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Getting Started

Getting Started 

The Imaging and Microscopy Facility (IMF) is unique on this campus in the scope of its role in teaching and its open-access policy for all users. Each year, many students come through the lab, making it a challenge to keep track of everyone. Therefore, we ask that each of our users go through this three-step process that will help us to set up your account, take care of your safety training requirements and issue you access rights. 

Step 1. IMF Welcome File

We require that everyone working in the IMF read the welcome file and fill out a recharge authorization form found in the back of the file. This form, signed by your supervisor or the account’s manager, provides account information necessary for billing for services rendered. Even if you are not planning to use a recharge-supported instrument such as an electron microscope, we need this information in case you wish to purchase supplies or if your work results in damage that is beyond what is normally considered wear and tear or an innocent accident. 

Step 2. Laboratory Safety

Laboratory safety is not limited to personal injury. It includes the condition of the instrumentation, support equipment and facilities, which are integral to much of the work on this campus. A safe workplace and proper safety training are mandated by the university, by Cal-OSHA and by other organizations and regulatory agencies. The safety policies and procedures in effect in this facility are designed to address these issues. We have created a straightforward safety training and record-keeping procedure that complies with these requirements. This is designed to get each user up to speed in the facility with minimum delay. 
Initial Training: Please pick up a copy of our Initial Safety Training booklet and read it. This packet describes our basic safety policies, hazards present in the facility, emergency procedures and other safety resources. When you have read this, come to the lab for a brief orientation and we will show you where the safety equipment is located, where the chemicals are stored, etc. The IMF manager will go over a document with you and have you sign. The document will be stored it in your file along with the training records we keep for you on the specific instruments and procedures you've learned

Instrument-specific Training: One of the facility’sprimary policies is that each person must receive — at minimum — basic training on each instrument he or she is using. The appendix in the Initial Safety Training booklet lists each instrument we provide training for, along with any prerequisites that apply. Training on the smaller instruments generally takes only 10-15 minutes, and is designed to show you how to operate the instrument properly. This will help you get the best possible results with the least amount of effort. 

Note: Do not operate any equipment in the facility without this instrument-specific training. Records of all such training will be kept in your file. 

Step 3.  Access Rights

You can request access rights that allow you to enter the laboratory 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Access rights are issued in accordance with the university’s key/card-control policy that defines who can be issued a key/card; record keeping requirements; and more.

This facility also has a few additional requirements.  

  • You must be a UC Merced employee, a graduate student or an active undergraduate researcher;
  • You must meet the minimum laboratory and workplace safety-training requirements for the facility;
  • You must be properly trained in on the equipment you plan to use;
  • We must have your recharge authorization on file; and
  • You must not share your access card with anyone.

If the above requirements are met, IMF personnel will request the university update your access card.