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Policies and Procedures

CEMAS has established policies and procedures to keep all users and visitors safe, as well as maintain a productive research environment. All users must review and agree to follow these policies and procedures to utilize the facility. 

Equity and Inclusion

  • A core value of CEMAS is being broadly equitable and inclusive. CEMAS is dedicated to creating a welcoming environment for all. To achieve this, we will apply Ohio State's Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity & Non-Discrimination/Harassment Policy.
  • CEMAS will follow all reporting allegations of discrimination and harassment, confidentiality and privacy, supportive measures, and investigation and resolution options, remedies, and corrective actions/sanctions as set forth by Ohio State's Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity & Non-Discrimination/Harassment Policy.

Acknowledging CEMAS

  • We ask for published data to include an acknowledgement to CEMAS such as: “Electron microscopy was performed at the Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis (CEMAS) at The Ohio State University.

Facility Use and Access

  • "Daytime access" is from 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, expect for University holidays.
  • "Anytime access" is available to those who have obtained approval by the appropriate Instrument Manager.
  • If you do not have a key fob for facility access, sign in at the front desk.
  • If you do have a key fob for facility access, you are not permitted to allow access for others in the facility without prior authorization. Speak with Sarah or your instrument manager for authorization. 
  • Please help us maintain a clean and efficient environment -- food and drinks without lids are not permitted in the instrument rooms. Users must not prop or leave doors open for any reason.
  • Users are discouraged from working alone. All users must follow Ohio State's Working Alone Safety Program when applicable.
  • Please be aware that you are authorized to park your vehicle at CEMAS (which is Science and Technology Campus Corporation (SciTech) property) only if you are working in the CEMAS facility. 

    If you are principally conducting your research in an OSU-owned facility on West Campus then you should park in a CampusParc operated facility.  Colliers monitors the SciTech parking lot and penalty notices are posted prominently.  

Safety Training

  • Safety training is mandatory and should be completed prior to using CEMAS facilities, even for personnel who do not work in a laboratory or handle hazardous materials.
  • Visit EHS's Online Training site and log in with your Ohio State credentials to access the online safety programs.
  • Users will also be required to participate in a brief in-person general safety training. Schedule with Sarah
  • For more information about requirements and our commitment to safety, please click here.

Sample Preparation

  • All users are expected to follow basic laboratory safety procedures.
  • No food or drink at all is permitted in the sample preparation labs.
  • All solvents are to be kept and used in the hood.
  • Waste solvents are to be placed in the solvent waste container in the prep room. Do not put electrolytes or acid containing material in this can.
  • All samples must be properly prepared to maintain the integrity of the instruments.
  • Samples to be examined in electron microscopes must be completely cleaned and thereafter handled only while wearing gloves. They must be stable in the high vacuum of a microscope sample chamber.
  • Volatile samples can only be examined after consultation with the equipment managers when a protocol for doing so has been established.

Sample Shipment

  • Samples may be shipped to CEMAS. Please understand that CEMAS does not accept liability for samples during shipment. If you would like your samples returned, please include a shipping return label in your incoming shipment. Please include the CEMAS Sample Shipping Form with your sample shipment.

Equipment Training

  • Training is required before users can use the equipment at CEMAS and must be requested using the Facility Online Manager (FOM). Training is subject to usage and labor rates.
  • Users may only operate the equipment and the capabilities that come with it when qualified by a CEMAS staff member.

Equipment Scheduling

  • Equipment reservations are booked using the Facility Online Manager (FOM). Users must reserve instrument time on the FOM scheduler prior to using the instrument.
  • "Daytime access": Monday-Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm, except for University holidays
  • "Anytime access": Any day and time, including University holidays
  • Users may only use the instrument during their permitted time. 
  • Users may only reserve time for themselves; booking on behalf of other users is not permitted.
  • Users may not use another user's session. If a user cannot make their session, they must cancel and allow the other user to reserve a session under their name.
  • FOM automatically logs users in at the start of the reservation time.
  • Users must log off their reservation on FOM when their usage is complete. A forget log off fee will be charged if a user fails to log off.
  • Should you determine that time beyond your reservation is needed, you are required to extend your reservation in FOM.
  • Please do not reserve time more than needed. This prevents other users from using the equipment. 

Equipment Use

  • All equipment use must be reserved and reflected using FOM.
  • All users must have funding available to cover the fees for use of CEMAS equipment.
  • Training from an instrument manager is required in order to be qualified to use the instrument(s).
  • Equipment damages resulting from user negligence may be the responsibility of the user’s organization. Examples of such negligence include, but are not limited to, mishandling or physically damaging equipment, moving or re-configuring equipment, spilling liquids or other substances, using equipment for any purpose other than that for which it was designed, etc.
  • If it is determined that damages resulted from negligence, the user responsible for the damage will receive notice from CEMAS. Repair costs resulting from negligence, or costs associated with equipment theft, loss, and/or misuse may be charged to the user’s organization.

Equipment Problems

  • Please never attempt to repair equipment yourself. Always contact an Instrument Manager.
  • A CEMAS staff member must be notified immediately if equipment is lost or damaged.
  • If you experience a problem during your experiment, please log out of FOM and select 'Something wrong' with a comment. Instrument Managers will receive an email notice and fix the problem as soon as possible.
  • You may request to have the charges waived if the equipment is faulty but not marked 'Down'. Please contact immediately to resolve.
  • You will not be charged if the equipment is marked as 'Down'.


  • All users must have funding available to cover CEMAS equipment fees. View our rates to determine a budget for fees.
  • It is strongly recommended that users review their usage report prior to the end of billing close to ensure usage and related fees are accurate. 
  • FOM will automatically log you in at the start of your reservation, however it is the user's responsibility to log off at the end of the reservation. Charges will be assessed from log in until log off.

  • For billing adjustments, questions, or issues, please contact us at Billing closes on the last day of the month -- requests for billing adjustments must be done prior to this date.

Cancellation Policy

  • The cancellation policy exists to increase the availability of CEMAS equipment and minimize no-shows.
  • Users have until the following hours before the start of the reservation to cancel without a fee:   
    • Apreo I, Apreo II, Helios, Nova, Quattro, Tecnai 20, Tecnai 30, Titan, Miniflex, Smart Lab, HeliScan: 12 hours before the start of the reservation.
    • Glacios and Krios: 48 hours before the start of the reservation.
  • If a reservation is canceled within the period listed above, a cancellation fee will be charged.
  • Failing to cancel a reservation will result in a no-show fee.
  • Cancellation fees may be adjusted due to unforeseen circumstances, such as illness. Please contact if this situation occurs.

Tools and Supplies

  • Tools for manipulating samples, sample holders and gloves are provided in each instrument room. They may not be transferred to another instrument without permission from an Instrument Manager.
  • Please leave them in a tidy and orderly fashion for the next user.


  • No software is to be run or installed without proper approval.
  • Software that may be run on instrument computers is limited to that which is the user interface (instrument control) and supplemental software such as is used for x-ray analysis and orientation imaging.
  • Browser use is limited to access of the FOM website for reserving and logging out of sessions.
  • Flash drives (memory sticks) are not to be used with instrument computers.
  • Computers in microscope rooms are for exclusive and sole purpose of microscopy – no web browsing, email access or other use permitted.

Data Storage and Retrieval 

  • The CEMAS instrument file server is intended for short-term storage only. CEMAS is not responsible for maintenance or retention of research data. It is expected that users will retrieve their data immediately following their instrument session. Data will be erased from the file server on a routine basis to ensure ample storage capacity for all users.
  • Data is to be stored on the CEMAS file server and accessed remotely.
  • Acquired images and data must be transferred to the central CEMAS file server. Instrument PCs are for temporary image storage and files left on them will be deleted periodically without warning.
  • Images should be stored in an uncompressed format. (e.g. “.TIF” and not “.JPG”)
  • All CEMAS instrument users may retrieve their instrument data by visiting the website This site provides a user-friendly web-interface for accessing and downloading instrument data and is accessible from any modern web-browser both inside and outside of CEMAS.


  • Digital Imaging Ethics: Images are data and must be treated carefully.  It is expected that all CEMAS users will abide by ethical guidelines in the handling of images and other data. 
  • Manipulation of images should always be done on a copy of the unprocessed image data file.
  • If you have any questions on dealing with an image, ask a CEMAS instrument manager. 
  • Images must be saved in a lossless format (NOT .JPG). Use .TIF, .DM3, or TIA formats, preferably as 16-bit images.
  • As long as intensities are not critical, adjusting the displayed image with brightness, contrast, and gamma is acceptable without annotation. All other image processing steps should be documented.

Cyro-Electron Microscopy (Cryo-EM)


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