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Find research infrastructures in LUCRIS – and develop your research

Lund University has a large and broad range of research infrastructure on offer. Several are world-leading. Unfortunately, however, in many cases the knowledge among researchers of what is on offer is low.
Spider
SEM micrograph of a hunting spider, found on the nCHREM premises

“There are many researchers who are unaware of what the University has and what is accessible or how the infrastructure can help their research”, says Kajsa M Paulsson who is infrastructure coordinator and responsible for MoReLife and MicLU, among other things. She is one of the members of the inter-faculty group that has produced the contents of the new infrastructure module.  

At nCHREM for example, it is possible to carry out both electron microscopy and chemical composition analysis on the sub-nanometre scale. Completely different materials can be analysed – from hard inorganic materials (oxides, metals and semiconductors) to soft materials (biological, colloidal systems, proteins). High-resolution direct imaging of crystal structures and nanoparticles as well as electron diffraction and mapping of chemical elements can be performed.   

Now it is going to be easier for researchers to get an overview. A central list of the majority of the research infrastructure that exists at Lund University has now been created. Under the heading “Infrastructure” in LUCRIS, Lund University’s research portal, you can now browse 200 different research infrastructures from the whole University. Among the infrastructures you can find there are the Lund Protein Production Platform (LP3), the National Centre for High Resolution Electron Microscopy (nCHREM), the Historical Museum’s archaeological and historical collections, LUPOP and the Humanities Lab.

Research infrastructure is often connected with large investments and interest comes not only from within the University but in several cases there are also external interested parties.

“Previously, large research groups often created their own territory with their own equipment. Things are different today; researchers have to use many different complementary and advanced technologies to produce their results. Equipment is expensive and requires expertise. Each research group cannot be self-reliant, neither for equipment nor the unique technical expertise which is often required. Therefore, access to infrastructure outside the group or division is vital for research today”, says Kajsa M Paulsson.

The list in LUCRIS is still missing some infrastructures but the hope is that now the module has been launched, more infrastructures will submit information to make them visible. The term infrastructure refers not only to instruments such as microscopes and other equipment but also covers databases and experts, e.g. biotechnicians. The conditions for access to different infrastructures vary from only being available through collaboration to open access.

“Many researchers would benefit from using more varied research infrastructures than they do currently; through the LUCRIS infrastructure module, it is now possible for researchers to conduct free searches and familiarise themselves with the diversity that exists at Lund University”, says Kajsa M Paulsson.

Kajsan M PaulssonThe database can be used to search for different technologies, methods, researchers or simply to get an overview. For those who are responsible for infrastructures, this database can be a way to find colleagues nearby within a specific area of technology with whom to share experiences and collaborate on e.g. development, procurement and maintenance. For researchers applying for infrastructure funding, LUCRIS is a tool that facilitates the grant application work as it is possible to refer to entries in LUCRIS and demonstrate e.g. resources, principles of availability and connections to other infrastructures.

The portal was launched in February/March and the response has been very positive. Most of the infrastructures come from the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Medicine; however, nearly all faculties are represented.

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