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Facility Policy

We would like you and other users of the facility to get the best images as quickly as possible. The facility policies below are enforced for the benefit of our users. They help us to run the facility efficiently. Since our equipment is very delicate, it is important to treat it with respect and to know what you are doing. Ask if something is not clear and never force any knobs. Report any equipment or software failure to CMIF personnel. Don’t leave something broken for others to discover, it might cause further damage. Make sure to clean up after yourself and leave the workstation as you found it. Take your data with you. We are not responsible for any loss of data left on our computers and will delete data when the hard disk is getting full.

1. Project approval

Discuss your project, equipment needs and prospective timeline with CMIF personnel. Provide as much information as possible so that she can assess what instrument is most appropriate for your needs. In many cases it is sufficient to email your request or use the contact form.

2. Appointment for assisted equipment use or training

Once a project is approved submit billing information (project number) and set up an appointment for equipment usage with assistance or for training to become an independent user. Please note that some of the more popular microscopes (e.g. Zeiss LSM 710 and LSM 880) need to be reserved 10-14 days in advance during times when demand is very high. If you have perishable samples it is best to make the appointment before sample preparation. If you are not able to use your allotted slot or get delayed you have to let us know by email or phone (919-515-3525). If you cancel on the day of the reservation you might get charged if we are not able to find another user for the reserved slot.

3. Certification for independent equipment use

Training on the simpler set-ups can be obtained quickly. For the more complex equipment such as the Zeiss confocal microscopes you might need several hours of training during which we will help you to optimize protocols to streamline data acquisition. One on one training requirements for the Zeiss LSM 710 and 880 typically consist of 2-3 sessions of 2 hours each. Before you are permitted to use the instrument unsupervised you will need to demonstrate to Mariusz Zareba your ability on the microscope and need to agree to abide to the equipment operating and scheduling rules. Your privileges can be revoked at any time in case of problems.

4. Online reservation

Go to, login with your unity credentials and navigate to CMIF. Select the appropriate instrument and select training. Once you are certified to use the instrument independently you get access to the reservation schedule.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I access Gardner Hall outside regular hours?

The entrance closest to Williams Hall has a card reader. Those that are certified to access CMIF during times the building is locked need to submit their ID number to Eva Johannes. She will arrange that your ID card gets activated and will notify you when card access is granted.

I have an emergency and need to cancel at short notice. Do I get charged for my reservation?

We understand that things happen that are out of our control and will waive reservation charges in justified cases (e.g. you or a family member under your care gets sick; car breaks down, etc.).