Explore our user pathway to make the most of your CMCA access.

The CMCA User Experience: User Pathway


For publicly funded researchers please contact us to discuss your research needs and answer your questions. Click here for more information about our capabilities and to find the right person to talk to.

For industry or service work requests, please contact the CMCA Operations Manager, Dr Peter King.


An initial project meeting is held to discuss and explore the most relevant techniques CMCA can offer. CMCA staff can also assist with developing research ideas into funding applications, including acting as collaborators or co-supervisors where appropriate.


All researchers register online with the CMCA, providing a written summary of their project and their microscopy, imaging and characterisation needs. For new researchers, a new user meeting (NUM) is held involving the researcher, their supervisor and relevant CMCA academic staff, where training requirements and the level of staff involvement are finalised.

Researchers who will operate instruments independently are required to attend short training courses. In addition, advanced workshops and one-on-one training options are available. Advice on specimen preparation is provided, with training arranged as necessary.

This step may not be required by commercial clients and for some techniques where instruments are operated only by CMCA staff.


Researchers commence data acquisition under staff supervision. Those who have completed training operate instrumentation independently with ongoing support from academic and technical staff. CMCA staff can also be engaged as instrument operators.


The CMCA’s academic and technical staff can provide one-on-one support to researchers needing assistance with data analysis, visualisation and interpretation, ensuring that researchers maximise the benefits of their instrument access and providing a continuous feedback mechanism as the project progresses. 


Publication: CMCA staff provide advice on how to present and discuss microscopy, imaging and characterisation data, acting as co-authors where the level of academic input is sufficient. All publications linked to use of CMCA facilities are required to include the standard acknowledgement.

Intellectual Property: For commercial clients for whom publication is not an outcome, all data and IP with be distributed according to the contract arranged at the commencement of the project.