[visionlist] MOUs for use of an eye tracking lab's facilities

Lester Loschky loschky at ksu.edu
Wed Mar 21 21:41:54 -05 2018

Dear Colleagues,

I've been asked to write up a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the use
of my eye tracking lab (2 EyeLink 1000 trackers) for data collection by a
colleague.  I'm also considering whether to do so with another colleague
who has similarly asked to use my lab facilities.

An important consideration is that these are not typical collaborative
research ventures with a colleague (which I've got plenty of experience
with).  Instead, these are cases in which a researcher on campus has a
project that they want to do which requires the use of eye tracking, and
they don't have their own eyetracker so would like to use my lab
facilities.  Of course, I understand that I'm under no obligation to accept
such requests.  On the other hand, I also understand that, technically, the
lab equipment belongs to the university, and thus other university faculty
think of it as a potentially shared resource.  In the past, I've simply
deflected requests that were not from colleagues with whom I was committed
to doing a collaborative project under my control.  However, in one of
these new cases, I'm fine with allowing the use of my lab by the colleague
because it will be supervised by one of my graduate students who is being
paid as a GRA on the colleague's grant.  In the other case, the proposed
use of my lab does not involve supervision by one of my students.
Importantly, in both cases, the requests are for use of the lab during time
periods which would not interfere with normal lab operations (i.e., between
semesters, when we typically don't do much data collection).

I've never done anything like this before, and would be interested to get
any suggestions and/or insights from colleagues with more experience with

Some questions I have include:

1) What is a reasonable rate to charge?

2) What should be stipulated about colleagues who want to either move my
equipment to their lab (e.g., to use with their EEG equipment for their
study), or bring their equipment to my lab?  This has me a bit worried.

3) What about differentiating between use that is supervised by my lab
members (e.g., grad students), versus not?  For example, as noted above, in
one case, my colleague has a grant which is paying one of my grad students
as a GRA, who will be running the study.  In another case, a colleague has
their own EEG study set up already, but wants to add eye tracking to it.  I
don't believe that they have experience with eye tracking, and would either
a) need a lot of help (e.g., from one of my grad students) to get it
working, or b) they would need to spend a lot of time trying to figure it
out, and it could get messy in terms of their needing to work in the lab a
lot just to get off the ground (or keep the equipment in their lab for long
enough to do so).  This latter case is similar to ones that I've simply
deflected before, though I'm tempted to be more accommodating this time.

Best wishes,


Lester Loschky
Associate Director, Cognitive and Neurobiological Approaches to Plasticity
Department of Psychological Sciences
471 Bluemont Hall
1114 Mid-Campus Dr North
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS  66506-5302
email: loschky at ksu.edu
research page: https://www.k-state.edu/psych/research/loschkylester.html
lab page: http://www.k-state.edu/psych/vcl/index.html
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