Fall 2018 Safety News: NSIS Replacement Coming Soon

October 17, 2018

The Office for Research Safety announced the replacement of the Northwestern Safety Information System (NSIS) last year. After nearly a decade of service, a new, hosted solution from BioRAFT will enhance the research registration process at Northwestern.

The new system will be known as Lumen. Data migration from NSIS into Lumen is now underway. The full transition will occur during the first six months of 2019.

Lumen will make it easier to connect the important relationships among PIs, projects, personnel, and locations at Northwestern. The menu-driven system features color-coded dashboards, simplified reminders, and fewer emails. Lumen is user-friendly and will continue to connect with Northwestern's campuswide learning management system (myHRLearn) for training.

Basic information found in NSIS will be imported into Lumen and validated by Research Safety prior to user training and staged implementation. Laboratories working with radioactive materials are already preparing to move into Lumen this month.


Look for more information and updates on the Research Safety website and specific information on your laboratory registration profile from your Research Safety specialist(s). Research Safety will manage this transition meant to provide a greatly improved research registration process. Please contact the Office for Research Safety with any questions.

Did You Know?

Cuts and lacerations (with or without infection) account for more than 30 percent of all lab injuries that require some form of medical attention and follow-up. Common causes of cuts and lacerations include:

  • Microtomes and cryostats
  • Razor blades
  • Broken glass
  • Glass tubing
  • Systems under pressure
  • Assembly and disassembly of equipment/apparatus

Even with no lost time from work, the average medical cost of each cut or laceration is between $2,000 and $3,000. Click here to learn more about cut-resistant gloves on the Evanston and Chicago campuses.

October is National Biosafety Month

This year’s Biosafety Month theme is Promoting a Culture of Biosafety and Responsibility. Here are some reminders and services from Research Safety:

  • Avoid insidious contamination. Wear long pants, closed toe shoes, lab coats, and safety glasses when working in the lab. Research safety offers lab coats and laundry services to make this easy.
  • Keep food and drink outside the lab. Wash your hands frequently.
  • Protect the building vacuum systems by using in-line filters and keeping your aspiration traps clean and filled with a suitable disinfectant.
  • Research Safety offers support to help you periodically defrost your freezers.

Research Science Can be Stressful: Resources Available to the Northwestern Community

Full-time students can receive mental health counseling services at no charge through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). For more information regarding CAPS services, contact (847) 491-2151.

For students within the Feinberg School of Medicine,  an Ombudsperson has been appointed to serve as an impartial, neutral, and confidential facilitator for students, residents, and fellows.

Faculty and staff can find support through the Northwestern University Faculty and Staff Assistance Program. The program provides a network of services, including short-term counseling, to help you and your household family members to cope with everyday life issues. Call (855) 547-1851.

Another invaluable resource is the Diversity and Inclusion Office. Their mission is to help create and sustain a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming environment for all Northwestern community members including students, faculty, staff, and alumni.