Policies and Procedures to Access the Research Infrastructure


Access to the research infrastructure and services of the FEMR is available to all research laboratories at McGill, especially where access will lead to research collaborations, publications and/or grant applications. Access is also available to researchers external to McGill. Please contact  stephen.sears [at] mcgill.ca (S. Kelly Sears) if you are in this group.  

ALL training is performed by FEMR staff. Principal investigators, staff or students must never provide initial training to other users. Users must follow the instructions of FEMR staff at all times. Operating the instruments of the FEMR is a complex procedure and must be practiced regularly. If more than three months elapses between sessions, the user will be made inactive on that instrument and will be denied access. The proficiency of the user will be assessed and refresher training may be necessary. 

Users of the research infrastructure are divided into three levels:

Level 1 are those users that can work without supervision of FEMR staff. These users have completed the training programs and acquired sufficient experience to book the microscope(s) as they wish, i.e. after hours and weekends.

Level 2 are those users that can work without supervision, but only when FEMR staff are available to provide assistance, when necessary.  This is usually corresponds to weekdays between 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Level 3 are those users that can work if they are supervised by FEMR staff. These users will need to book the instrument by contacting staff dedicated to the microscope (Table 1). This ensures staff are available during your session. Users in Level 3 are required to take the training program that will enable their eventual promotion to Levels 2 or 1.

Please note - owing to their operational complexity, the Titan Krios cryo-STEM and Helios Nanolab 660 DualBeam are always operated by FEMR staff and do not have Level 1 and 2 users.

Please click on the Training link to obtain information about the training program and registering for your session. 

Instrument Staff Type of User
FEI Titan Krios Cryo-STEM Kaustuv Basu (Life Sciences) Group 2
FEI Tecani G2 F20 Cryo-STEM Kaustuv Basu (Life Sciences), Jeannie Mui (Life Sciences) and David Liu (Materials & Physical Sciences) Groups 1, 2 and 3
FEI Tecnai G2 Spirit Cryo-TEM Jeannie Mui (Life Sciences)

Groups 1, 2 and 3

FEI Tecnai 12 TEM Jeannie Mui (Life Sciences) and David Liu (Materials & Physical Sciences)

Groups 1, 2 and 3

Philips CM200 TEM David Liu (Materials & Physical Sciences)

Groups 1, 2 and 3

FEI Helios 660 DualBeam Weawkamol Leelapornpisit (Life, Materials & Physical Sciences) Groups 2 and select 1 (rare)
FEI Inspect F50 FE-SEM David Liu (Materials & Physical Sciences)

Groups 1, 2 and 3

FEI Quanta 450 ESEM David Liu (Materials & Physical Sciences)

Groups 1, 2 and 3

FEI CorrSight Digital Fluorescent Microscope Jeannie Mui (Life Sciences)

Groups 1, 2 and 3

Samples/ Hazardous Materials:

No Biosafety Level (BSL) -2, -3, and -4 agents/pathogens or radioactive materials are allowed in the facility at any time.

No food or drink is allowed in the facility at any time.

Sample processing for TEM and SEM is by appointment only. Please contact S. Kelly Sears or FEMR staff before bringing samples to the facility. When prior arrangements have been made, samples should be received in the laboratory on or before Monday or Wednesday mornings to allow time to complete processing. 

All areas within the FEMR are BSL-1. Therefore, all samples must be fixed, and no live samples are allowed. Any hazardous materials (whether biological or chemical) must be pre-approved by the McGill Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), where applicable.

Electron microscopes are very sensitive instruments. Some samples are not suitable to put in the microscopes. Special care should be taken with materials that could be ferrous/magnetic or volatile under the electron beam. It is, therefore, critical to consult with FEMR staff before putting a new type of material into the microscope. 

Repair of damage to instruments by users may be billed to the Principal Investigator.