasswares, make a list of glassware you need then talk to Steffen, look in the GC room and ask your new labmates.

  16. Responsible Conduct of Research: All members of the group funded by NSF and NIH grants after January 4, 2010 need to complete training in Responsible Conduct of Research. Members should complete the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program here for Physical Scientists (registration is required), and submit their completion report to Boss for record-keeping. Completion requires several hours of online tutorials followed by brief (though complex) quizzes, so plan accordingly. Instructions on registration can be found here.

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Getting Started
  1. Glassware: Make a list of the glassware you need, then check the GC room to see if what you need is there. Check in the drawers of the bench that you have inherited to see if a former group member left behind glassware that you might use. If you still need glassware, ask Steffen or order it (see section on placing orders).

  2. Lab notebook: See Sandy for your first lab notebook or buy it from Chemstores.

  3. Chemicals: First consult the Group Inventory of Chemicals to see if the chemical you need is already in the lab. Check the chemical storage room that holds all of the Turro Group organics and inorganics: the chemicals are organized alphabetically. The general procedure and forms for ordering chemicals and other equipment is outlined above. Be sure to ask another group member for guidance before ordering something for the first time.

  4. If you need a small amount of a chemical, consult ChemTracker to see if another lab group has some you might use.

  5. Safety: Click here to read departmental safety regulations.

  6. Backing up Data: All of your data stored on your computer should be backed up regularly on the Turro Group Server. This is done automatically each day. You can arrange automatic backup by speaking to Jeffrey.

  7. Past Group Presentations and IRVs: If you are continuing work on a project that has already been done by a former group member, YOUR FIRST REFERENCE SOURCE SHOULD BE THEIR GROUP MEETING PRESENTATIONS AND IRVs. These are stored alphabetically by author in the cabinets on the 7th floor. This will give you a general idea about their progress and some of the problems they encountered before getting into the finer details of their lab notebooks. Also, the dates of their IRVs and presentations will narrow down your lab notebook search.

  8. Using the instruments: Each Turro Group instrument has someone in charge of that instrument. Make sure you see the person labelled to get trained before using it.

  9. Binders: Many old group members had a collection of literature on certain topics that are stored in labelled binders.

  10. Mendeley: Each group member should sign up for an account on Mendeley and should add Boss as a contact. You will then be invited to a number of different Mendeley groups in which literature on various topics have been organized. Older group members will guide you through using Mendeley in accordance with group protocol. Additional information on using Mendeley can be found here.

  11. Labels: Be sure to label your notebooks and other important items with your name and any other appropriate information.

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Standard Operating Procedures

Once you have read through this 'Welcome' information and are ready to learn more about the day-to-day workings of the group, please review the Turro group 'Standard Operating Procedures', including notes on Safety, Ordering Chemicals, Chemical Use, Documents, Instrument Use, etc.

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