Policies and guidelines

There are a number of policies governing the use of the Advanced Microscopy Facility. Please click the headers below to review them.

User access

  • Anyone may apply to use the facility; refer to the new user instructions.
  • Approval of an application will either require a valid grant account number and the signature of the principal investigator or an agreement with the principal investigator off campus.
  • Applications will be reviewed for feasibility, and if required an estimate of the costs involved in carrying out the project will be provided to the applicant by the AMF staff.

Booking and logging

Booking and logging for both instrument time and consumables (grids, stubs, etc.) is tracked exclusively through the online booking system at https://fom.uvic.ca/.

  • Self-serve users use the online booking system to reserve instrument time after successfully completing a training workshop, which can be applied for by contacting the manager, filling out the online form.
  • Consumables used during a session or purchased for sample preparation are recorded through the same booking system.
  • Users who wish to hire our staff to do the work for them will contact the laboratory manager.
  • Equipment left unattended but still in use must have a note attached designating the user and duration of use.
  • Users who do not use their scheduled time and do not delete their session will be charged for the entire session.
  • In an attempt to streamline the billing process, we are no longer using paper log books to track changes to your online bookings. All bookings must be done using the online system. This includes deleting, extending, and shortening sessions. It is important to ensure that online bookings are updated when a session's duration is changed.
  • In order to be considered qualified and operate the instrument, all electron microscope and major equipment users will be required to demonstrate competency. This can be achieved through our workshops.
  • Training workshops will be given generally once a month, for up to six individuals per instrument.
  • Investigators who have qualified on instruments elsewhere must be instructed in the use of the current equipment prior to check-out. If further training is required to demonstrate competency, scheduled sessions will be available.
  • Individual operators must be able to assess the working condition of an instrument, and will be held responsible for informing the AMF staff if an instrument is not performing properly.

The facility is open from 9:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday. The facility is closed on weekends and statutory holidays. After hours access can be provided upon request to users with appropriate experience.

  • Keys to the AMF will be dispensed to qualified individuals only.
  • Each key holder must fill out the sign-out sheet in the office.
  • Each key holder will be required to inform AMF staff of after hours use.
  • Samples that may be characterized as potentially dangerous to the users or staff of the AMF may not be brought into the AMF unless they are rendered harmless and the procedures for rendering them harmless have been approved by the Institutional Biosafety Committee, Research Involving Infectious Agents Committee and/or the Radiological Safety Board.
  • The evidence of approval must be on file in the office of the AMF. This policy affects, but is not limited to, bacterial, viral, carcinogenic and radioactive samples.
  • Fixing the samples before bringing them into the AMF is not sufficient; the full procedure and precautions for preparing the sample for microscopy must be approved after complete discussions with the AMF manager.
  • All materials (hazardous or not) stored in the refrigerator, desiccators, or in the preparation lab must be clearly marked with the individual's name and date.

The user must send copies or references to all publications, presentations, acknowledgments, etc. to the Advanced Microscopy Facility for results or work obtained herein. This is to provide accreditation for the facility. Please download the agreement form, print and sign it, and submit it to the laboratory prior to using the facility. Please add the line "This work made use of the Advanced Microscopy facility at the University of Victoria" in the acknowledgment section of your work.

It should be noted that service work is not considered work for hire and that any intellectual property thus generated is jointly owned by the instrument operator. This should be taken into account when considering co-authorship in scientific papers.

All images and data shown in this website are owned by the respective author(s) and cannot be further used without their explicit permission.

Pictures of people on this website were taken with their consent or in publicly accessible locations. Consent can be revoked at any time by . The corresponding images will be edited accordingly.

New Equipment

The Advanced Microscopy Facility is willing to house and maintain new instrumentations that complements or enhances our capabilities. When principal investigators acquire new equipment they are welcome to discuss with us about the possibility of locating it here. In exchange for our staff maintaining the tool, training its users and supervising its operation, we will make it available to all AMF users. Priority access and special rates for the PIs and their students can be negotiated as well.

Food and Beverages

  • No food or beverages may be taken into the instrument or sample preparation rooms of the AMF.
  • This policy is necessary to reduce the possibility of instrumentation failure and downtime due to accidents with food or beverage spillage.


Radios and mp3 players may be used with earphones so that others using the AMF are not disturbed. We recommend that the volume is adjusted to a level that allows the user to hear the fire alarm.

Data storage

  • The AMF is not responsible for any data backup or data loss due to instrumentation/software failure.
  • Any data sets left on the computers older than three weeks, will be subject to deletion without warning.
  • Users must backup their own data on their own computer via a USB external hard drive/memory stick, or by burning to a CD/DVD.
  • Before a USB external hard drive/memory stick is plugged into an instrument PC, it has to be scanned for viruses at the PC station in A015.