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FAQs

General

What are your opening hours?
Our lab meeting is 7-9pm on Mondays but sometimes we meet offsite so for always check the Meetup group for this and other events. Members with an access card can enter at any time (except midnight to 6am). We can't host visitors without an appointment so email info@biomake.space if you want to come and meet us or join a tour every other week via the Meetup group ​.

How do I contact the Biomakespace team?
See the Contact Us page! In general, the best way to get in touch directly is to email info@biomake.space. 

There are numerous ways to follow our activities

Sign up for the newsletter | Join the Meetup | Join the Forum | Join the Chat

Where is Biomakespace?
Biomakespace is located in the Biomedical Innovation Hub [​Clifford Albutt Building], Biomedical Campus, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 0AH

Finding us: From the Addenbrookes roundabout, follow signs to the Clifford Albutt Building, walk up the steps and ring the Biomakespace bell on our meeting nights or report to Reception during office hours.

Please note: we cannot accept visitors without an appointment.

Can I visit? What about group tours?
There are tours of the space every other week, see the dates and sign up on the Cambridge Synthetic Biology Meetup.

 

Volunteering

How do I become a volunteer?
Get in touch with our committee on info@biomake.space. In general, the first step is to become a member of the space. Our volunteers meet every other Thursday 19:30 - 21:00 and all are welcome to learn more about the running of the space. More information is available on the volunteering pages.

What volunteer roles are available?
Check our volunteering and Work With Us pages for more information. Biomakespace has a range of opportunities in our teams including:

  • Training
  • Fundraising
  • Operations and lab management
  • Governance and finance
  • Public Engagement

 

Membership

Do I have to be a member of the University of Cambridge to join the space?
No - we are a tenant of the University but we're an independent not-for-profit organisation. The majority of our membership is unaffiliated with any university.

How long is your minimum membership period?
Membership is on a monthly rolling basis.

How much does it cost?
See the membership pages for the latest costs. Individual memberships start from £20 per month, corporate memberships from £200 per month.

Who comes to the space?
A wide variety of people interested in the interface between biology and engineering. Around half of our members have some formal training in biology but many do not and all are welcome! You can find out more about our members in our 'Meet the Members' series.

Currently, Biomakespace only accepts members over the age of 18 but some of our training is open to younger age groups.

Do I have to be a member to attend your activities?
Many of our activities are open to non-members! Typically, anything advertised on Meetup or Eventbrite is open to anyone, although we encourage those attending events regularly to become a member and some events have a (higher) participation fee for non-members.

I'm looking for a mentor - can you provide one?
We can try! Part of Biomakespace's mission is to provide the support people need to learn more about biology and engineering and participate in or set up projects so speak to us about what you'd like to achieve and we'll do our best. You can attend a meeting or contact us on info@biomake.space.​​​​​​​

I'm under 18 - can I join?
Unfortunately we are not able to accept members under the age of 18 but some of our activities and trainings are open to 16 and 17 year olds. Check listings on Meetup or Eventbrite and get in touch on info@biomake.space if unsure.

 

Projects at Biomakespace

What projects do you currently have in progress?
Check out the project pages for more information.

How do I join a project?
Contact the project team listed on the project pages or email info@biomake.space

Can I suggest my own projects?
Absolutely! The process and forms are described on the project pages.

How do you get funding for projects?
Many projects have successfully applied for funding from the Biomaker Challenge or OpenPlant Fund, many others are self-funded by members. We encourage you to start a conversation on the forum or chat if you want ideas for how to fundraise for projects.

I'm an entrepreneur, startup or company - can I use Biomakespace to develop my thing?
We will make no claims over any intellectual property (IP) developed in Biomakespace, but we do require you to be transparent about any activities undertaken in the space.

You will need to submit a description that is detailed enough to allow a biosafety and risk assessment to the Biomakespace committee. In addition, we will not require any of our members to sign non-disclosure agreements. We cannot restrict anyone who observes your activities in the space from freely using any information learned. We can undertake not to publicise any record of your activities through our official Biomakespace communications channels without obtaining your written permission in advance - however, we cannot take responsibility for the actions of our individual members.

We want to foster an open and collaborative community and we see this primarily as a early protoyping, research and education space. Therefore, this environment is less suited to production work or later-stage R&D. We will not act as an incubator or commercial lab but hopefully will provide a fun space where people can do cool and interesting things with biology and engineering and learn from each other.

If that works for you then you’d be more than welcome to get involved!

Equipment and Materials

What equipment is available in the labs?
We are a molecular biology lab with a small maker space equipped with 3D printers and electronics benches. We also have some specialist imaging and electrophysiology equipment. You can see out full inventory and selected facilities on the Equipment pages.

How do I access consumables?
Most projects obtain their own reagents and we can help with sourcing and ordering. Biomakespace has a stock of basic consumables available on a pay-as-you-go basis via card payment. For specific projects we can come to different billing arrangements, contact orders@biomake.space for advice.

How do you ensure the lab is kept clean?
Every member is expected to clean up after themselves and our Safety Team perform regular checks, we also ask participants at Monday Meetups and volunteer meetings to help and run ad hoc weekend "Build the Biomakespace" meetings which are often a chance for a deep clean.​​​​​​​

Can I store my own equipment and materials at the space?
Yes, within reason! Please discuss with a committee member. If this relates to a project in the labs, you'll need to list the equipment and materials on your project proposal and fill in some safety information for any chemicals and biological materials before you bring them into the space. See the project pages for more details.​​​​​​​

I’m not trained to use some of the equipment – how do I ask for training?
Look out for upcoming training courses on the Meetup or contact the committee on info@biomakespace.

Donations

I’ve got some spare lab equipment – do you accept donations?
Yes - please see our In-Kind Donations page for more details.

Do you accept financial donations? Are you a charity?
We certainly do! Please see the Support Us page for more details and contact directors@biomakespace if you have any questions. Currently we are a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee but we anticipate registering as a charity by late 2018.

How do I support Biomakespace?
There are many ways to support the space including volunteering your time, donating in-kind or financial contributions as a member or sponsor. See the Support Us page for more details. If you would like ​​​​​​to discuss any of the above, please contact directors@biomakespace.

Safety

What are your safety procedures?
You can view all of our safety policies here, we also have risk assessments and other safety documentation for all projects and activities taking place in the lab. If you have questions, please contact the Safety Team on safety@biomake.space.

The Biomakespace Safety Officer is Roger Mason, who is supported by the Biological Safety Officers Jenny Molloy and Matt Jones.

Who do I contact if I have a safety question?
Please contact the Safety Team on safety@biomake.space or post a message on the #safety channel in the Biomakespace Chat.

What containment level is the laboratory?
Containment Level 1. This means we cannot use pathogenic organisms or human and closely-related primate tissues or cells in the labs. You can find a more detailed explanation of containment levels on the HSE website.

I have a background in science and lab experience, do I still have to take your safety training?

Yes - all members of the space have to undertake a basic safety induction. Those participating in or proposing projects will undertake safety training as determined by the Biomakespace Safety Team, which will be proportionate to previous experience. In most cases procedures and facilities at Biomakespace will be sufficiently different to other laboratories to warrant full training.

Those attending courses and other events will be given a safety briefing and supervised by the facilitators.

Can I use X in the lab?

If you have a question about use of equipment, materials, organisms or chemicals in the lab, please contact the Safety Team on safety@biomake.space or post a message on the #safety channel in the Biomakespace Chat.​​​​​​​