Access Policies

CCEM Equipment Access Policies for Academic Users


Training is done by the CCEM staff. Before training can be done the student must create an account and provide proof of safety training (WHMIS). Students will be evaluated for proficiency before being allowed independent access to the instruments (see below). Students classified as Advanced or Intermediate users will be given access to an on-line scheduler. Please contact CCEM staff to be added to the list. Do not share your account.

**Proficiency will be established by the instrument custodian in consultation with the facility manager**

User levels:

Advanced – Users are knowledgeable operators of an EM and its peripheral equipment, can perform sample preparation and are able to recognize minor problems. Knowledgeable operators are encouraged to work in the evenings (after 18:00) and weekends, with no time restrictions. They can request an access key-card for the CCEM from the instrument specialist (prior to the reserved session), which must be returned the next working day. Do not share this access key-card.

Intermediate – Users can operate the instruments during regular working hours so that a specialist is available for assistance, whenever needed.

Beginner – Users must have supervision from the instrument specialist at all times (sample preparation and analysis). Thus, sessions on the instrument should be booked through the instrument specialist.


Reserved sessions on instruments must be fully used, charges will be made according to the time reserved. Do not book more time than needed. If an instrument is reserved and not used, others are prevented from having access to the instrument.

Unused reservations

Failure to show up for a session will result in being charged for the total time reserved. A session that is not used within 15 minutes of the start may be given to another user.

Cancelled reservations

A reserved session that is cancelled at least 24 hours in advance of the start of the session will not be charged. Cancellations within 24 hours will carry a one-hour penalty, as other users are prevented from making reservations for the same at time period. Failure to show up for a booked session will result in charges for the total time reserved.

Sample preparation

Users are responsible for preparing their samples before the scheduled session. Please seek advice from the CCEM staff, prior to preparing samples.

Data and images obtained

Users are responsible for their own data. Network drives are solely for the transfer of data not storage. Due to the prevalence of computer viruses, portable storage devices, such as USB keys and portable drives, cannot be used on instrument computers.

Publication and authorship policy

The CCEM provides microscopy services on a fee-for-service basis. Hands-on training of users and instrument maintenance are the responsibility of the CCEM staff. Data interpretation is the responsibility of the user. The CCEM should be acknowledged in publications that include microscopy results. Co-authorship should be considered when the microscopy results are obtained by CCEM staff and require significant scientific or intellectual input by the staff. If you publish work that contains data from the CCEM, whether or not a CCEM staff member is a co-author, please let us know by emailing It is very important for our continued funding that we know of all related publications.

Daytime and after hours rates

Instrument and technical time will be charged at academic or industrial rates, which are specific for each instrument. For inquiries about the rates that will apply to your project contact the facility manager.

Questionable charges

Contact the facility manager, as soon as possible, to discuss any questionable charges. Adjustments must be completed within a reasonable time to comply with policies.

Machine downtime

Service periods will be noted in advance in the booking system, whenever possible. Attempts will also be made to mark unexpected downtimes. A user may request a waiver of the charge if the equipment is faulty, but not marked as down.

Report of equipment problem

Report problems with an instrument to CCEM staff immediately, otherwise you will be charged for your session. If a problem occurs during an after-hours session and a staff member is not present, users must write a legible description of the problem and leave a note to inform the CCEM staff the next day. The facility manager will evaluate if the usage charge should be reviewed as a result of the problem reported.

Equipment Hours

Regular working hours for the TEMs and the SEMs are from 9AM to 5 PM, and for the Light, Confocal and Atomic Force Microscopes are from 9AM to 6PM. Use outside these hours is only permitted for Advanced users.


To request a CCEM account (for bookings, job submission), please follow this link.

Academic Rates

Hourly instrument rates for NSERC funded users can be found here.