Facility Use Guidelines

The Life Science Microscopy Facility is a campus wide core facility. All researchers are welcome.

Many different researchers use the LSMF so it is essential that all users respect the needs of others and leave equipment and space as you would hope to find it. There are a few laboratory guidelines that all users are asked to observe in order to keep equipment in good working order.

Requirements for core users:

All university researchers have equal access to the services provided by the LSMF. External users are accommodated as time permits. The facility provides one on one training to users wishing to carry out their own imaging. This training is designed to have users taking good images and understanding microscope functions necessary to operate equipment safely. Where users do not have the time or inclination to do their own imaging, the facility will provide imaging as a service. Please see any staff member for details.

Expectations of core staff:

Core staff work as efficiently and carefully as possible and treat all investigators and their projects with equal respect. Are aim is to provide a rigorous scientific environment coupled with a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

If at any time you have questions about lab policy or have special needs, please do not hesitate to let us know and we will try to accommodate you.


The facility is generally open from 8:00 to 5:00 each workday. It is available to all researchers on campus. Use outside of normal hours is allowed for researchers who both feel competent and are judged competent to work alone. We have keys that can be signed out. PLEASE return keys as soon as possible – we have limited number and they are always in high demand. We plan to have a swipe card access system for the facility as soon as the building has one for its external doors.
Faculty Responsibility: A Purdue faculty member must take responsibility for their staff and students who use the facility and the projects done here. This includes financial responsibility for costs incurred. WE have a billing authorization form that we need to be filled in and returned to use by the responsible faculty member.


We have an online scheduling system for all major equipment. The system can be found by following.

We have a cancellation policy built into the system. Generally you can cancel your own reservations within two hours of the start of the session. We understand unforeseen circumstances occur but please try to only reserve time that you know you can properly use and let us know if you have to cancel with at short notice so that we can open up the time for others to use.

Equipment Malfunctions:

Do not attempt to fix any equipment problems, regardless how small or insignificant they may appear. Contact the staff and they will rectify the problem or will contact the appropriate service personnel.. We can only maintain the equipment properly if you, the user, keep us informed of potential problems.


The users provide some supplies. Other routine items are supplied by the facility. Please ask prior to using something. Recharge supplies must be recorded for future billing.


A full or partial service option is available for preparation of samples and imaging. Contact Chris Gilpin (47750 or gilpin@purdue.edu) to discuss your needs and obtain rate information.

a. Prioritization of projects:

All projects are handled on a first come first served basis. Investigators are encouraged to schedule sample submission as far in advance as possible. This is important for staff time management and scheduling. Investigators or their students and staff are encouraged to attend imaging sessions when the service option is chosen.

b. Conflict Resolution:

Or goal is to have no conflicts! However, things happen. The first approach should be to the facility Director. If no satisfactory outcome is achieved we can escalate to the advisory committee, the head of HLA or to the Associate Dean and Director of Ag Research in the College of Agriculture

c. Difficult projects:

The LSMF staff does it’s best to produce usable data from every experiment. However, this cannot be guaranteed to be successful, especially for pilot experiments. Each project involves consumables and technical time as well as instrument use. Investigators can be given cost estimates upon request. They are informed of potential problems prior to the start of the experiment and are expected to pay for all services requested and completed even if data produced is not as anticipated by the investigator.​

There will be no charge for experiments that fail due to errors (see note) by the LSMF staff or equipment malfunction as long as no usable data is collected. If the investigator elects to collect data from experiments that are technically not up to standard than normal charges will apply.​

The investigator may elect to terminate a project prior to completion. However they will be charged for all procedures completed prior to the experiment termination.​

Note: Errors are defined as mistakes in carrying out the planned procedures. Unsuccessful sample preparation based on the unique nature of the samples or sample response to routine preparation methods is not considered an error. Investigators are encouraged to provide methods from the literature as a basis for preparation of new samples so as to minimize potential sample preparation problems.

d. Publication/Acknowledgement Policy

Inclusion of LSMF staff on publications is not assumed when a sample is submitted. Inclusion is not expected for providing routine sample preparation and imaging.

Inclusion as a co-author on a publication is appreciated and may be requested if the investigator requests staff be involved in data interpretation, input in experimental design, and participation in manuscript preparation. Such request for authorship should be made and agreed to by all parties prior to beginning these additional activities. In turn, no staff member should be included as a co-author without their permission and their having the opportunity to review a manuscript prior to submission.

The recovery of expenses through the Core cost recovery system does not exclude the possibility for authorship for core research personnel. Similarly, investigators are expected to pay all charges incurred in the LSMF and this is independent of authorship on resulting publications.

Investigators are requested to acknowledge the LSMF and it’s role in producing data for that manuscript in the acknowledgement section if the data is significant for the research conclusions in the publication. The primary author is also asked to submit a copy of the manuscript for the LSMF files after publication.

The following text should be used when acknowledging the facility.
“Electron microscopy was performed with the help of staff in the Life Science Microscopy Facility” individual staff may also be named.

e. External service

Projects for external clients (not directly associated with Purdue University) are done on a time-available basis but do not preempt internal users for scheduling. However, once scheduled, the external projects will be completed accordingly.

The rate structure for external service is approved through the Purdue University Business Services.

Fees for external projects reflect fully costed salaries with sample preparation and imaging rates that are competitive with those of regional commercial providers. Estimates are provided when requested.

External projects are billed through the Purdue University Central Accounting with the assistance of the Department of Horticulture Business Office. Fees collected are then deposited into the general LSMF account.

A finance and administration charge at the federally negotiated rate is included in all external project billing as required by the university. This amount is deducted from payment and goes directly to the university.

f. Confidentiality:

Confidentiality is required by university policy for all users who are members of the Purdue research community. The University Policies on intellectual Property and on Research Misconduct establish that research and research data at Purdue is to be protected from intentional and unintentional disclosure. Relevant Purdue policies are found at the University Policy Office.

External users of the core, identified as any person or group who are not members of the Purdue staff, are extended similar confidentiality treatment. Confidentiality contracts are executed for external users upon request through the Contracts Group in the Sponsored Programs Office. The LSMF director will provide assistance in establishing such agreements upon request. Additional information.

Reporting problems:

Contact the facility director at the lab (47750) or at home ((469) 231 9099 – text too!) if any equipment or other problems arise in the laboratory. The general lab number is 46666.