Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get training on the instruments?

Before training is organized, you will need to

1. Register on our booking system - https:// , then

2. Meet with the Head of BMIF and/or one of the lab staff, during which research and training sessions are discussed.

Also please familiarize with our

·             terms and conditions

·             lab guidelines

Are there any documents I am required to bring to the first user meeting?

Yes, please bring (UNSW record or equivalent),

·             risk assessment

·             safe work procedure

·             record of WHS training required

What is the WHS training I should have?

The WHS training required by BMIF is

1.           OHS Awareness

2.           Laboratory Safety Awareness

3.           Hazardous Substances

4.           PC2 Training

5.           Green Lab Environmental Compliance.

6.           Animal Ethics (for intravital only)

Katharina Gaus Light Microscopy Facility expects all courses to be completed by the time you submit all your induction documents as they are now all on-line courses. UNSW WHS training information and schedule are on

External users without a zID will need to provide records of equivalent trainings provided by their workplace and sign off all forms and SWPs provided by the facility.

Are there any charges for using BMIF instruments?

Yes, a fee is chargeable.  Fee starts from commencement of training.  We also have subscription rates.  These fees are heavily subsidised by the university and are used to maintain the instruments and purchase low value upgrades for the systems. Please check out our fees  here

Please contact us if you have queries about our fees.

When do I get access to the Katharina Gaus Light Microscopy Facility lab areas

You will get card access when your induction procedure has been verified and completed by a member of the KGLMF lab staff.  Please contact your assigned trainer for more information - contact details on

Why can’t I login or book instruments?

You can only login and book instruments after you have completed instrument training and been granted a digital certificate for a specific instrument. Until then, your assigned trainer will book instruments on your behalf.  Please contact your assigned trainer if you need more information – contact details on

How do I access my data?

Unfortunately we do not allow you to insert any of your own personal USB devices into any of the KGLMF machines as this has in the past taken microscopes out-of-action. You will be required to save your acquired data onto our servers. You can retrieve your data from our servers by following the instruction contained in "Accessing data from KGLMF servers" found in related documents to the right.


How do I get afterhours access?

For 24/7 access to the KGLMF, contact your assigned trainer who will send you all the related documents and activate your after-hour induction procedure.

Note: It is generally given after you have used the equipment regularly for 6 weeks or more. You will need to demonstrate that you can use the equipment without assistance and safely. At that time you will be granted an experienced user certificate which will allow you to use a system after hours.

How many training sessions do I need before I can access the microscope?

This ultimately depends on your previous experience in light microscopy and background.

For core confocal and fluorescence microscopy you will require 3x3hour sessions. In these you will cover basic theory and using the microscope in a safe and responsible manner. In the last session you will be running solo and we will issue a certificate for you to access the microscope in business hours (8am to 6pm)

AFM requires typically 5X3hour sessions though depends on the techniques you wish to utilise.

How often can I access the microscope?

Many of the microscopes in the facility are heavily used with waiting times of up to three weeks in peak periods. We ask that you limit your bookings to 2 x 4 hour sessions a week for the confocal and book in slots that readily permit another user to book a session prior or afterward. You are welcome to book the system as much as you like after hours, once obtaining your experienced user certificate. Should a system not be heavily booked you are welcome to use it more than this. If you are unsure please talk with one of the KGLMF staff.

The microscope I want to use is always booked how do I get the access I need?

You can book an instrument up to 3 weeks in advance as a general user. We strongly suggest you plan your experiments into the future as much as possible. In some cases, we understand this isn't possible. Please speak with one of the BMIF staff and they can help you. We can help facilitate you to gain after-hours usage or put you on a similar instrument that is less heavily booked.