General Policies

The instruments in the facility represent a substantial investment and resource for the research community. To ensure that these resources are available to investigators at the optimum performance level and a minimum of down-time the following policies have been established:

In order to gain access to the EM core facility and its instruments, investigators must meet with the director of the facility and, in case training is required, be trained by the staff.

If you experience any problems while operating instruments, please record it on the log book and notify the facility staff immediately.

Instruments and chemicals cannot be removed from the lab at any time. Liquid nitrogen in the lab should only be used for electron microscopy applications. Computers in the microscope rooms are solely used for imaging purpose. The computers that operate the microscopes should never be used to browse the internet and write/read emails.

Acquired digital images are required to be transferred immediately to CD or through online access. The hard disks are for temporary storage, and old files will be deleted periodically without warning.

Use of negative staining is confined to the specific bench space, the hazardous and radioactive waste need to be properly disposed to the assigned containers. Due to limited space, users should not store their samples, solutions, or other materials (grids, blocks, etc.) in the facility unless authorized by staff.

Users who abuse policies and/or lack of respect towards the other users or the facility staff may result in access to the facility being revoked.

Microscopy reservation

Microscopes are made available on a first-come first-served basis. Reservation of instruments is through the online scheduling system.

Use of the facility by fully trained individuals is allowed after hours and weekend. In case of emergency, telephone numbers of the director and other personnel are posted at various locations around the lab.  Access during regular hours is preferred due to the available support.

Specific restriction for Tecnai F20

Users can only reserve two 8-hour sessions in advance. Only one of these sessions can be during main working hours from 8 AM-4 PM. Users who know at the time of booking that they will need less than 8 hours of time, should only book time during the "off-hours" slots (4 PM-midnight). A 30-minute grace period applies to each reserved time slot. If use has not commenced by the end of the grace period, the reservation becomes void and the remainder of the time is available for use on a first-come first-served basis. 


The staff will provide instructions on how to handle chemicals and instruments in a safe manner. Users who will be exposed to uranyl acetate solutions need to register for a class in radiation safety before being allowed to start their work in the lab. No other radioactive materials are allowed in the EM facility. Users need to inform the staff before attempting to submit samples that contain radioisotopes.

All samples that are submitted to the EM facility need to be previously fixed with either paraformaldehyde or glutaraldehyde, so as to ensure that any pathogens they might contain have been inactivated.

Spills of chemicals need to be notified and cleaned immediately. In particular, users should take great care in cleaning any contamination of epoxy resin on bench space and instruments before it has time to polymerize.

Cancellation & Tardy

Cancellation: If for any reason you cannot use your session, it is your responsibility to delete the sign-up entry from the scheduler as early as possible and notify the facility staff.

Tardy: If a user does not show up after One hour from the starting time, the reservation will be lost, the slot is then open to other users to sign-up. Tardiness without 24-hour notice will be fully billed for the entire period.