About Us > Policies & Procedures

Campus Microscopy and Imaging Facility (CMIF)
The Ohio State University, 460 W 12th Avenue, Columbus Ohio, 43210
Director: Paul Stoodley, Ph.D.

About this facility:

The CMIF staff works diligently to treat all investigators and their projects with equal respect. All projects and experiments are important and deserve equal attention from us. So that we may provide equipment in good working order, minimize conflicts, and make the best use of the researchers’ time, the policies and procedures of the facility are outlined below.

Care and Use of Equipment:

All OSU researchers have access to the services provided by the facility. External users are accommodated as time permits. We encourage the independent use of the instruments; however, all unassisted use must have the approval of a CMIF staff member.

Please never attempt to fix any equipment problems no matter how trivial they may seem. As soon as possible, contact CMIF staff at 614 292-9786, 614 292-2814 or by email using the "Contact" link on the CMIF website. The CMIF staff will attempt to rectify the problem or will contact the appropriate service personnel.

Approval for after-hours use is restricted to experienced users who have demonstrated a high degree of proficiency and independence on a given instrument, and is at the discretion of the staff. At least 12 imaging sessions are required prior to consideration for granting after-hours privileges.

Following microscope use, the room and equipment should be left clean, operational, and in the standard configuration. Time required for clean up after a user may be billed to the user.

Users may not change CMIF designated settings on any instrument. Users doing so will be charged for time necessary to correct any resulting problems and may have their use of the instrument restricted.

Damage to instruments by the users may be billed to the Principal Investigator.

Sign up:

Users should visit the CMIF website, select "Schedule Equipment" and log in/register to reserve time. Select a microscope, choose the date and request the time. Sign up is on a first-come, first-served basis. Users can only reserve time for their own use and no user may reserve time on any instrument for someone else. Users doing so may be denied access to the facility.

Booking limitations – No user may book more than 3 hours in a normal business day or more than 9 hours in a normal business week without obtaining permission from the CMIF staff. Use of the Multiphoton and Infinity3 instruments is not limited. After hours use is not limited.

Late/cancellations – If a user must cancel their signed microscope time, do so at least 24 hours before the appointment so that other users may use the instrument. Failure to do so may result in a charge for the scheduled time and this policy includes “bulk rate” users. Users who need to cancel an appointment with less than 24 hours notice must contact the CMIF staff.

Users who are more than 15 minutes late will forfeit their time if there is someone waiting and may be charged for the time.

Users are expected to vacate the equipment promptly at the end of their scheduled time, leaving the room and equipment clean and in the proper configuration.

Payment / Billing:

Instruments are charged on a per hour basis. More than 15 minutes constitutes one hour.

Payment for services at the CMIF requires a FOM profile with approved and active account information. Without an active account at the time of service, access to the facility will be denied.


ALL training is performed by CMIF staff. Investigators, staff or students must never provide initial training to other users.

Users must follow all instructions of the CMIF staff.

Operating the CMIF instruments is a complex procedure and must be practiced regularly. If six months’ elapses between sessions, the user will be made inactive on that instrument and may be denied access. The proficiency of the user will be assessed and re-training may be necessary.

Confocal microscope training – Persons wanting to use the confocal microscope unassisted must first attend the training seminar (given once per month), followed by sessions of individual instruction. There are no exceptions to this rule. Instrument use rates and technical assistance charges apply to training sessions.

Multiphoton microscope training – Complete confocal microscope (single photon) training is required. Training on the multiphoton instrument is done on an individual basis. Instrument use rates and technical assistance charges apply to training sessions.

Live cell imaging system training – Attendance and the Confocal training seminar is required. Confocal microscope training is advised. Training is done on an individual basis. Instrument use rates and technical assistance charges apply to training sessions.

Transmission and Scanning Electron Microscope training – Training is done on an individual basis and users are charged for both instruction and instrument time.

Samples/ Hazardous Materials:

No Biosafety Level (BSL) -3, BSL-4 agents/pathogens or radioactive material are allowed in the facility at any time.

No food or drink is allowed in the facility at any time.

Sample processing for TEM and SEM is ONLY by appointment. Please contact the CMIF staff before bringing samples to the lab. When prior arrangements have been made, samples should be received in the lab on or before Thursday morning to allow time to complete processing. Please allow a day and a half before holidays for processing.

ROOM 245: All areas within this space are BSL-1. All samples should be fixed and no live samples are allowed. Any hazardous material (whether biological or chemical) must be pre-approved by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety where applicable.

The SEM and TEM are very sensitive instruments. Some samples are not suitable to put in the microscopes. Special care should be taken with materials that could be ferrous/magnetic or volatile under the electron beam. It is therefore critical to consult with CMIF staff before putting a new type of material in the microscope.

Repair of damage to instruments by the users may be billed to the Principal Investigator.

ROOM 264: The areas within this space are BSL-2. Each user must fill out a ‘use form’ to demonstrate compliance with the Office of Environmental Health and Safety requirements regarding BSL-2 laboratory training and documentation of hazardous materials. All BSL-2 materials must be transported to and from this room using secondary containment that is clearly marked as biohazard. Anything brought into the laboratory must be taken out for disposal following the conclusion of the experiment.

Computers and Data Storage:

Users are responsible for their own data!

Data and images collected on the local hard drive should be transferred from the workstation computers to portable media promptly. Users should bring a flash drive or a CD/DVD or use BuckeyeBox cloud storage to take their data with them at the conclusion of the session. Images that remain on the hard drive longer than 24 hours may be deleted without notice. Data should be saved in a folder under the name of the Principal Investigator.

Do not, under any circumstances, download/upload programs or files onto CMIF computers. Users doing so will have their use of the facility restricted. The CMIF instrument computers must only be used for image capture and workstation computers are to be used for saving data to portable media/BuckeyBox and for image manipulation. CMIF computers are not to be used for any purpose other than CMIF related activities.

Acknowledgements/Co-authorship Policy:

Investigators are requested to recognize the role of the CMIF in producing data for publication in the acknowledgement section of the manuscript. This will enable us to demonstrate our importance to the research programs at the university and help to ultimately obtain additional equipment and funding critical for meeting the needs of our users. We ask that the authors submit a copy of the bibliographic reference or a PDF of the publication for our records.

Requested CMIF acknowledgement: “Images presented in this report were generated using the instruments and services at the Campus Microscopy and Imaging Facility, The Ohio State University. This facility is supported in part by grant P30 CA016058, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD.”

Co-authorship is appreciated and may be requested in the following instances: significant intellectual contribution to experimental design, extensive analysis and/or interpretation of data, and preparation of data for the purpose of publication. Authorship agreements will be made prior to commencement of the study and no staff member should be included as an author without the opportunity to review the manuscript prior to publication.

****Please note that these policies are subject to change****