Facility access policy

Eligibility - All KCL staff are eligible to use the NIC@King’s. Users external to KCL may be allowed to use the facility at the discretion of the NIC@King’s steering committee.

Training - All users must be trained by a NIC@King’s staff member prior to any unsupervised equipment use. For first training session, users must bring their own samples. This will help with the customisation of the imaging parameters.
A second training session, booked through NIC@King's staff, must be completed. During this session the microscope will be operated by the user under the supervision of a member of NIC@King's staff. Following this, once the NIC@King’s staff member is satisfied that a user can work responsibly without supervision, system access rights will be granted.

System Access Rights – Access to the booking schedule for a specific system will be given to the user by NIC@King’s staff when they have been trained and deemed fit to work unsupervised.

Out-of-hours Access – Access to equipment out of office hours (9am-5pm) will be given to users deemed fit to work unsupervised at the discretion of NIC@King’s staff. Those users operating microscopes during out-of-hours periods will be completely unsupported during this time and must be completely comfortable with all aspects of operating the equipment alone. Facility staff cannot be held responsible for incomplete imaging sessions that arise as a result of user error (due to the current or any prior users) or equipment failure (including computer equipment) during out-of-hours periods.

Data Management – Users can store data for 1 month on the NIC@King’s network storage before it is deleted. It is the responsibility of the user to back-up any data they generate on the equipment within the NIC@King’s. Data stored on the acquisition computers will only be kept on the system for 1 week before it is deleted. This is without exception - the use of “do not delete” in folder or file names will be ignored. See the document named "network storage access" within the booking system, or contact one of the NIC@King’s Staff for instructions on how to access the temporary network storage space. No USB and portable hard-drive devices should be used on the acquisition computers. To retrieve data, please copy it to the temporary network storage folders, then download the files using either the NIC image analysis Computers or other computers connected to the KCL network.

Cancellation Policy – Users can cancel a session up to 24hrs before the start of the booking without penalty. Sessions cancelled within 24hrs of the booking will be charged at 50% of the price of the booking. If another user books the vacated time slot, the 50% charge is waived. If users are more than 30mins late for a booking, they must contact NIC@King’s staff. Time that is booked but not used due to failure to cancel or failure to show up will be charged the normal hourly rate. Time that is unused during a session will be charged at the normal hourly rate. Users can potentially reduce this charge by making the time available to other users. This is done by logging into the booking system and cancelling the remaining time. If the time remains unused the original charge will be unchanged. Repeated lateness or failure to show up for bookings may result in the user losing access privileges to the NIC@King’s.

Booking Limits – There is a 3hr booking limit per system per day between the hours of 9am-5pm for bookings made in advance. If there is more time available on the day of the booking the user can book further time. Bookings can be made up to 3 weeks in advance.

Other Facility Rules –
Users are prohibited from training other users. Only NIC@King’s facility staff are authorised to provide training to users.

Users must not provide anyone else with access to the NIC@King’s without consent of the NIC@King's facility staff.

Microscope systems must be left in a clean and tidy state. If you find any system that has been left untidy or misused, please report it immediately to the NIC@King’s manager or deputy manager.

Absolutely no food or drinks are to be taken into or consumed in the microscope rooms.

Samples that have been brought to the facility for imaging must be taken away at the end of the imaging session.

Users should check and clean oil immersion objectives before use with lens tissue and lens cleaner provided. Oil must be used sparingly and cleaned thoroughly from oil immersion objectives after use.

Oil should not be used with dry objectives and any oil should be cleaned from sample holders (slides/dishes/plates etc.) before the use of dry objectives.

Users should check dry objectives for oil contamination before starting their imaging session and should report any contamination immediately to a member of NIC@King’s staff.

If you notice any damage to the lenses, please report this to the Nikon Imaging Centre manager immediately or you may liable for any damage caused.

Users violating any of the above facility rules may lose their NIC@King’s access rights.

Acknowledgement Policy - Equipment in the NIC@King’s is generously donated by our corporate partners and contributors. Therefore, any papers incorporating data acquired or analysed in the NIC@King’s must acknowledge the use of the NIC@King’s. Please include a statement in the acknowledgements section, such as “We thank the Nikon Imaging Centre at Kings College London for help with light microscopy”.

We share any publications that use our equipment with the companies that support the NIC@King’s. This allows us to demonstrate to the companies that have supplied the equipment that the NIC@King’s is producing useful scientific results and helps us justify their continued support. When you publish a paper incorporating data acquired at the NIC@King’s, please send either a reprint of the paper or the complete citation of the paper to James Levitt.