Advice to CMCA users at 1 April 2020

In light of increasing advice to work from home wherever possible, CMCA staff will be transitioning to working from home this week. To facilitate this change, we will be introducing several changes to staff support and access arrangements.

Enquiries about CMCA operation during this time can be directed as follows:

General Admin enquiries – Contact: Dana Crisan (

To contact the CMCA Leadership Team – Contact: Teresa Ratana – EA to the CMCA Leadership Team – (

Phone and Zoom support for the CMCA user community

Though staff will be predominantly working from home, they will be very happy to provide advice and support to researchers with questions about project design, data analysis and interpretation, manuscript and grant writing, etc. Please contact staff by email to arrange a phone or Zoom meeting. Contact people for the various platforms are identified below.

While this is a difficult time to maintain research activity, it is the perfect time to plan future projects and the CMCA staff are available to help.

Anyone planning for future projects requiring access to CMCA facilities is encouraged to contact staff now to discuss the project and obtain advice from our experts. In some areas, new users can be given access to online training resources, which will enable them to commence their training even while working from home. 

Restricted Platform Availability

We have been exploring a number of options where we can continue to provide some level of service on some of our platforms on a case by case basis. These have been proposed in consultation with the platform leaders and staff and may change in light of the evolving situation and any potential wider shut down policy.


Bioplatforms Australia facilities

The Metabolomics and Proteomics facilities will continue to operate a modified service, with access to laboratories being restricted. Special arrangements have been made for access to the general Bayliss mass spec facility. These have been communicated direct to users. Please contact the following for information:

Metabolomics/Bayliss MS – Contact: Michael Clarke ( 

Proteomics – Contact: Harvey Millar (

Microscopy Australia ion probe facility

The NanoSIMS and IMS 1280 instruments will continue to operate with staff working remotely. Researchers are not permitted in the labs or control rooms. Projects already scheduled will be completed and enquiries about future projects should be directed to platform staff:

NanoSIMS – Contact: Jeremy Bougoure (

IMS 1280 – Contact: Laure Martin (

National Imaging Facility instruments (MRI & live animal imaging)

These facilities will remain accessible to those with animal experiments already organised and who are trained to operate the instruments. Staff support will be available remotely as staff work from home. For more information:

NIF facilities – Contact: Tim Rosenow (; Ivan Lozic (


NMR staff will be in the lab one day a week (normally Tuesdays) to attend to critical maintenance of the facility to ensure its continued operation. Samples can be left for collection by CMCA staff and, subject to space, will be loaded into instruments for analysis while staff monitor the facility remotely. On other days, NMR analyses for researchers in the School of Molecular Sciences (SMS) will be coordinated by SMS academics and undertaken by designated super-users. General lab access has been suspended until further notice.

NMR - Gareth Nealon (



Staff will be working from home, where possible, but will continue to support a single crystal XRD service for as long as possible.

Powder and thin film XRD capabilities will be limited until CMCA returns to normal operations.

Please contact the platform leader for more information:

Single crystal XRD – Contact: Stephen Moggach (


Optical Microscopy  

Users with approved 24/7 access will continue to be able to use the optical microscopy facilities. Users will only be allowed in to the lab between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, except by agreement with staff. All bookings will be coordinated by CMCA staff. Users will not be allowed to book instruments themselves and will be required to email optical microscopy staff to request a booking. Some limits on booking times will be in place to ensure proper social distancing protocols are followed.

Optical Microscopy – Contact: Liisa Hirvonen (


Flow Cytometry

Staff will be working from home. Access to instruments in the Flow core will be restricted to only CMCA users with the necessary training and experience to run them independently of CMCA staff. A staff member will attend one day a week for routine maintenance and perform some setup procedures for existing users. The CyTOF will not be available.

Flow cytometry – Contact: Catherine Rinaldi (


Scanned Probe Microscopy

Access to instruments in will be limited to out-of-hours users, with staff support available remotely. Please contact Hua if you have questions.

Scanned probe microscopy – Contact: Hua Li (


X-ray Microscopy

Access to the Versa 520 XRM will be available to out-of-hours users only. Jeremy Shaw will make advanced bookings to undertake consulting work. Users of the instrument can be supported remotely if needed.

X-ray Microscopy – Contact: Jeremy Shaw (



The ICP-MS facility will continue to provide a modified service. Existing jobs will be complete and enquiries about new jobs should be directed to Pete Scott.

ICP-MS – Contact: Pete Scott (


Electron Microscopy

Access to SEM facilities will be limited to those with out-of-hours access only. Please note that the Zeiss SEM and JEOL benchtop SEM are currently unavailable due to maintenance issues that we are unable to resolve because we cannot get parts and service engineers due to COVID-19.

We regret that we will be unable to provide TEM access until the COVID-19 situation improves. The JEOL 2100 is unavailable due to an unresolvable maintenance issue. The Titan TEM can only be operated with CMCA staff in the lab to provide support and load samples. As we cannot maintain fulltime support, we will be suspending all TEM access. This will enable us to keep the Titan in a standby state that will protect the instrument from the risk of damage.

The EPMA facility will be run as a service by Malcolm. Users will not have access to the lab. Please make arrangements with Malcolm to drop off samples. All enquiries about EPMA should go to Malcolm.

Electron microscopy (SEM, TEM, FIB) – Contact:

EPMA – Contact: Malcolm Roberts (


Data Management, Analysis & Visualisation

Staff will be working from home but will continue to provide support remotely including via telephone, Zoom and the Characterisation Virtual Laboratory. Splashtop access to some analysis workstations, e.g. Crawley-Vis-Wkstn-FIB, is also possible by arrangement.

Contact: Andrew Mehnert (

Follow the instructions below to apply for access to CMCA instruments

User pathway


    CMCA is accessible to everyone but your access options and facility rates will vary depending upon your access level.

    The following information applies to all CMCA instruments, except the Microscopy Australia Ion Probe Facility.

    Applying for access to CMCA instruments

    Before continuing to the Registration page, make sure you have the following information on hand:

    • Contact details
    • Your supervisor's name and contact details (students and visitors only)
    • Emergency contact details
    • A short research project outline to upload (to help CMCA understand your microscopy needs)
    • A list of the main microscopes/techniques you think you will need to access for your project
    • Information about your samples, including health and safety issues
    • Invoice/payment details (Business Unit and Project Grant number for UWA users)

    Ion Probe Facility access

    To apply to access the CAMECA IMS 1280 and CAMECA NanoSIMS 50, complete the access form, upload your project description and submit.


    In order to access CMCA facilities, you must register for access by following the registration process.

    Registration process

    1. Complete the online form – remember to print, sign and return to CMCA to finalise your registration.
    2. New user meeting – you will be contacted to attend a meeting to discuss your project needs.
    3. Training – your training will be scheduled at the new user meeting.
    4. Make a booking using the gold button below to book time on equipment*.

    * To request XRD analysis of a sample, complete the Crystal Structure Request Form and deliver with your sample to CMCA@ Bayliss, Bayliss Building Room 4.52

    * To request time on the MRI, contact the Technique Group Leader, Dr Kirk Feindel.

    Registration and bookings

    Register your project and book CMCA facilities.

    Register online

    User pathway

    We can advise and support research at multiple levels from initial project planning, through to publication. Learn more about the User Pathway and how the CMCA can support your project from ideation to publication.

    Booking policy

    All access to facilities and equipment at CMCA must comply with our booking policy.

    The booking policy applies to use of all facilities and instruments to facilitate fair and equitable access for all users.

    1. You must be a registered user of the Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis.
    2. Maximum session is four hours per booking generally, during Centre hours (9am–5pm Monday to Friday excluding University public holidays) and six hours per booking outside Centre hours.
    3. Instruments with a high demand may have additional booking limits.
    4. Experienced users may request access to work outside Centre hours – see the After hours access page for more information.
    5. Sessions may be extended if, at the end of the session, no-one has booked the instrument. Log in to the web booking system to book the session.
    6. There are no limits on the total hours you may use on any instrument each week, only the number of sessions you may book in advance.
      • You may book one session in advance on each instrument each week during Centre hours plus one session in advance on each instrument each week outside Centre hours.
      • After completing a session, you may book another advance session on that instrument.
      • In special circumstances, you may make additional advance bookings. Contact the relevant Technique Group Leader.
      • Sessions may be booked on the day of intended use, independent of any advance bookings made.
    7. Start your session within 15 minutes of the booked start time or risk losing your session to another user.
    8. To cancel a booking within 24 hours of the booked session, contact the office.
    9. If you do not follow the booking rules, you may be suspended from using the Centre's facilities and your future bookings may be cancelled.

    Booking instrument time

    The booking policy applies to use of the instruments to facilitate fair and equitable access for all users.

    After hours access

    To apply for after hours access at CMCA@Physics:

    Online inductions must be completed by any users who need AFTER HOURS access (before 9am or after 5pm Monday to Friday and weekends) to CMCA@Physics.

    All users requesting after hours access will need to have completed the CMCA Physics General Induction and the After Hours Induction, and be able to use the instrument(s) unaided or unsupervised. 

    Users can apply for 24/7 access:
    1. Login to LMS using your Pheme credentials.
    2. Access the OHS Inductions: CMCA@Physics site by copying this link into your browser -
    3. Complete the General and After Hours modules
    4. Request 24/7 access to instruments through the ?Request Instrument Access? link

    Once these have been completed and your request for after-hours access has been approved, you will receive notification that your Campus card and booking access to CMCA has been changed to 24/7.



    All new users must successfully complete training on the instrument(s) before being able to access equipment for your research. Training is included with your registration.

    Course dates

    Introductory courses are held three times a year. Each course will run over 2-3 days, depending on the number of participants.

    Enrolment in introductory courses is part of registration.

    Introductory courses 2020
    COURSE      ROUND 1    ROUND 2    ROUND 3*
    Scanning Electron Microscopy & Microanalysis        24 Feb1    29 June2   12 October3
    Transmission Electron Microscopy & Microanalysis         9 Mar4     13 July5   26 October6


    Notes: Online prerequisites must be completed by: (1) 16 February; (2) 21 June; (3) 4 October; (4) 1 March; (5) 5 July; (6) 18 October (* provisional dates)

    Please note:  Optical/confocal, XRD and Flow cytometry training will be arranged and provided on a case by case basis.  Research projects and training needs will be discussed with the relevant CMCA academics before registration.

    Course rates

    Courses rates

    Course charges are only levied if an individual wishes to obtain training from CMCA by attending a training course, but does not wish to Register and use CMCA's facilities under hourly or subscription use.

    Short courses WACM Publicly funded researchers External users
    Introductory modules $450 $450 $595
    Advanced modules $220 $220 $295

    Please note:

    • Rates include limited use of consumables; excessive use will result in additional charges.
    • Cancellations must be advised to CMCA at least 48 hours prior to the start of the course.
    • Anyone who is registered for a course and does not attend (unless they cancel before the specified 48 hours) will be charged.
    • All rates are exclusive of GST.

    Introductory courses

    Introductory courses are held three times a year. You must register before you can be enrolled in these courses.

    Advanced workshops

    Advanced workshops are held when there is sufficient interest from users.

    Curtin students

    Users of the Curtin microscopy facilities should contact Ms Elaine Miller at Curtin to arrange enrolment in our courses.

    Current rates: effective September 2016

    Our rates and subscription options apply to users accessing our facilities.

    Health and safety

    All users are required to read the Health and Safety Manuals covering CMCA facilities.

    Funding and grants information

    Advice to applicants for ARC and NHMRC grants for funding in 2019

    This guide shows how to incorporate the costs of accessing the CMCA facilities into ARC and NHMRC applications.

    Contact us