JNL Research Group
University of Notre Dame



JNL Computer Policy


Computers are an integral part of our research, teaching, and service as academics. They also require a significant amount of work to setup and maintain.


Regarding computers, the guidelines below should be followed by each Member of the Group:

  1. Group Members can reasonably expect regular physical access to at least one Group-owned computer, and remote access to all Group-owned computers. If such access is deemed inadequate, it is the responsibility of the Group Member to notify JNL.
  2. Group Members are entirely responsible for their own backups.
  3. Regarding changes to Group-owned computers, the guidelines below should be followed:
    1. Make significant changes to the lab computers only after checking with a system administrator and/or JNL.
    2. Update all lab computers of a given class in parallel, to maintain a consistent operating environment. The only exception to this rule is in the case of hardware-specific changes, e.g., scanner, Mote programming boards, GNU Radio, etc.
    3. Notify the Group via email when changes are made, with pointers to documentation.
    4. Inform a system administrator and/or JNL immediately when problems occur.
  4. Regarding funding for purchase of Student-owned computers, the guidelines below should be followed by each Graduate Student in the Group:
    1. During a chosen semester/summer after passing the Oral Candidacy Exam, a Student has the option to receive extra stipend specifically for the purchase of a computer for use exclusively by the Student.
    2. This funding is a special one-time arrangement that cannot be repeated for the Student.
    3. This policy holds irrespective of the Student's funding, from any source(s), as long as the Student makes adequate progress toward the Ph.D. degree and funding is available.
    4. If the Student wishes to exercise the option, s/he must notify JNL no later than two weeks before the beginning of the semester/summer in which the option will be exercised.
    5. The Student is responsible for income taxes on the UND-provided funding as well as sales tax on the potential computer purchase.
    6. During the semester/summer in which the option is exercised, the Student will receive at least one month of Candidacy Level stipend in extra funds, distributed evenly in the corresponding pay periods. The amount is subject to change as the UND stipend as well as computer prices change.
    7. It is highly suggested that the Student purchase a laptop, in order to better be able to take his/her PhD work along no matter the location. But ultimately it is up to the Student to decide what computer model and type works best for his/her needs.
    8. The Student is the owner of any computer equipment purchased under this arrangement, and is thus responsible for the upkeep, protection, and care of said equipment.
    9. If the desired computer is more expensive than the funding provided by this policy, then any price difference between the desired computer and the amountprovided by this policy will be provided by the Student.
    10. This policy is on an honor basis; no proof of purchase is required to participate. But any Student who participates cannot complain to JNL about the lack of a personal computer capable of providing reasonable means for the Student to research and write a dissertation.


  • Draft: JNL, with input from Brian Dunn and Michael Dickens, June 2, 2006
  • Update: JNL, with input from Michael Dickens, June 9, 2006
  • Update: JNL, July 28, 2006


J. Nicholas Laneman
Last modified: 02/19/09
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