Policies of Electron Microscopy Facility

General Policies

Anyone may request to use the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência Electron Microscopy Facility, including external scientists and corporations. However, priority is given to scientists from the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência.

During a complimentary consultation with facility staff proposed projects will be reviewed for feasibility, and equipment availability. Furthermore, the purpose and the scope of the project will be discussed, the level of service determined and a tour of the Electron Microscopy Facility will be given.

All users will be charged for consumable and equipment usage, training and technical assistance. A price list is available upon request and a rough cost estimate can be provided.

When data collected at the IGC EM Facility is included in publications, acknowledgement of the use of the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia Electron Microscopy Facility in publications is expected. In the event that facility staff have done extensive work and substantially contributed to the success of the project, authorship should be considered and discussed on a case-by-case basis.

New Equipment Users

Before using any of the equipment new users must register by sending an email to the head of the Electron Microscopy Facility (Erin Tranfield). Depending on the level of experience demonstrated, the new user may have to undergo training.

New users must read and understand the policies described below. Any concerns or questions may be directed to the EM Facility staff.

General Equipment Usage Policies

All users must handle the equipment carefully – when in doubt ask the facility staff for assistance. Repeated poor handling may result in loss of privileges.

All users must leave the equipment clean and ready for the next user. Repeated offenses may result in loss of privileges.

Log books must be used to record start time and end time for each instrument session. Furthermore any problems encountered during the session should be explained in detail in the log book.

Local hard disks are not intended for data storage. All stored files are routinely erased to maintain enough free disk space for acquisition. Users are encouraged to remove their data immediately after acquisition. Any data older than 48 hours may be deleted by anyone. The EM Facility is not responsible for any lost data on the local hard drives.


All equipment must be reserved prior to usage through the reservation website, including evenings and weekends. Booking slots for TEM and the Ultramicrotomes are limited to 3-hrs (9:00 am -12:00 pm, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm, and 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm). If you do not have permission to reserve a piece of equipment, contact the Electron Microscopy Facility staff. Special permission must be received in advance to use the Transmission Electron Microscope outside normal facility hours.

Using equipment without reservations will be reported to the Head of the Electron Microscopy Facility as misconduct. Repeated offenses may result in loss of privileges to use the equipment.

If a user decides not to use the equipment the reservation must be deleted. Deleting reservations must occur 24 hours prior to the reserved time slot. If reservations are cancelled within 24 hours of usage then cancellation fees may be charged if the instrument remains unused.

If a user keeps the reservation and allows another user to use his/her booking, the first user will maintain full responsibility for the proper usage of the machine during that time.

If a user is 15 minutes late for their scheduled booking they will forfeit their booking to whom ever is wait listed for the equipment.

Users can book a maximum of two bookings on any piece of equipment per week. These limitations apply only during the working hours of 9 am – 6 pm, Monday to Friday. Bookings outside these times do not count towards the weekly limit. Furthermore, same day bookings do not count towards the weekly limit. If extended use is needed, please contact the head of the Electron Microscopy Facility to explain the circumstances.

General Equipment Usage Policies

It is the responsibility of each PI to ensure that all members of their laboratory comply with the policies described herein.