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Policies and Procedures

Please be sure to read the following Policies and Procedures as set forth by the Clemson Light Imaging Facility. You will be asked to agree to adhere to all of the rules and regulations for proper use of the facility with the understand that failure to comply with these rules and regulations may result in additional fee assessments or revocation of facility access and privileges by the facility manager.

Rules and Policies for Use of the Clemson Light Imaging Facility 

All rules and regulations must be followed for continued unsupervised access to the CLIF. Each user and PI/Responsible Party must sign and date these rules and regulations before using the facility.  


Prior to using any equipment, each user must be trained by CLIF Management. It is not permissible for facility users to train other individuals.  

No food or drink is permitted in wet lab areas or around equipment.  

Users should not change the configuration of any hardware components without the prior consent of the facility management. CLIF Management and/or their appointed and properly trained designee are the ONLY personnel authorized to make such changes. There are absolutely NO exceptions to this rule.  

The CLIF is a central facility, which is accessed by a large population of researchers. It is essential that all users are courteous to others and clean up after themselves. Trash cans and broken glass containers are provided within the facility. Unattended specimens will be disposed of on a daily basis. Continued abuse of the facilities or conflict with other users will result in restricted access to the equipment.  

User Scheduling:  

Once a user is trained, unsupervised access is permitted during nights and weekends. Facility management will schedule these appointments for you at your request.  

To properly reserve time on an instrument, the online booking system, FACES, must be used. If conflicts arise, the Management will have the final say on who has priority access to the equipment.  

If individuals do not show up within 20 minutes of their reserved time, others will be allowed to use the equipment.  

Individuals that repeatedly reserve time on the equipment and do not show up for their reserved time will be billed for instrument time. Individuals will be given a warning for a first time offense. After the initial warning, the user will be charged for one hour. Continued offenses will be billed for half the time for which the individual reserved the equipment.  

If a user has questions regarding their imaging session, they should contact CLIF Management in advance to schedule an appointment. The FACES scheduling system is used to schedule equipment, not assistance.  

Facility Schedule and Equipment Availability:  

Regularly scheduled closings- 
The facility is CLOSED on the first Monday of the month for maintenance. The facility is CLOSED on Clemson University holidays.  

Unscheduled facility closings:  

We make every effort to provide access to the facility at all times except for scheduled closings listed above.  

However, sensitive equipment cannot be operated when power may be cycling on/off in an uncontrolled manner. Therefore, during campus-wide power outages, the facility may be closed. During ice storms or severe thunderstorms, the facility may be closed. Active users of the facility will be notified of these closures via the FACES scheduling system and our Facebook page.  

Equipment maintenance and failures:  

Individual equipment may be offline for regularly scheduled service by the manufacturer. In this case, we will make every effort to provide notice to facility users at least 2 weeks in advance. Users will be notified via the FACES scheduling system and our Facebook page.  

Equipment is maintained on a monthly basis by CLIF staff and on an annual basis by manufacturer service contracts. This maintenance schedule results in minimal interruption of service. However, there are situations beyond the control of CLIF management that may result in equipment failures. Computer crashes, mechanical failures, etc. of microscope systems are similar to a dead battery or flat tire on an individual vehicle.  

In these situations, CLIF management will make every effort to notify users of the situation in a timely manner, and will work to repair or provide replacement equipment as quickly as possible.  

We cannot be held responsible for incidental costs that a laboratory may incur due to equipment failures.  


An up-to-date billing approval letter must be provided for every facility user by the user’s PI. The accounts of users without letters or letters with out-of-date billing information will be suspended. It is the responsibility of the user to maintain updated information for billing purposes.  

All logbooks pertaining to use of equipment and/or consumable supplies must be filled out with the requested information.  

A flat fee will be available for special projects that take an extended period (8 hours or more to run). These projects will require prior approval from the CLIF Management before the flat fee can be applied. Unless there is a demonstrated need, all extended time projects will be scheduled for evenings (beginning after 3 pm and ending before 9:30 am, and/or weekends.)  

Technician time of $30.00 per hour will be billed when CLIF staff members are performing imaging or analysis for an individual unless prior arrangements have been made.  

The CLIF is pleased to provide microscope demonstrations for classes if arrangements are made in advance. Beam time will be charged to the class budget account; please include microscope time in your laboratory budget.  

Data Storage:  

Each user is responsible for backing up his or her image data. Each month, files more than 30 days old are deleted from CLIF computers.  

We recommend that ALL images be saved in the native file format in addition to .TIF format. The native file format typically contains all the metadata for an imaging session, including objectives, exposure times, laser settings, etc. and is required for image processing and analysis. An archived copy (CD/DVD, portable hard drive (not thumb drive), or cloud storage) should be provided to your PI.  

Preparation Area:  

The sample preparation area may be used for routine slide preparation, or may be used for more extensive staining procedures and/or specimen and cell line incubation. Use of the preparation area for extensive procedures requires a meeting with CLIF management and an additional materials fee.  

Use of the equipment housed in the sample preparation area requires authorization and training.  

Each user is responsible for cleaning up after himself or herself.  

Chemical Safety: Standard laboratory practices apply while using the preparation area of the CLIF. Users should wear appropriate personal protective equipment. If you wish to bring specialty chemicals with you to use in the preparation area, please notify CLIF management in advance. A notebook with material safety data sheets for in-house chemicals is provided for CLIF users. This notebook is located on the entry table near Room G031 (Nikon Suite).  

The chemical fume hood should be used as needed, but it should not be used for storage of chemicals and/or waste. Please see a member of CLIF Management for guidelines concerning chemical waste disposal.  

Biological Safety and Biohazard- The preparation area of the CLIF will operate as a Biosafety Level 2 facility. Users who wish to bring live specimens for processing in the preparation area should bring a copy of the IRB protocol for their laboratory. This can be obtained from the user’s PI. These protocols will be available to all CLIF users.  

Please consult with CLIF management about the proper procedures for handling biohazard.  

Acknowledgements and Authorship Policy:  

Members of CLIF management are professional scientists, and our intellectual contribution must be appropriately recognized. Additionally, payment for use of the facility does not preclude acknowledgement and/or authorship. User fees support the maintenance of equipment, are paid to Clemson Light Imaging Facility, and are not considered payments for intellectual contributions.  

The following acknowledgement/authorship guidelines are supported by the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities, and for more information about this policy, see 1.pdf.  

Category 1: Acknowledgement of CLIF Only (user works independently after training)  

Category 2: Acknowledgement of CLIF AND Manager/Assistant Manager/Intern (user works with substantial assistance)  

Category 3: Authorship (CLIF Manager/Assistant Manager/Intern assists with experimental planning, performs significant sample preparation, or performs imaging)  

If the work you perform in the CLIF falls into Categories 2 or 3, you will be required to submit a project description, which will be signed by you, the project PI, and CLIF Management. We are also happy to schedule an in-person meeting if needed. No work which falls within the description of Categories 2 or 3 will be performed until this form is submitted.  

All CLIF users should provide us with information about presentations (oral and poster), grants, publications, theses/dissertations, etc. in which the facility is acknowledged. This description could include title, authors, meeting location and date; a title and funding agency; a paper copy; or an electronic copy. Such information is important to us as we are responsible for demonstrating the utility of the facility to Clemson University and to funding agencies.

Print these rules and sign to indicate your commitment to adhere to them (Download the PDF)