Light Microscopy : How to start using the Crick Advanced Light Microscopy STP

How to start using the Crick Advanced Light Microscopy STP?

We provide three types of service: microscope training, advice on experimental design and analysis, and technology development.

We aim to discuss user projects in advance to help identify the microscopes and techniques that are most suitable for each case.

Here is our suggested workflow to start using CALM microscopes:

1. Project discussion (User and LM staff)

Tell us about your project! Drop us an email using, contact a member of staff directly, or come and talk to us in SW312.

2. Fill in a training request via PPMS (User)

You can also start by filling in a training request via the Light Microscopy page on PPMS, especially if you’ve already been trained on another microscope. The training request form will ask for your project details, which may or may not lead back to a project discussion.

3. Training assignment  (LM staff)

CALM staff meets every Monday to discuss the incoming training requests and assign them to a team member. Some requests are quite straightforward, whereas others require a bit of thought (we managed over 450 training sessions in 2022). After your training request has been assigned, we will contact you to confirm that you have a sample ready, and agree on the microscope, date, and time.

4. Microscope training (LM staff and User)

This will generally comprise a theory section, to ensure you understand how the microscope works, and a practical session, to ensure you know how to use it. The theory section may be for a group of people at once, but the practical session will always be 1:1.

5. Independent use of a class of microscopes (User)

Once trained on a type of microscope (e.g. Zeiss confocal, Nikon wide-field Long-Term Time-Lapse) you will have access to all the microscopes with similar configurations and the same software.

6. (Optional) Project collaborations

Our STP model is based on training researchers to be independent users. However, in case of need, we help researchers with microscopy and image analysis projects. For more info on projects visit the Equipment and Fees page