Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I need to attend training to use one of your microscopes.  How do I sign up?
    You may contact us to sign up for training.  With few exceptions, training sessions for confocal microscopes are held on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month at 9:30 or 1:30 by appointment only. Training sessions for the Nikon AZ100 and LV-UDM microscopes are held on the 3rd Monday of the month at 9:30 or 1:30 by appoinment only.  Currently, training sessions for other equipment are offered by appointment.  You should expect to stay approximately 2 to 2.5 hours for a training session.
  • What information is required before I attend training?
    In order to use the Clemson Light Imaging Facility, you will need to submit a user registration form.  You will also need to carefully read our rules and regulations, and submit a signature page.  Finally, we will require billing information from your PI.  Because we must have all of these documents on file before you will be assigned a user account, it is helpful to submit these documents prior to your training appointment.  You may bring the original copies to the CLIF or you may send them via email to Rhonda Powell.
  • Once I have an appointment scheduled for training, what should I bring to the session?
    You may find it helpful to bring tools for taking notes.  However, we provide written standard operating procedures for most of our equipment.  Therefore, it is probably more beneficial for you to watch us carefully as we are operating the microscope during training rather than taking extensive notes during the session.  Please do not bring your own specimens to the training session unless you have specifically been asked to do so. 
  • How do I schedule an appointment to use the equipment after I have been trained?
    The CLIF uses the online scheduling system, FACES, to schedule all user appointments.   Once you have attended a training session, and all your documents are on file, you will be added to the system.  You will receive a message from FACES with a temporary password.  Instructions for changing your password can be found here.
  • I forgot my FACES password. Can you reset it for me?
    For your security, CLIF Management does not have your password.  However, we can delete your account and create a new one.  Contact Rhonda Powell for assistance.
  • How do I obtain the door codes to the facility?
    After you attend training, you will receive an email listing the door codes to the front door of the facility and the codes to the rooms which house the equipment on which you’ve been trained.  Per our rules and regulations, you must not share these door codes with anyone, even other members of your lab.
  • May I use the CLIF after normal business hours?
    Yes.  Although we are closed on the first Monday of each month for maintenance, we make every effort to keep the CLIF open at all other times.  You may schedule appointments from 9 am until 6 pm, Monday through Friday, in FACES.  If you would like to make an appointment outside of normal business hours, contact Rhonda Powell.  Please note that while the facility is open, no staff is available to assist you after normal business hours.
  • How do I obtain access to the Life Sciences Facility after normal business hours?
    If you are interested in using the CLIF on nights and weekends, you should indicate this on your user registration form.  You will need to provide us with the digits on the front of your Tiger 1 card.  We will then ask our building manager to grant access to the building and our hallway after hours.  Although access issues have been rare, it may be a good idea to test your card before you need to use the facility.
  • Will someone from the CLIF help me to use the microscopes after I’ve been trained?
    The members of the CLIF management team are not equipment, and therefore, cannot be scheduled as such.  If you anticipate needing extensive help during your imaging appointment, you should contact us before you schedule time on an instrument.  Of course we are happy to answer technical questions if we are available while you are here, but we are often working to assist other CLIF users.  You should always contact us if there is a problem with the equipment.
  • Can you help me decide which microscope I need?
    Yes, first try our microscope flow chart.  If you still need assistance, contact us for an appointment.
  • Can you help me mount my specimen for imaging?
    Yes, first try the helpful videos on our website which demonstrate common specimen mounting techniques.  If you still need assistance, or have an unusual specimen, contact us for an appointment.
  • Can I use the CLIF laboratory preparation area to prepare my specimen?
    Yes.  If you have not used the preparation area before, please see one of the signs posted throughout the facility which provide instructions for handling chemical and biological waste.  You may also contact Rhonda Powell for assistance.  As outlined in our rules and regulations, you must clean up your work area and properly dispose of materials.  We have common laboratory equipment and supplies available, which you may use within reason.  If you require a large amount of lab supplies, please be courteous to other CLIF users and bring your own consumables.
  • Can I use the CLIF laboratory preparation area to grow cells?
    Yes.  A complete set of equipment, including incubators, a cell culture hood, refrigerator, freezer, centrifuge, etc., is available to CLIF users for cell culture.  The CLIF operates as a Biosafety Level 2 facility.  Prior to bringing any live specimens in the CLIF, please contact Rhonda Powell.  Specimens that have not been cleared by CLIF management will be discarded.
  • Is there a separate fee to use the CLIF laboratory preparation area?
    No.  Currently, the lab prep area is free for CLIF users.  However, we reserve the right to ask you to contribute your own consumable supplies.
  • Can you help me choose a stain for my sample?
    Yes.  In fact, you should contact us if you need to determine whether or not a particular fluorophore is compatible with our equipment.  Also, we have a variety of stains available in the facility.  For a materials processing fee of $15, it may be possible to try one of our stains before your lab makes an investment in a particular stain
  • Do you have materials available for immunofluorescence staining procedures?
    Yes.  We stock a rainbow of AlexaFluor secondary antibodies.  Your lab should provide the appropriate primary antibody.  Sample processing can then be carried out in our facility and we can provide a secondary antibody for a fee of $15.
  • What is the appropriate way to acknowledge the CLIF in my publication, poster, presentation, grant, etc.?
    Acknowledgement of the CLIF benefits everyone involved!  Acknowledgements demonstrate the utility of our equipment and our facility, which allows us to acquire funding for more advanced equipment!  Additionally, since the equipment in the CLIF does not actually belong to you and/or your PI, it is only appropriate to acknowledge this.  Therefore, ANY USER of the CLIF should acknowledge the use of the facility in all professional communication.  See our complete acknowledgements and authorship policy.
  • How can I determine which type of acknowledgement is appropriate?
    Members of CLIF management are trained scientists, and any intellectual contribution should be credited appropriately through personal acknowledgement and/or authorship, when appropriate.  Guidelines are outlined in our acknowledgements and authorship policy, but you can ask yourself these types of questions as well:
  • How do I know when to make a personal acknowledgement?
    If you answered yes to questions such as these, then please consider a personal acknowledgement: Did someone from the CLIF Management go beyond a routine training session to assist you with using the equipment?  Did they stand beside you and teach you how to mount your specimen?  Did they often help you focus on your specimen or remind you how to optimize camera settings, etc.?
  • How do I know when a discussion of authorship is warranted?
    If you answered yes to any of these questions then a discusison of authorship is warranted: Did a member of the CLIF Management do a literature search to identify techniques required to best image your specimen?  Did you have to ask for this type of assistance because you were unable to answer this question yourself?  Did you ask a member of CLIF Management for assistance with data interpretation?  Was your use of the equipment non-standard, and did it require CLIF Management to learn a new imaging technique?  Did a member of CLIF Management collect images for you?
  • Can you provide me with a sample acknowledgment statement?

If your question was not answered here, please contact us.  Note that the answers to many procedural questions can be found in our rules and regulations document.