FAQ for Departmental Policies and Administrative Matters

Mailroom and Departmental Rooms

Where are the Conference Room Schedules?

Calendars for each specific conference room schedule are accessed by the following links:

Which departmental staff should I contact regarding the mailroom and departmental rooms?

The Biology Department Mailroom is located in room 228 Bartram Hall. Contact the Program Assistant, Tangelyn Mitchell, for further details regarding the other departmental rooms.

How do I send outgoing mail? Campus mail?

  • To send outgoing mail that is personal make sure that you have provided sufficient postage on your envelope and then drop it in the outgoing posted mail bin in the mailroom.
  • To send outgoing mail that will be charged to an account you must fill out a pink mailing form including the project number and supervisor name with approval.  This form is available in the mailroom.  Then drop the mail with form attached in the outgoing metered mail bin in the mailroom.  Please see the Program Assistant if you need additional information.
  • To send outgoing campus mail put the campus destination PO Box number, person’s name, and department name on the campus mail envelope.  Then just drop it in the outgoing campus mail bin in the mailroom.  Reusable campus mail envelopes are available in the mailroom.

How do I send a FedEx® package?

Contact the Program Assistant in 220 Bartram Hall to arrange a FedEx® pick-up.

What is the street address I should use when having a package delivered to my lab when it is NOT being sent via the U.S. Postal Service®?

Since non-Postal Service carriers cannot deliver to P.O. Box addresses the University has designated the following street address numbers to facilitate carriers who aren’t able to accept a P.O. Box address being entered into their web forms. It is not necessary to put “University of Florida” on a line in the address if there isn’t room on the web form since the zip code 32611 is exclusive to UF campus.
NOTE: The street numbers are different for Bartram and Carr halls. It is important to address your package to your building and room number so receiving will know where to distribute your package when it arrives.

  • If you are in Bartram Hall use this street address:
    <Your Name>
    BARTRAM HALL # <your room number>
    876 NEWELL DR
  • If you are in Carr Hall use this street address:
    <Your Name>
    CARR HALL # <your room number>
    882 NEWELL DR

How do I get a code to make photocopies and send faxes?

You may contact the Program Assistant to request a code for departmental use (i.e., teaching and departmental service).  For research purposes, you can request permission from your advisor to use their code.

How do I reserve and get keys to conference rooms?

  1. Check the availability of your desired conference room by viewing the Office 365 SharePoint calendar for that room.  You can get to those by going to https://uflorida.sharepoint.com/sites/clas/biology/admin/default.aspx  and from that page look at the left sidebar to find the room calendar links there.
  2. Reserve an available slot by emailing the Program Assistant with the date, beginning time, ending time, room number, and a brief description of the purpose of the reservation.
  3. You may then check out the conference room key and a projector if needed from the main office during business hours.

How do I get access to rooms that require an entrance code like the McEdward computer lab in 611 Carr Hall or the conference room 521 Carr Hall?

Contact the Building Manager, Pete Ryschkewitsch in B10 Bartram Hall to request and receive a door code for one of those rooms.

What do I do if I lose my office or building keys?

Please tell the Building Manager as soon as possible. The circumstances and presumed location of the loss will require different remedies to be implemented from a building security standpoint.

What do I do if I accidentally lock myself out?  After business hours?  If I have an emergency?

  • During business hours, contact the Building Manager.
  • After business hours, contact campus police using the non-emergency number 392-1111.
  • In emergency situations, contact campus police using the emergency number 911.
    • You should also contact the Building Manager if there is a problem with the building such as a broken water line, etc. There are notices posted on the laboratory doors throughout Bartram & Carr listing the emergency phone numbers specific to each lab.

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Which departmental staff should I contact regarding grants?

This section on Grants needs to be updated so if you have any of these questions please see Marta Wayne in the Biology Department Chair Office.

When do I need to get Division of Sponsored Research (DSR) approval (i.e. how big does the grant need to be for approval)?

All grants should be routed through the department, which are in turn routed through DSR. In the past, students have applied for grants on their own and the checks were issued in their name (not the University of Florida). UF is cracking down on accepting these, which means the awardee will have to deposit the check and manage the funds on their own without help from the department—not to mention pay the taxes on the money!

How many days before the deadline must the grant be sent to CLAS Grants Office for approval?

The grant must be sent to the CLAS Grants Office a minimum of 10 business days prior to the submission deadline.

How do I make purchases from my grant? Is it better to use a personal credit card and reimburse myself from the grant or use a procurement card (p-card)?

There are a number of options. Primarily, your faculty advisor (PI) or anyone else in their lab can make the purchase on their P-Card. There is no “borrowing” cards, the card holder should be there with you entering the information. Second best is to have the fiscal office help you facilitate the purchase. Finally, you can be reimbursed for purchases put on your personal credit card.

How do I pay for services to other UF departments?

They will send the invoice to our fiscal office and we will supply them with your account information to do a direct withdrawal.

How can I check my grant account balance?

The UF Investigator is where you find your grant information.

Do the grant accounts have an expiration?

Yes, and each is unique to the project.

WHO Can be PI on a grant at UF and under what conditions?

Click here to learn the UF rules.

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Where can I get I copy of the Biology P-Card Policies?

You can download a copy by visiting the Office 365 SharePoint Departmental Forms section on this page.

Which departmental staff should I contact regarding purchasing?

Ask your faculty advisor as you will go to the one assigned to them.

How do I go about purchasing lab supplies?

Through the myUF market—there is training available online, although it is fairly simple.

How do I go about making purchases with a procurement card (P-Card)?

You will always first attempt to use (following the rule above) the PI’s P-card.  If this is not possible, the fiscal staff will help facilitate the order.

Are grad students allowed to have P-Cards?

No, unless they are selected by the PI as a pseudo “lab manager” who will be doing all of the ordering for the lab. The rule of thumb is that you will not be approved by the department for a P-Card unless you plan on placing orders multiple times per week for an extended period of time.

Can a staff member make purchases on a department P-card for me?

Yes, but the fiscal office is not a purchasing department and first priority should be to have the PI put it on their P-Card. The fiscal office should primarily be placing orders that have to go in as Purchase Orders (i.e. any SINGLE item over $1,000 or any purchase that totals over $2,000).

Do I need to contact someone when I make a P-card purchase?

Yes, if the order was online immediately send your invoice/order confirmation to fiscal@biology.ufl.edu. Packing slips need to be signed and turned in after an online purchase has been received. If it was an in-store purchase, immediately turn in the receipt to the fiscal office. All invoices/correspondences need to indicate where to pay for the purchase and what the items are in lay terms. If the purchase was for general purpose items, you must indicate how they will be used in order for them to be charged to a grant. For example, Ziploc bags would be deemed office supplies unless you specify they are for sample collection in which case they can be charged as lab supplies.

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Travel and Reimbursement

Where can I get a copy of the Biology Travel Procedures?

The travel guidelines including the authorization forms are stored on the Office 365 SharePoint also known as GatorCloud.

  • WARNING! Do NOT just edit the document in your browser when you are logged in to Office 365!  If you do that you are editing the original and the next person to open the document will see all your information already filled in.  You must download a local copy to your computer.  Then you can either edit that and print it out or print the blank out and fill it in by hand.

Now that you have been warned you can find the forms here via this link .

Which departmental staff should I contact regarding travel and reimbursement?

Contact the Fiscal Office.

What is the difference between the Travel Authorization (TA) and Complimentary Travel (COMP) forms (i.e. when do I use one or the other)?

A Travel Authorization is required for any trip where University funds will be expended (doesn’t matter if it is a grant or state funds). Complimentary Travel (COMP) is for any trip where the traveler or non-UF monies will be paying for the trip. These are kept on file for reference and to document that you are away from UF campus. Both of these forms are available for you to download from the Departmental  Forms → Fiscal Office page on the Office 365 SharePoint site. REMEMBER that you must download these forms to your local computer and then edit your local copy to fill it out.

What if my advisor is unable to sign the TA/COMP form?

In the event your advisor is out of the state or country, they can send an email indicating how to pay for the trip, maximum expenditure, etc.

How is per diem calculated? Does it vary by state or country?

Per diem is $80 per day regardless of if you are traveling to Orlando or Mars. Per diem covers meals and lodging, so if you have paid for lodging or are requesting reimbursement for lodging you are not eligible for per diem. You also have the option of being reimbursed meals (if you are not eligible for per diem) at $36 a day domestic and a floating rate internationally. Meals are NOT reimbursed by receipt. For domestic travel, the maximum meal reimbursement is regardless of how much you spend: it is $36 broken down into $6 for breakfast, $11 for lunch, and $19 for dinner, based upon your travel times.

With whom do I request the ACTO?  Where do I go to pick up the ACTO?

Contact the Office Assistant (see above).

Does the State of Florida contract provide insurance for Avis rentals, i.e. what happens if I don’t have my own auto insurance?

Yes, the Avis contract includes insurance.

Do any travel items not require receipts for reimbursement?

Contact the Office Assistant (see above) to get a travel brochure with a list of these items.

How many days after travel do I have to submit receipts for reimbursement?

3 business days.

What do I do if my receipts are in a foreign currency?

The amounts will be converted using the currency converter approved by the government based on the date of the transaction.

Is the reimbursement deposited directly in my account?


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Stockroom and Departmental Vehicles

Which departmental staff should I contact regarding stockroom and departmental vehicles?

Contact the Building Manager, Pete Ryschkewitsch.

What supplies are available to graduate students?  How can I get them?

For teaching and research purposes, a limited quantify of office supplies and some laboratory supplies are provided.  The supplies can be requested by going to B10 Bartram Hall (stockroom).

For what purposes can I use a department vehicle?  What are the charges?

  • Department vehicles can be used for teaching purposes and departmental service; the costs associated with these trips will be covered by the Department.
  • Department vehicles can be requested for travel to conferences by seeking approval from the Department Chair; the source of funds to cover the costs associated with these trips will need to be discussed.
  • Department vehicles are available for graduate student research under limited circumstances; for more information contact the Building Manager and be sure to download and read the Biology Van Use and Safety PDF.

What types of vehicles are available?

Departmental vehicles that are available include 15-passenger vans, pickup trucks, and an SUV.

How do I get approved to drive vehicles?

To drive a vehicle, a valid driver’s license is required.  To drive a 15-passenger van, certification is required through Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) which administers an online training course (for more information contact the Building Manager, see above).  Following van certification, arrangements can be made to practice driving a van on or near campus with another certified student or faculty member. Download the Biology Van Use and Safety Policy here.

How do I reserve a department vehicle?

Contact the Building Manager (see above) to determine availability of vehicles and ensure you have the necessary approvals to use the vehicle.

Are there any boats available to graduate students?

The Canoes:

  • The Department has a canoe and Gheenue / trailer (no motor) that can be checked out with seat cushions and paddles. It is up to you to arrange transport of the canoe to your intended launch point.

The Collector’s Boat:

  • The Marine collector (Mike Frick) is now primarily a lab manager. You would need to check with Mike about possibly riding along on a collecting trip. Only he can tell you if and when he goes out in the boat to collect any more so check with him about that.

The Boats out at Seahorse Key:

  • Seahorse Key along with the boats kept there now belong to IFAS/CALS. It is not clear if IFAS/CALS will allow their use by CLAS/Biology Grad researchers at this time.

Other boats connected to Biology:

  • Any other boats affiliated with the department belong to particular PI’s through their grants.

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Registration and Graduate Committees

Which departmental staff should I contact regarding registration and graduate committees?

Contact the Graduate Program Assistant, Susan Spaulding.

How do I register?  Can I register on my own or do I need to ask departmental staff to do it?

Students are responsible for their own registration through https://one.uf.edu/.  Before you can register each semester, you must ensure you do not have any holds on your account (e.g., a hold to update your contact information or a hold for financial obligations).  You can register on your own except for research hours and some restricted courses, which must be done by the Graduate Program Assistant (see above).  Before each semester, you are required to update emergency contact information to remove a hold placed on the account.  Check for holds through https://one.uf.edu/holds, as registration cannot be initiated if there is a hold.

Where can I find the UF academic deadlines?

Critical academic dates are listed on the registrar’s home page http://www.registrar.ufl.edu/.

How and when do I need to establish my status as a Florida resident, in order to qualify for in-state tuition?

Students must establish and maintain a legal Florida residence for at least 12 months prior to the first day of classes in the semester for which in-state residency status is sought. Students may request a reclassification of residency through the registrar’s office using the Request for Residency Reclassification form found here:

The deadline to submit your application is the standard fee payment deadline for the term in which you are applying.  The 12 month qualifying period begins from the date on which you obtain a declaration of domicile at the Alachua County Clerk of Court at 201 E University Ave, Gainesville, FL  32601.  Required documentation for residency reclassification may include the following:

  • Florida driver’s license
  • Florida vehicle registration
  • Florida voter registration
  • Declaration of domicile
  • Graduate assistantship letter of appointment
  • Lease agreement or documentation of home purchase

Additional information about the Florida residency process for tuition purposes can be found at:

Where can I find the deadline for fee payment?

You can find this at the Finance and Accounting website on the University Bursar page.

How do I sign up for GatorGradCare?

GatorGradCare is free to students with a TA or RA appointment.  Students who are paid by a Fellowship (NSF, NSDEG, etc.) are eligible to enroll in United Health Care (https://www.uhcsr.com/).  Students paid from an outside source are not eligible.  You should receive an email with instructions when the enrollment period for each academic year opens.  The Annual plan for both GatorGradCare and United Health Care will provide summer coverage regardless of your student status for the summer as long as you meet the eligibility requirements for both the fall and spring semesters.  Additional inquiries can be made at the GA Benefits Office (gabenefits@admin.ufl.edu).

Do I need to turn in any forms to the department when I have established my committee?  When I have committee meetings?

When you have established your committee, do this:

  • Email the list of your committee members to the Graduate Program Assistant and be sure to indicate the chair and outside member in that list.

For each committee meeting you have, do these things:

  1. Complete the Committee Meeting Summary and have it signed by all committee members.
    • Download the blank Committee Meeting Summary Form to your computer at this linkDO NOT fill in the form online because that will edit the original and it will no longer be blank.
  2. Give a copy of the completed Committee Meeting Summary to the Graduate Program Assistant and to each of your committee members.
  3. Additionally, the Dissertation Proposal Approval Form should be completed and signed after the discussion and approval of your dissertation proposal.  It must be submitted to the Graduate Program Assistant prior to or within the same term as your written and oral qualifying exams.
    • Download the blank Dissertation Proposal Approval Form to your computer at this linkDO NOT fill in the form online because that will edit the original and it will no longer be blank.

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Teaching and Research Assistantships

Which departmental staff should I contact regarding teaching and research assistantships?

Contact the Graduate Program Assistant, Susan Spaulding.

When will the department request preferences for, and assign teaching assistantships to each semester (Fall, Spring, Summer)?

The preference forms are distributed sometime around the midterm point of the current semester regarding the teaching assignments for the following term with the exception of the the Fall term; those preferences may be collected in the Spring.  Assignments are made approximately three weeks before the beginning of each term.

What is the process used to assign teaching assistantships?

Teaching assistantship decisions are made by a committee composed of the Graduate Coordinator, Associate Chair, and BSC Coordinator with consideration of the student’s preferences, departmental needs, and instructor input.

What is the workload associated with each level of assistantship (0.25 FTE, 0.35 FTE, 0.5 FTE, etc)?

  • 0.25 FTE = 10 hours a week
  • 0.35 FTE = 14 hours a week
  • 0.50 FTE = 20 hours a week

Where can I find descriptions for the courses?  How do I know what the level of assistantship is for the various courses?

Undergraduate course descriptions can be found in the undergraduate catalog from the Registrar’s page (https://catalog.ufl.edu/ugrad/current/courses/descriptions/biology.aspx). The level of assistantship is not always indicated on the TA preference form, but the student can note their FTE preferences, which will be considered in making the teaching assignments.  Students can also contact the faculty teaching the course for additional information.

When does the pay period change each semester (i.e., when will paychecks start and end for my assistantship each semester)?

The Office of Human Resources Page has appointment calendars for academic personnel, which has now been standardized for all years.

  • Fall                         8/16 to 12/31
  • Spring                   1/1 to 5/15
  • Summer               5/16 to 8/15

A schedule of paydays is available at http://www.fa.ufl.edu/departments/payroll-tax-services/payroll-schedules/ by clicking on the appropriate calendar year; here you can view the pay period start and end dates that correspond to each paycheck.

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