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Procedure to Become a User at the EMC

1. Summary
  • All users have to fulfill certain requirements before access to the EMC can be granted. The following list provides short descriptions of the requirements. Details can be found on this page and via the relevant links at the left.
    • Register for access to Argonne's scientific user facilities (or update your user registration information).
    • Request that Argonne and your institution establish a User Agreement.
    • Submit a new on-line proposal for review and approval, or request that you be added to an existing proposal.
    • If your proposal is accepted, then ...
      1. Non-U.S. citizens must be cleared for access to Argonne through a Foreign Visit and Assignment Request. The EMC will initiate that request using your registration information. The clearance process can take 3 weeks or more. You will be informed when it is approved.
      2. Sign an Acknowledgment of User Agreement (not applicable to Argonne employees). The EMC will provide you with an Acknowledgment form.
      3. Complete four, short, on-line courses before you arrive at the EMC. To access the courses, you will need your user ID and password supplied to you by the user registration system.
      4. Read the appropriate experimental safety analysis forms (SAF) and other safety-related material that pertain to your work in the EMC. The EMC will inform you which SAFs you'll need to read based on your proposal.
      5. If you need to purchase certain services or materials at Argonne or you have a proprietary proposal, a pre-funded User Account will have to be established. Argonne will send your institution the necessary information to do that.

2. User registration
  • The first step to becoming a user is to register for access to Argonne's scientific user facilities (or update your registration information) using this link: Argonne User Facilities On-line Registration System. You must do this whether you intend to operate a microscope or will simply be present in an EMC laboratory for experiments.

3. Institutional User Agreements
  • Check whether your institution has the appropriate master User Agreement in place at Argonne using this link: Argonne User Facility Agreements. If a User Agreement does not exist, please complete the User Agreement Questionnaire as directed at the top of that page.

4. Do you want to add a collaborator to an existing EMC Proposal?
  • If you want to request that you or another person be added as a collaborator to an existing EMC proposal, contact the following individuals; otherwise, go to step 5. Please note that the EMC requires that persons who want to operate TEMs or SEMs have prior training in electron microscopy.

5. Submit a new EMC Proposal
  • Proposals may be submitted online at any time. When received, your proposal will be routed by the Director of the EMC for a technical and feasibility review. It will then be sent to the Proposal Review Committee for peer review. The Proposal Review Committee meets three times each year in March, July, and November.

  • Please note that the EMC requires that persons who want to operate TEMs or SEMs have prior training in electron microscopy.

6. Notification of access to the EMC
  • After your proposal has been reviewed, a letter will be sent to you with the Proposal Review Committee's comments, the technical review comments, initial user status and instrument access, training information, scheduling, and other instructions.

  • Proposals expire one year after the acceptance date or at the end of the experiments, whichever is sooner. An end-of-proposal report is required. Templates are available on the End-of-Proposal Report page.

7. Set up a User Account
  • If you have a proprietary proposal, the EMC will automatically request that Argonne sends your institution the necessary information to establish and pre-fund a User Account. If you have a non-proprietary proposal and you need to purchase certain services or materials at Argonne, please tell the EMC of your need so that Argonne sends your institution the necessary information to establish and pre-fund a User Account. A User Agreement must be in place before a User Account can be established.

8. Arranging your visit(s) to Argonne and the EMC:
  • Additional details related to entering Argonne, arranging for accommodations, etc. can be found on the Visiting the EMC page.

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