UCL Institute of Ophthalmology


User policy

Microscope booking and user policy

Let's mention a few basic rules for our unit.  In order that we are able to continue to support everyone, we need our users to be mindful of other people and considerate when booking and using equipment.

Microscope booking

Following the induction, users will be given the login account to our booking calendar. The instrument bookings can be done in the Resources. 

Only book the time that you are going to use, do not book on behalf of your work colleagues. 

A particular microscope can only be booked for up to 4 hours per day by a particular person and no more than 12 hours in any one week. Please only book time you need. In case of longer timelapse experiments on live cell systems, the prefered policy is to set it up to run overnight whenever possible. Please talk to us first in case of exceptional circumstances for longer use.


Please make cancellations with plenty of notice. Remember that you can amend your existing booking and move it to another available session as an alternative to cancellation.

In case of a fault on any unit, all bookings will be cancelled until the problem is resolved and normal service resumed.

Equipment usage

The imaging units may only be used by the authorised users and during their booked sessions. 

Any use of the microscopes must be logged in the booking sheet placed by each unit and correct start and finish times entered. Valid grant code MUST be provided on each booking.

Please adhere to specific instruction on use of each instrument as you have been shown during your training.

Leave the microscopes in a tidy state – wipe excess oil off the oil lenses using lens tissue only, leave the microscope in the standard configuration.

You are responsible for backing up your data. Allow time for saving and backing up during your booked period.

Tidy up after you have finished and clean lenses appropriately. Please report any problems or concerns. If you are at all uncertain how to use something PLEASE ASK. We are happy to help and this can avoid damage to expensive machinery.


The equipment use is charged on a per hour basis and is billed quarterly. The rates are available on our price list.

The users must provide a valid grant code to remain on the authorised users list.

Out of hours access

We encourage unassisted usage of the Microscopy Unit equipment at any times, however users must strictly follow the Institute’s policies for out of hours working. Only fully trained users will be allowed to work unassisted during out of hours.


Most of our equipment has been purchased via charitable donation; some has been provided by collaboration with industry. In order to raise further funds (we are engaged in grant writing), we need to demonstrate that our services are useful, used and support your research. We would ask that if you make use of our equipment you acknowledge that in any publications that arise. A simple ‘Thanks to the Institute of Ophthalmology Microscopy Unit’ will suffice. This also alerts other people to our services.