Booking and Training
Using the Bio-Imaging Resource Center (BIRC)
We are happy to provide tours of the BIRC to new researchers so that you can see the microscope systems and meet the staff of the Center. Please e-mail Alison to arrange such tours or if you wish to set up a meeting to discuss your project design or microscopy needs in detail.
For a full list of the BIRC’s Rules and Policies, please click here:
The most important procedures are summarized below.
To use the BIRC, you must first register with the center using the “Create a BIRC Account” button (left). Every new user must create their own account – it is not permitted for multiple users to share one account. We will also ask you to provide a paper copy of a form signed by your PI or lab administrator, approving the use of the account number you provided for BIRC charges.
Once registered, each user must also fill out a training request, answering all of the questions so that we have the necessary information to target you to the most appropriate microscope for your needs. We may follow up with additional questions by e-mail if required for more complex experiments. If you wish to use more than one microscope, you will need to fill out a separate training request for each system, but we advise against being trained on multiple systems at once unless they use the same acquisition software.
An appointment will then be made for the first training session, after which the user will be encouraged to use the microscopes independently. Please note that you will be unable to book any microscope until you have been trained and your training validated for that particular microscope. After initial training, it is left to the individual to approach the staff for further help. We are happy to offer help and advice whenever necessary, but we also respect the fact that many people prefer to be left to their own devices!
Work can be undertaken on a collaborative basis, with experiments and/or image acquisition being performed by the staff of the facility. This may be a more desirable approach if you are particularly busy or see your microscopy as a one-off endeavour. Please note the University guidelines below regarding Acknowledgements and Co-Authorship.
Hours of Operation
New users are trained on the light microscopes between the hours of 9 am and 6 pm, which are also the hours when the staff are available for assistance. To use the facility outside these hours all users need a Rockefeller University ID card activated for access to rooms DWB 201-203. We will arrange for the card to be activated but please give us two days prior notice. Under certain circumstances it is also possible for external users to obtain a temporary ID card for outside-hours access.
Although we aim to help all users as quickly as possible, both the staff and the microscopes are often booked up well in advance. Therefore, try to consult us at least a week before you plan to use the microscopes for the first time – not the day before you have to present your results at a lab meeting or send a paper off for publication! Also, please inform us immediately about any problems you have had with the microscopes so that we can arrange for them to be fixed as quickly as possible. These can be reported simply via the PPMS online booking system.