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Procedures and guidelines


All requests should be sent to, using our BI Request Form 2023. All requests are to be authorised by the academic supervisor. Note that only written requests will be considered.

As a TRAC (transparent approach to costing) research facility, we are working towards sustainability, efficient maintenance and support of our systems and users, therefore all usage is charged at full economic costing. For non-externally funded research activities, there may be various instances where the full economic cost of the facility cannot be met by external income, and in this instance, you should refer to the Cost Allocation Policy and request these funds from your Faculty.

To distinguish between externally funded and subsidised projects and to offer guidance regarding the level of subsidy, we have established 7 different types of projects: Preliminary Projects (P), Funded Projects (F), Charity/EU funded Project (CE), Established Projects (E), Investment Projects (I), Student Projects (S) and External Projects (EX).

Please note that all charges are subject to annual review through the TRAC process.


Preliminary Project.
A short-term project created exclusively to raise preliminary data for a grant application. The aim is to encourage academics to include Bioimaging work into future grants.

  • Approved Subsidy Code required from Faculty (recommended subsidy level: 40% FEC rates)
  • Monitored for submitted grant applications
  • Maximum 2 months duration
  • Open for a total of 15 hours microscopy time and 6 TEM/SEM samples

Funded Project.
An established project, funded by grant money dedicated to Bioimaging work which is directly transferred to our account and we will charge against this income. Please restrict the number of co-workers on F projects.

  • Charged at full economic costing
  • Highest priority

An established project, funded by charity/EU grants. Due to school regulations the grant income for Bioimaging work will be automatically transferred to our account and we will charge against this income. Please restrict the number of co-workers on CE projects.

  • Charged at the costing stated in the particular charity/EU grant
  • Highest priority

Established Project.
An established project, paid by user's budget that was not initially specified for Bioimaging work (e.g. consumable budget).

  • Charged at full economic costing

Investment Project.
We encourage you to invest in the Bioimaging Centre and an I project is established upon deposit of funds in our account (e.g. for novel equipment that will be added to the Bioimaging Centre). 

  • Approved Subsidy Code required from Faculty.
  • Charged at full economic costing
  • Open for 3 years
  • Not bound to a single body of work
  • No restriction on co-workers

Student Project.
A short-term project to assist PhD students to finish a thesis at reduced charges due to School support.

  • Approved Subsidy Code required from Faculty. (recommended subsidy level: 40% FEC rates)
  • Maximum 2 months duration
  • Restricted to a total of 10 hours microscope time and 6 TEM/SEM samples

External Project.
For ‘external’ non-commercial project, e.g. for other Faculties or Universities. 

  • Charged at full economic costing

The Bioimaging Centre staff will prioritise as follows:

  1. Project fully funded by grant money (F and CE projects).
  2. Data needed for a deadline (e.g. grant proposal or revision image).
  3. Data that is required for an ending project (e.g. end of fellowship).
  4. Undergraduate projects.

Consideration will be given to urgent projects – please state your case on the Request Form.

  1. Fill in our BI Request Form 2023, on which you briefly tell what needs to be done, who your co-workers are and under which category your project falls (see descriptions above) and provide a full T1 cost code. For P, S and I-projects please provide a Faculty Subsidy Code against which project charges will be made on a quarterly basis.
  2. You will receive a confirmation email from us giving the start and end date of your project and your project reference (e.g. a funded project from Nick Talbot could have the code F-NJT-1). This reference is to be used for all bookings and project activities by all co-workers on the project.
  3. We will keep record of all costing. We will charge against the provided cost code for P, E, S, and University EX projects quarterly and provide statements for I, CE and F projects upon request or when funds are becoming low.
  • No one is permitted to use Bioimaging equipment without a proper induction by Bioimaging staff or authorised other parties.
  • All microscopes to be left in a clean and proper condition.
  • Microscopes can be booked from 8:00 to 18:00, for out-of-hours access, appropriate lone worker risk assessments need to be in place.
  • Individual bookings should be limited to a maximum of 4 hours a day. Confocal time course experiments lasting longer than 4 hours should be booked at the end of the week, or, by prior arrangement with Bioimaging staff, at the weekend.
  • Booking can be made up to 1 month in advance and need to be submitted at least 24h in advance. If you fail to show up for a booking, we will cancel the booking after 20 minutes, unless we are notified in advance. 
  • For in promptu sessions on the day (in case of availability of the relevant microscope), please get directly in touch with Bioimaging staff.
  • Abuse of microscopes or charging codes can result in the exclusion from the Bioimaging Centre.
  • All customers to follow the instructions of Bioimaging staff, who have the right to refuse entry into the suite and use of instruments if customers have acted inappropriately, for instance careless use of the equipment, not leaving the Centre in an appropriate state.
  • Undergraduate students are not allowed to use the microscopy facility unless supervised by a PI (e.g. a Post-Doc or PhD student) and they should not use any high end equipment on their own. 
  • External users will require an induction into the Bioimaging Centre before starting work.

Those doing category 2 work must:

  • State this on the Request Form
  • Thoroughly clean bench areas with appropriate disinfectant after the end of session.
  • Transport any category 2 material to and from the Bioimaging Centre within a leak proof container. Volumes of infectious material brought into the Bioimaging Centre should be kept to the minimum necessary for experimental purposes. On leaving the Bioimaging Centre these containers should be doused with 75% ethanol or other disinfectant, as appropriate.
  • Any spillages on microscopes must be reported to a member of Bioimaging staff.
  • Individual cases and exceptions to be discussed with the Director of the Bioimaging Centre, Professor Gero Steinberg (

We will try to serve all customers to the best of our ability but please be aware that conflicts of interest might occur that force us to delay your request. It is also possible that delays may occur as the result of technical challenges. However, please be ensured that we will make every effort to satisfy all customers.

If you have any ideas, enquiries or complaints please contact the Director of the Bioimaging Centre: (tel. 723476) or a member of staff.