Access FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

How many labs does BMSF have?

The BMSF has three labs across UNSW:

  1. Wallace Wurth (C27)
  2. Biosciences Precinct (E26)
  3. Chemical Sciences (F10)

I want to use one of your mass spectrometers. How do I get started?

Before gaining access to a BMSF lab, we recommend that you meet with us to discuss your analytical/project needs first.  We can confirm whether your experimental needs can be met with our current mass spectrometry methods and instrumentation.

You can contact us at or a BMSF Staff member

What do I need to provide before the first meeting?

You should provide a short description of the what you want to achieve with your project.  Bring any journal articles or papers with experimental conditions (chromatography and/or mass spectrometry) you may want to use for your experiment. 

We want to know about your project/experiments so we can find the mass spectrometry instrument most suited to your needs. We will also determine if any method development is required. 

Any relevant costs (like consumables and instrument training) can also be discussed at the meeting.  For information about our Fees Schedule, click here.

How do I get inducted to a BMSF lab?

Once it has been confirmed that access is required, you or a BMSF Staff member will notify the BMSF Laboratory Coordinator of which lab to be inducted to and how to initiate the induction process.

In brief, induction consists of:

  • Visiting our BMSF Inductions webpage
  • Registering to the BMSF node on ACLS
  • Submitting a completed Project Registration Form (PRF).  This is to be completed by you and approved by your supervisor.  Your supervisor is to send the form to the Laboratory Coordinator as approval
  • Reading the required documents on SafeSys (Chemical Sciences only)
  • Correctly answering all questions in the relevant questionnaire for each lab
  • Attending an induction tour.  Registrations are through Eventbrite.


If I have access to one lab, will I be able to access to the other BMSF labs?


A separate induction process is undertaken for each of the three labs.  Please visit our BMSF Inductions webpage for more information.

I have been inducted and have access to BMSF. Can I book a mass spectrometer?

No.  Induction does not constitute training or access to the mass spectrometry instruments, as it only allows entry to the BMSF lab.

Training and access to our instruments require training by an authorised BMSF staff member.

What do I need to do to obtain training on the mass spectrometry equipment?

All users should have completed the relevant UNSW online training modules before being inducted to BMSF. 

Users are then required to complete inductions prior to working in any BMSF laboratory.  In addition, one-on-one training is arranged with a BMSF staff member who is authorised to provide training for the instrument or procedure.

The relevant Safesys documents for the instrument or activity should also be Declared as Read during/after training has been completed.  This information will be provided by the trainer.

I am a long-term BMSF user of the mass spectrometers. Can I train someone in my research group?


Only authorised and trained BMSF staff can train inducted users on the mass spectrometry instruments. 

How long does training take?

Initial training depends, among other factors, on the user’s previous experience with mass spectrometry instrumentation, sample complexity, and experimental goals.  These are generally tailored for each user’s individual needs and project.

How do I book one of the mass spectrometers?

Users will only be able to book the mass spectrometers once they have read the relevant Safesys documentation and their BMSF trainer confirms training has been completed.

ACLS access to the relevant instrument will be granted, which will enable users to book the mass spectrometers at a time that is convenient.

How much does mass spectrometry use cost?

Access rates are set primarily for hours of instrument time used. 

There are 2 levels: Academic (public sector researchers) and Commercial (private).  In addition, all UNSW Academic users pay a part of the base hourly access cost with the balance being contributed by UNSW.

For information about our Fees Schedule, click here.

How do I process my mass spectrometry data?

BMSF has data analysis computers with various software (from instrument and commercial vendors) to enable you to process your mass spectrometry data.  Depending on the information you are looking to obtain, a BMSF Staff member can direct you to the right software to use or make possible recommendations.

What happens to my mass spectrometry data?

Your mass spectrometry data is stored and archived with our centrally-supported IT resources.  However, ALL researchers must ensure they safely back-up and archive their own research data.  We do not take responsibility for lost or damaged files.

If copying files to a USB device, the device must be checked for viruses before being inserted into a BMSF data analysis computer. 

A USB device should NEVER be inserted into an instrument computer. 

I am not from UNSW. Can I still access BMSF?

Arrangements can be made for users who are not from UNSW.  For more information, email the BMSF Laboratory Coordinator.