The University of Arizona


Please read the entire statement before applying for access. Thank You.

Section I. General

A. Proposed Research Questionnaire - All who want to use the USIF are required to complete a brief questionnaire/ proposal outlining their proposed research involving electron microscopy. The research proposal and the initial consultation must be completed before the EM-related work is begun.

B. Charges - By University policy, the USIF must charge for use of its facilities and for the services of its staff. These charges are levied only to the extent of recovery of the USIF's costs. Under federal guidelines, no investigator can receive goods and services for less than the posted rates.

D. Grant proposals involving the use of the USIF - Proposals for research or teaching involving the USIF should be discussed with the USIF Staff for budgeting and technical feasibility.

E. Pathogens and toxic materials - The Facilities are not equipped to handle live pathogens. Material brought into the Facilities must be rendered safe. All work will conform to the current regulations specified in the University Risk Management Safety Manual. Accordingly, live material above class BH2 will not be handled live under any circumstances. Anyone found violating these safety rules will be denied further access to the USIF.

G. Eating: No food or drink is allowed in the laboratories or instrument rooms.

Section II. Use of the USIF by APPROVED Operators

If you are not an approved operator, see section IV.

The individual is expected and encouraged to learn as much about specimen preparation and equipment operation as possible. Permission to use USIF equipment will be given to an investigator who has received instruction in the use of the equipment by a USIF staff member, and/or has demonstrated to the staff's satisfaction that the equipment will be operated safely and effectively. No one is allowed to operate any instrument in a mode for which they have not been trained or approved by the USIF staff.

A. Reserving equipment - Equipment can be reserved using the Taipan or the SCHEDULER and must make a booking prior to use. If users do not show up on time within 15 mins., reservations will be forfeited and if users continually DO NOT SHOW UP for the reserved time slot, the operator approval will be revoked and access restricted to service work. Use of equipment at times other than 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. must be approved by qualified USIF personnel. Unfilled slots may be occupied at any time. If there are any problems with the equipment or facilities, write this under "remarks" on the log sheet. There is a minimum charge for 30 minutes, after which time is billed in suitable increments.

B. Keeping appointments - Individuals who have reserved equipment in the USIF are expected to be prompt, or to cancel as possible if plans change. Users will be prohibited from scheduling future reservations on our instruments if they fail to comply with the rules.

C. Instrument log sheets - Equipment-log sheets are maintained for each instrument and investigators are required to fill in the requested information when they use the instrument.

D. Maintenance and malfunctions - Do not attempt to operate an instrument that is malfunctioning. DO NOT attempt any maintenance or repairs on Facility equipment. In case of instrument malfunction, secure the instrument in a fail safe condition. Record your observations of the malfunction in the log and leave a note readily visible on the instrument notifying the next user of the condition. Do not use force on any piece of equipment ("two finger rule"). Do not make any effort to conceal damage. Evidence of concealment of damage to a piece of equipment will result in the loss of the privilege of using the USIF services.

E. Storage Space - For long term users, locker or drawer space for storing personal equipment will be provided as available. No volatile or toxic chemicals, food or live specimens may be stored there.

F. Keys/Entry into USIF- Keys for USIF laboratories may be issued to qualified persons by the director. Users are given an access code for the facility. Users are not permitted to share the access code to gain entry into the facility. The user must not access equipment other than that which he or she has been certified to use. All access are logged into a tracking system.

G. Damages - The approved operator must accept responsibility for repairs to damages due to gross negligence must be paid by the user.

H. Storage of Data - All data is the property of the investigator and the timely removal from our systems is the responsibility of the investigator. Electronic data must be transferred to your data media upon completion of each session. The USIF is not responsible for storing user data.

Section III. General Rules of the Facilities

A. All workplace rules of The University of Arizona, Risk Management, and the USIF must be followed. Deviations will result in loss of use privileges.

B. All items must be labeled. Bottles containing reagents must bear the name of the material, the concentration, the solvent, the date it was prepared and the name of the preparer. Any items found not so labeled will be disposed of in a suitable manner. The USIF is not responsible for storing samples or materials. USIF staff will periodically dispose of all materials not current.

C. Insert nothing into stock bottles, and do not return unused portions to a stock bottle. Pour the reagent into another container and use from that.

D. Use glassware appropriately. Do not eat or drink from any item of laboratory glassware. Do not store materials in glass beakers, flasks and graduates, etc. Use disposable plastic items, instead whenever possible.

E. Clean up as much as possible. All work areas shall be cleared and cleaned when you leave. Small spills must be wiped up before they dry. Rinse out used glassware with tap water, followed by house deionized water, and then place in the soiled glassware tub provided. Return community materials to proper locations. There are several labeled containers around the facilities for different hazardous materials. Please observe the labels, and place only the appropriate substance in each container. Do not pour dangerous or toxic chemicals down the sink drain. Any messy operation such as plastic handling must be done on aluminum foil. In case of large spills of flammable or toxic materials, immediately notify a staff member, or Risk Management if no staff member is available.


G. Eye protection is required where posted.

H. Ensure security by locking all doors.

I. Report all injuries, no matter how minor to a staff member. If a staff member so decides, even minor injuries may have to be evaluated by a physician.

J. Certain dangerous operations will not be permitted after hours. Other operations may require that a second person be present in case of accident.

Section IV. Service Work

Sample preparation and equipment operation may be performed by USIF personnel.

A. Availability and charges - Charges for service work include costs for a technologist's time and therefore are substantially higher than for equipment use rates alone. Due to the limited personnel available to the Facilities, service work may be impossible, and at other times delays may be expected.

B. Responsibility - The USIF cannot assume responsibility for any sample. The staff will give the best advice possible, and use due caution in preparation and handling; however, ultimate responsibility remains with the investigator. Material which due to its nature cannot be rendered usable, will still be charged for. The researcher should be present while analysis is performed.

C. The service personnel's available time will determine scheduling of service projects. It may be necessary for the investigator to provide additional technical personnel.

D. The Facilities must be notified 48 hours prior to the submission of tissues to be processed. Samples should be in the primary fixative when brought to the Facilities.

Section V. Acknowledgements and Collaboration

A. Collaboration and Co-authorship - In some cases it will become obvious that the staff is contributing more than just technical advice to a project. In these cases it may be appropriate that the investigators include the USIF staff member as a co-author. The distinction would be that the staff member is doing work on the project to an extent that is not usually provided to other clients of the Facilities, and that he/she is helping interpret and give direction to the portion of the study that deals with electron microscopy. Co-authorship with USIF personnel will not excuse the investigator from cost recovery for supplies or use of the equipment.

Publishing Data

We ask that any publication which includes results of data produced from our facilities, that the University Spectroscopy and Imaging Facilities (USIF) is mentioned in the acknowledgement section and that a copy of the paper (or electronic) be provided to the facility for filing. This will help us justify upgrading services and equipment on equipment grant applications.

Please use: University Spectroscopy and Imaging Facilities (USIF), Tucson, AZ.

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University Spectroscopy and Imaging Facilities