MuSIF Politique

Booking and Usage Policy of the Equipment of the Multi-Scale Imaging Facility

Training, Access, Booking and Usage

Before you reserve or use an instrument

Before you schedule a Training Session, please read the Rules and policies governing the use of the Multi-Scale Imaging Facility. Note that in the particular case of the CT Scanner, the Facility Manager will coordinate training, access, and booking with the Responsible Academic for the CT Scanner and the assigned technician.

A training session is mandatory for each user before being allowed to operate any equipment. Only once the Manager approves a given user for independent operation can the User proceed without assistance. The number of required training sessions may vary depending on instrument and user. Please fill out the Online Training Form to schedule a training session.

No training on a third-person basis is allowed.

After approval of the Training Session by the Supervisor, a Facility staff will contact the user to book a 30 min consultation session to review their training request and needs. At the end of the consultation a training time will be scheduled. User should come prepared for this session by answering all the questions on the Training Request Form and providing the appropriate literature when applicable.

Initial training sessions usually last 1 to 4 hours. User will NOT be charged for the technical time required for this session.

It is mandatory that you bring samples similar or identical to those being used for your project to address specific sample issues during the training session.

Access to the Facility

Following the training, you will only be granted access to the systems you have been trained on, and only provided you have proved able to work independently on the system.

Under no circumstances are you allowed to access and use the instruments without prior reservation or without notifying the Facility staff. You are responsible for the instruments during your presence in the lab.

As a confirmed User, you retain access to the booking system and the instruments as long as:

  1. You have not been banned from using the instrument or from the Facility.
  2. Your Supervisor did not revoke in writing your permission to work in the Facility.
  3. You are working with a Supervisor who has an account with the Facility (any change in supervisor or account must be communicated immediately).
  4. Your (or your Supervisor’s) account is not overdue – See billing policy for more details.

Supervisor/PI account

A Supervisor or PI account is an account opened for a Supervisor so that they can track the usage of the Facility by their lab members, review and approve projects, see, confirm or dispute pending bills and receive updates from the Facility.

A Supervisor does not need to be trained on an instrument to have an account.

A virtually unlimited number of lab members and projects can be tied to the supervisor account with as many payment methods as needed.

A Supervisor can ban or restrict the access of one of their lab members to the Facility by providing a written notice/email to the Facility Manager.

The Supervisor has the responsibility of keeping the information of their user profile account up-to-date. The Facility will not assume any liability resulting from erroneous or outdated information.


BSL1 samples can be used without prior written authorisation.

BSL2 samples need to be approved by the Facility Manager before they can be introduced into the Facility.

Certain BSL3 samples are ONLY allowed in specific areas. Before using BSL3 samples, you must musif-ecp3 [at] (subject: BSL3%20samples) (contact) the Facility Manager.

Animal and human derived samples should be approved by an ethics committee following McGill regulation policy. It is your responsibility to obtain the required approval. 

Booking and cancellation policy

  1. Booking is required at all times before using any instrument, even if the instrument is not reserved or used during this period. Anyone using an instrument without prior reservation will be denied access to the Facility.
  2. Under no circumstances may you book time on a system for others.
  3. Place and manage your reservations online (McGill Core Services reservation system).
  4. A delayed arrival of > 30 min can result in the cancellation of your reservation. You will still be charged for the full-time reservation period.
  5. A reservation can be cancelled up to 2 hours before the scheduled start time. Any cancellation within the hour before the scheduled start time will incur reservation fees equivalent to the full-time reservation.
  6. You need extra time?
    1. Log into your account.
    2. Make sure that no one has reserved the instrument for the desired additional timeslot.
    3. Book the instrument for the desired extended duration.
  7. You are giving your timeslot away to another registered User at the last minute? Notify the Facility Manager by email and the person replacing you will be charged for the reserved timeslot.  

Using an instrument with granted access

  1. Fill in the log book every single time you use the instrument.
  2. You notice anything abnormal or broken, samples or material lying around, dirt around the instrument? Immediately musif-ecp3 [at] (subject: Equipment%20problem) (notify) a Facility staff member.
  3. Refer to the simplified (Startup user manuals) and detailed user manuals that you will find near each instrument and on the Facility website.
  4. If you are unsure about anything, musif-ecp3 [at] (contact) a Facility staff.
  5. Follow the safety instructions for each device.
  6. You are responsible for the instrument you operate and for the safety of the people around you then. Operate the device within the limits for which it was designed.
  7. Do not try to resolve problems related to the instrument by yourself if you were not appropriately trained for that.
  8. You must never use gloved hands or wear lab coats to manipulate any microscope in the BSL1 area.

After using an instrument

  1. Clean your workspace and leave the instrument in the condition you would like to find it.
  2. Do not forget to take out your samples and material with you. Any material or sample that does not belong to the Facility will be disposed. If you need a temporary storage space, please musif-ecp3 [at] (subject: Space%20required) (contact) the Facility Manager.
  3. Fill in the log book.
  4. Backup your data regularly. Hard disks are not infallible and will be cleaned regularly. The Facility assumes no responsibility whatsoever for any loss of data.

Other measures

New measures defining the access to the MuSIF can be implemented at any time. The users and their supervisors will be notified by email. This includes but is not limited to the COVID-19 mitigating measures (see COVID Measures).


For the most part, there will be no project prioritisation. The timeslot on the instruments will be attributed on a first-come first served basis, following the booking and cancellation policy.

In case an instrument becomes heavily used, priority will be given to internal academic projects. Time-slot restrictions might be applied to each project depending on the nature and requirements of the individual projects. Restrictions and prioritisation will be decided, on a case by case, by the Facility Manager.


  1. Under no condition may the equipment or the data acquired within the Facility be used for personal goals or any objective other than the ones related to the approved scientific project.
  2. Under no condition may the equipment or the acquired data within the Facility be used in malicious or misleading ways, intentionally or not. This applies both to scientific and non-scientific publications.
  3. Animal and human derived samples should be approved by an ethics committee following McGill regulation policy. It is the users’ responsibility to obtain the required approval prior to their use within the Facility.
  4. Users should abide by McGill Ethics and Compliance and the Research and Integrity policies.
  5. Users should always clean their workspace and leave the instrument in the condition they would like to find it.


You are permitted to use the data acquired with any instrument of the Facility as you see fit, as long as you follow the Ethics policy guidelines.

When using data collected with an instrument of the Multi-Scale Imaging Facility, make sure to cite the McGill Multi-Scale Imaging Facility in your publication (paper, poster, PowerPoint presentation, website, social media, etc.). Here is an example of citation: Data and/or image acquisition was performed at the McGill University Multi-Scale Imaging Facility, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec, Canada.

For the purpose of reporting to the funding agencies, it is crucial that we hear how you used and published your data. This will help us secure future grants and funding opportunities to keep the Facility up-to-date. Therefore, please send us a copy or a link to your publication or presentation.

In addition, when writing grants, you will be able to show that you have access to a Facility that has the required infrastructure and technical expertise to help you address your scientific questions.

Recognition and authorship

Please consider acknowledging the work of the Facility staff or adding them as co-authors on publications when they have performed experiments for you or contributed sufficiently in your project.

Facility staff who participate substantially in work for experiments, manuscripts or other publication projects, should be publicly and formally recognized. Recognition will be allocated according to the following, widely applied “fair use” principles:

  1. Fast routine sample preparation, basic training of users to acquire images themselves, recommendation of analysis software and tools, and basic data analysis help and advice should be acknowledged in an Acknowledgements section in all reports and publications.
  2. Development of new sample preparation protocol, optimization of existing protocols, operational image acquisition with input and decisions dependent on expertise, design or re-design of experimental conditions, custom data analysis interpretation, help with writing sections of text in reports or publications (beyond normal proofing and editing) would typically require co-authorship.


Billing FAQ's

Why do we need to bill?

Because the instruments of the Multi-Scale Imaging Facility do not have the benefit of maintenance contracts and since the University does not finance the renewal of these contracts, we need to charge for the usage of the instruments to be able to ensure maintenance and renewal of our equipment.

When will the PI be billed?

Principal Investigators will be billed once every month for the total duration of use of the instruments of the facility and for the time required for technical assistance by all of their lab members.

Is there a maximum billable amount?

As per McGill and Tri-Agency regulations, we are not allowed to provide a fixed billable amount independently of the number of hours during which the instruments were used. This policy might be reviewed, depending on the nature of project and the instruments you are using. Please musif-ecp3 [at] (subject: Billing%20question) (contact) the Facility Manager for more details.

What is included in the price?

  • Prices are in $CDN for every hour of use, before taxes when applicable
  • Normal use and normal instrument wear
  • Mandatory trainings
  • Initial project consultation sessions
  • Subsequent technical assistance when applicable

What is NOT included in the price?

  • Any repair resulting from mishandling (intentional or not) to an instrument will be charged to the responsible PI.
  • Consumables (unless stated otherwise). If you require help with sample preparation prior to use of instrument, please musif-ecp3 [at] (subject: Quote%20for%20sample%20preparation) (contact )the Facility Manager for an estimate of the material cost and/or time required for sample preparation.

What happens if the equipment is not working properly?

Users will NOT be billed for the remaining reserved time if the equipment starts to malfunction (please musif-ecp3 [at] (subject: Equipment%20problem) (contact )the Facility Manager immediately should this happen).

What happens if the account is overdue?

If an account is past overdue, with no clear written explanation, the access to the Facility by the users tied to the account can be suspended. It is up to the Responsible Academic or Manager to decide on the course of action to take, depending on the circumstances (funds waiting to be allocated or transferred, administrative delays, etc.).

Do we provide help and maintenance on instruments that are not part of the Facility?

Yes, we do. Please musif-ecp3 [at] (subject: Maintenance) (contact )the Facility Manager for more details and for a quote. The hourly rate is $60 and does not include any consumable that will be billed separately.

Disputing a bill

To dispute a charge or a bill, please musif-ecp3 [at] (subject: Billing%20question) (contact )the Facility Manager by email in the 15 days following the reception of the bill.

COVID19 Measures

COVID19 -Mitigating measures and new rules for the use of the MuSIF infrastructures

If you have any flu or cold related symptoms, do not enter the Facility and stay home

NO gloves or lab coats are allowed in any of the imaging rooms.

Wash your hands BEFORE you enter the imaging rooms.

Near each instrument, you will either find Ethanol wipes or Kimwipes and a bottle of 70% Ethanol. Before AND AFTER each use wipe the following parts of a system with 70% ethanol:

  • Power/On/Off/stand-by buttons
  • Lids /doors /handles (on sample prep equipment, incubation chambers and microscope stand)
  • Eyepieces of the microscopes. If you wear eyeglasses, we strongly advise you to keep them on.
  • Joysticks
  • Focus adjustment nobs
  • Condenser adjustment nobs
  • Mouse
  • Keyboard
  • Working table
  • When you are done don't forget to clean everything and wash your hands

Maximum number of persons allowed in a room at any given time

  • Only one person at a time in the confocal room P-027.
  • A maximum of 2 persons is allowed in the CT-Scanner room (R1-033). Your presence in this room should be approved by Pr. Pierre Dutilleul and/or Li Wen Han.
  • When you are working in R1-035, pull the curtains all the way through to completely isolate yourself from other potential users. At any given time, you are not allowed to be more than 2 persons in this room.
  • Equipment in other PIs lab: coordinate the use of the equipment with Youssef Chebli.

Other mitigating measures:

  • All in person (one-on-one) training sessions are suspended until further notice. Only remote training will be provided when possible. This applies to current and new users.
  • New users will not be admitted or trained on an instrument until further notice. If observations/experiments need to be performed before this restriction is lifted, a member of the Facility will conduct them at the pre-defined rate as indicated in the Booking and Billing policy document.
Back to top