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 understanding 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.

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.

Print these rules and sign to indicate your commitment to adhere to them. Download the Clemson Light Imaging Facility Policies and Procedures (PDF).

  • Equipment

    Prior to using any equipment, each individual user must register and be trained by CLIF Management. It is not permissible for facility users to train their colleagues or other individuals. Users who allow untrained colleagues to enter the facility or attend appointments with them will receive a warning. Repeated offenses will result in the revocation of scheduling ability or restricted facility access.

    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

    Starting July 2021, Project Consultations and Equipment Training must be requested via the iLab scheduling software. After an initial consultation with CLIF staff, users may complete the training form located in iLab. This form must be signed and attached to a training request before CLIF Staff will arrange a training. Once a user is trained, unsupervised access is permitted during regular business hours. Accessing the facility during nights and weekends is allowed with staff permission only. Facility management will schedule after-hours appointments for you at your request.

    To properly reserve time on an instrument, the online booking system, iLab, must be used. If conflicts arise, the Management will have the final say on who has priority access to the equipment. iLab equipment reservations can be made up to 2 weeks in advance. Reservations may be canceled by a user up to 5 hours prior to their start time.

    All reservations must be signed in and out at the kiosk in the main CLIF lab. If the equipment is not in use, a reserved session can be started up to 15 minutes before the scheduled time. Alternatively, if there are no active users, trained users can create a Walkup session at the kiosk without a prior reservation. If individuals do not show up within 15 minutes of their reserved time, the session will be flagged as a No-Show and the equipment schedule will reopen for other users.

    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 may be charged for one hour. Continued offenses may 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 iLab 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 iLab 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 iLab 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.

  • Billing

    CLIF has adopted iLab as the billing system of record. Each PI must register and designate an account number for anyone using the facility on their behalf. Users who cannot schedule equipment or make requests in iLab due to “Missing Payment Information” should contact their PI, not CLIF staff. It is the responsibility of the PI to maintain updated information for billing purposes.

    Users may make a request in iLab for special projects that take an extended period (8 hours or more to run). These projects may be available for a flat fee, but users 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 will be billed when CLIF staff members are performing imaging or analysis for an individual unless prior arrangements have been made. For a full rate schedule, view the pricing tabs on the iLab Equipment scheduling page, or at the CLIF website: https://www.clemson.edu/centers-institutes/light-imaging/use-the-facility/fees.html

    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. Data collected by CLIF Staff will be saved and shared utilizing the BOX online storage software. BOX is available to all Clemson users, and is a viable alternative to USB hard drives if necessary.

    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 requires an orientation with CLIF management before unattended access is granted. Prep area orientation requests, as well as requests to purchase laboratory consumables and reagents can be made via the Service Request feature in iLab. The CLIF will also use a sign-out log in the main lab for record of withdrawn consumables.

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

    CLIF users must adhere to Clemson University Environmental Health and Safety PPE guidelines when working in the main preparation area, Cryostat/Freezer room, or Cell-Sorter room.

    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.

    Radiation Safety: Please note that the CLIF has NO APPROVAL for radioactive samples. If your samples fall under the purview of radiation safety, they should NOT be transported to the imaging facility until a protocol is approved by Dr. Bruce and the campus radiation safety officer.

  • 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 http://www.abrf.org/Other/ABRF_Recommended_Guidelines_for_Authorship_on_Manuscripts10-07-11- 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.