Why acknowledge I²AT?
- Proper acknowledgment provides a visible measure of the impact of the I²AT in support of research.
- To demonstrate the need for financial and other support to continue to provide our services in the
support of research.
When to acknowledge?
- Anytime the I²AT provides services that support your research.
- When I²AT staff has made a significant intellectual contribution beyond routine sample analysis,
please consider an authorship. This is essential for the professional development of our staff.
Where to acknowledge?
- Scholarly Reports
Final copy of any of the above or other published should be provide to I²AT for review and reference.
Formats for the acknowledgement:
“Electron microscopy and microanalytical services were provided by
the Institute for Imaging and Analytical Technology (I²AT) at Mississippi State University which is
supported by various NSF, NIH, DoD, DoE awards and University funding.”
“Imaging services to support research activities were provided by
the Institute for Imaging and Analytical Technology (I²AT) at Mississippi State University which
is supported by various NSF, NIH, DoD, DoE awards and University funding.”
Facility Use & Access
- Users must be registered in Facility On-line Manager (FOM):
- Provide supervisor and personal contact information
- Provide valid and funded account information
- Use FOM to reserve instruments in advance
- Indicate assistance required at least 24-hour prior to reservation
- User access (MSU ID card) is for the sole individual, guests are not permitted into the facility
without prior authorization.
- User must complete a form which must be renewed. Most card access will be granted on a
- Users must not leave doors open or ajar for any reason. Notify an Instrument Manager if doors
are not locked.
- Violators access will be denied.
- 'Daytime access' is from 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, expect for University holidays.
Please arrange any special needs during non-business hours
- 'Anytime access' is available to those who have obtained approval by the appropriate Instrument
Manager. Users must sign documentation including: activity release, lab specific safety training,
and equipment safety training forms.
- Each user must swipe their badge when entering I²AT facilities.
- Users must not use their badge to admit others to I²AT facilities unsupervised.
- Users are responsible for the safety and behavior of anyone they admit into a lab space.
- Groups of 5 or more guests must contact the lab manager to request access for
tours/outreach/demonstrations in I²AT facilities.
- I²AT facilities are accessible 24/7 excepting closures for maintenance or emergency.
- Food and drinks are not permitted in the instrument laboratories.
- Remove samples and clean up after each use. Please help us maintain a clean and efficient environment.
- Users are discouraged from working alone.
I²AT is committed to providing and maintaining a safe and productive working environment for all users.
In order to do this, we partner with MSU’s Environmental Health
& Safety (EHS). It is important for all users to comply with policies and procedures set forth
by I²AT and EHS in these areas.
Lab safety (biosafety) - Any faculty, staff or students working with biohazardous materials must
comply with all Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) procedures. For application and information
regarding IBC go to http://ehs.msstate.edu/safety/biological/.
Radiation Materials - Any faculty, staff or students proposing to use radioactive materials or
instruments that potentially generate x-rays must have the proposal reviewed and approved by the
Radiological, Chemical and Laboratory Safety Committee. The University’s Radiological, Chemical,
and Laboratory Safety, Policy and Procedures Statement must be advised when using radioactive
materials. For application and information on radiological safety procedures go to
Hazardous waste - Hazardous waste must be disposed of properly following the guidelines
instituted by the Office of Regulatory Compliance and Safety. For questions and more information
on hazardous wastes and guidelines go to http://ehs.msstate.edu/safety/chemical/.
Safety training is mandatory (Introduction to Laboratory Safety), even for personnel who do not
work in a laboratory or handle hazardous materials. The following training courses, in addition to
the mandatory Laboratory Safety, are either mandatory or strongly recommended for all I²AT users,
consult with your PI and the laboratory managers:
- Hazard Communication
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Fume Hood Safety
- Chemical Safety
- Biological Safety Training for BSL2
- Bloodborne Pathogens Training
Visit EHS's Online Training site and log in with your MSU credentials to access the online safety programs.
MSU Magnetic Resonance Imaging System
Shared Facilities Policies
The MRI facility (1207 Hwy 182 W, Starkville, MS) is a shared facility and due to the diverse nature
of activities at this facility, researchers, clinicians and I²AT users must remain cognizant of others
in the facility. The PI or their representative must be present during all scheduled times and the
research technologist will be in place to make sure that procedures are performed correctly and smoothly.
The PI will be responsible that human research subjects and animal subjects do not cross paths. All
personnel involved in imaging procedures at the MSU MRI Facility MUST always follow the direction of
the PI or their representative and MRI technologist.
All doors should be closed during and after procedures. This includes the MRI door, the Research Console
door, and all hallways doors between the MRI main entrance and the back door. All researchers are
required to enter and exit through the back door. Under no circumstances should a researcher exit the
front main entrance after normal business hours.
MRI Screening - The MRI system has a very strong magnetic field that may present potential
hazards to individuals entering the MR environment or MR system room; especially individuals that
have certain metallic, electronic, magnetic or mechanical implants, devices, or objects on or in
their person. ALL researchers, staff, students, and any other individual involved with research
activities are required to complete a screening form to be evaluated by our technologist prior to
entering the MR environment or system room.
MRI Safety Training – Due to the hazards of conducting research in a facility with equipment
that produces very strong magnetic fields and other high-powered imaging equipment, I²AT has strict
safety requirements of all researchers and clinicians using the medical equipment. Researchers and
clinicians using the MRI must view an MRI safety video before accessing the MRI. If researchers or
clinicians arrive for an MRI procedure and have not completed the safety requirements, they must
remain in the waiting area. Anyone wishing to use the MRI and trying to enter the MRI area without
safety certification will be required to leave.
MRI Area procedures – Only approved items and equipment can be taken into the MRI room.
Under no circumstances will anyone be allowed to take items or equipment into the room without
prior approval. No one will be allowed to enter the MRI room with any metal object in their
possession. All metal objects will be placed in the container provided by the I²AT staff assistant
or technologist prior to entering the MRI room or a secure hallway.
Special/Emergency Circumstances - Investigators will notify I²AT and/or MSU of serious or
unexpected adverse reactions immediately after the knowledge of any event. Investigators will
terminate the session or experiment immediately, at any time, or at the request of the subject,
and will not attempt to pressure or coerce the subject to continue
Sample Preparation and Storage
- All users are expected to follow basic laboratory safety procedures.
- Absolutely NO FOOD OR DRINK is permitted in the sample preparation labs.
- All solvents are to be kept and used in the fume hood.
- Waste solvents are to be placed in the solvent waste container in the prep room. Do not put
electrolytes or acid containing material in this can.
- All samples must be properly prepared to maintain the integrity of the instruments
- Samples to be examined in electron microscopes must be completely cleaned and thereafter handled
only while wearing gloves. They must be stable in the high vacuum of a microscope sample chamber
- Volatile samples can only be examined after consultation with the equipment managers when a
protocol for doing so has been established.
- All sample will be labeled with project code, owner ID and date of preparation.
- Samples will be disposed of after 1 year of date of preparation.
- Training is required before users can use the equipment at I²AT.
- Training must be requested using the Facility Online Manager (FOM).
- TRAINING IS SUBJECT TO INSTRUMENT USAGE AND LABOR RATES
- Only after qualification by I²AT staff may users operate equipment and only within the intended
capabilities in normal operation.
- FOM automatically logs users on at the start of the
- Equipment reservations are to be booked using the
Facility Online Manager (FOM)
- Users must reserve instrument time on the FOM scheduler prior to using the instrument
- Daytime access:
- Monday-Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm, except for University holidays
- Anytime access:
- Any day and time, including University holidays
- Users may only use the instrument during their permitted time.
- Users may only reserve time for themselves; booking on behalf of other users is not permitted.
- Users may not use another user's session. If a user cannot make their session, they must cancel
and allow the other user to reserve a session under their name.
- Users must log off their reservation on FOM when their usage is complete. A
forgot to log off fee will be charged if a
user fails to log off.
- Should you determine that time beyond your reservation is needed, you are required to extend your
reservation in FOM.
- Please do not reserve time more than needed. It is this situation that prevents other users from
- All equipment use must be reserved using FOM.
- All users must have funding available to cover the fees for use of I²AT equipment. This information
must be entered into FOM.
- Training and qualification by an instrument manager are required in order to use the instrument(s).
- Equipment damages resulting from user abuse, mishap or negligence will be the responsibility of
the user’s organization. Examples of such negligence include, but are not limited to, mishandling
or physically damaging equipment, installation of unapproved software, attempts to perform
unauthorized maintenance, moving or re-configuring equipment, spilling liquids or other substances,
using equipment for any purpose other than that for which it was designed, etc.
- If it is determined that damages resulted from actions of the user, that user or his
supervisor will be responsible for the damage and will receive notice from I²AT. Costs
associated with restoration of the equipment (including theft, loss, and/or misuse) will
be charged to the user’s organization.
- Consumable components (blades, knives, stubs) that are damaged will be the responsibility of the
- NEVER attempt or undertake any repair of equipment yourself. ALWAYS contact an
- A I²AT staff member must be notified immediately if equipment is damaged, lost or non-functional.
- If you experience a problem during your experiment, please logoff using FOM and select
'Something wrong' with a comment. Instrument Managers will receive an email notice and
fix the problem as soon as possible.
- You may request to have the charges waived if the equipment is faulty but not marked 'Down'.
Please contact email@example.com
immediately to resolve.
- You will not be charged if the equipment is marked as 'Down'.
- All users must have funding available to cover the fees for use of I²AT equipment.
- If there is a billing question or issue, please contact us at
- Billing closes on the last day of the month. Requests for billing adjustments must be done prior
to this date.
- Billing adjustments cannot be done through FOM (such as leaving a comment) or by contacting the
- FOM will automatically log you on at the start of your reservation, however it is the user's
responsibility to logoff at the end of the reservation. Charges will be assessed from logon until logoff.
Notification and Cancellation Policy
- User will be emailed 4 hours prior to their reservation.
- User can cancel reservations within two (2) hours of the reservation start time without charge.
Email will be sent to verify.
- NO cancellations will be accepted within 30 minutes of a reservation. The cancellation
policy exists to increase the availability of I²AT equipment and minimize no-shows.
- If a reservation is canceled prior to the 30 minute period, a
cancellation fee will be charged:
- reserved time or two (2) hours of usage, whichever is less,
- and if applicable, labor.
- Failing to cancel a reservation will result in a
no-show fee, reserved time charge
plus forgot to log off fee.
- Cancellation fees may be adjusted due to unforeseen circumstances, such as illness. Please contact
firstname.lastname@example.org if this situation occurs.
Tools and Supplies
- Tools for manipulating samples, sample holders and gloves are provided in each instrument room.
They may not be transferred to another instrument without permission from an Instrument Manager.
- Please leave them in a tidy and orderly fashion for the next user.
- Software or programs, not installed by I²AT administrators, is not permitted to be run or
installed by users.
- Software that may be run on instrument computers is limited to that which is installed for user
interface (instrument control) and supplemental software such as is used for x-ray analysis and
- Browser use is limited to access of the FOM website for reserving and logging out of sessions.
- Flash drives and external storage devices (jump drives, memory sticks, SSD, external drives) are
not to be used with instrument computers.
- Computers in microscope rooms are for the exclusive and sole purpose of microscopy – no web
browsing, email access or other use permitted.
- Transfer of data can be accomplished by using FileLocker or SSH alternative drive/directory.
Data Storage and Retrieval
- The I²AT instrument file server is intended for short-term storage only. It is expected that
users will retrieve their data immediately following their instrument session. Data will be
erased from the file server on a routine basis to ensure ample storage capacity for all users.
- Data is to be stored on the I²AT file server and accessed remotely.
- Acquired images and data must be transferred to the central I²AT file server. Instrument PCs are
for temporary image storage and files left on them will be deleted periodically without warning.
- I²AT is not responsible for maintenance or retention of research data.
- Images should be stored in an uncompressed format. (e.g. “.TIF” and not “.JPG”)
- All I²AT instrument users may retrieve their instrument data by visiting the website data.i2at.us.
This site provides a user-friendly web-interface for accessing and downloading instrument data and
is accessible from any modern web-browser both inside and outside of I²AT.
- Digital Imaging Ethics: Images are data and must be treated carefully. It is expected that
all I2AT users will abide by ethical guidelines in the handling of images and other data.
- Manipulation of images should always be done on a copy of the unprocessed image data file.
- If you have any questions on dealing with an image, ask a I²AT instrument manager.
- Images must be saved in a lossless format (NOT .JPG). Use .TIF, .DM3, or TIA formats,
preferably as 16-bit images.
- As long as intensities are not critical, adjusting the displayed image with brightness, contrast,
and gamma is acceptable without annotation. All other image processing steps should be documented.
Users who fail to follow the rules outlined above shall be given verbal and/or written warning on
the first offense. A second violation within 3 months of the first will require a meeting with the
user, their supervisor, and I²AT staff. A third violation within 1 month of the second will result
in a 2-week suspension from I²AT facilities. I²AT staff reserve the right to immediately suspend
users who engage in hostility, intentional misuse of equipment/facilities, dangerous behavior, or
other severe violations of I²AT policy.