All microscope usage is charged per hour based on Full Economic Cost (FEC) calculations, which include service contracts, space charges, repairs, replacement costs, software licenses, additional facility equipment (data handling and analysis, software, cell culture equipment), material, salaries etc.

Please note that internal charges only cover part of the full costs, the facility is still subsidised by various funding bodies and college-internal sources. Therefore, usage of the facility has to be acknowledged in any publications. For external charge-out rates please contact our facility staff.


Internal charges

Current charging rates for internal users (from 1 February 2018)

Widefield microscopesConfocal microscopesMultiphoton laserSuperresolution microscopeSoftwareStaff assistance
£21 per hour £35 per hour £18 per hour * £50 per hour £6 per hour £29 per hour*
* This is in addition to the standard confocal charge; for two-photon and fluorescence lifetime imaging
Summary of the table's contents

The chargeout rates for grant applications can be found at the following link - Chargeout Rates for Grant Applications

Discounts and free services

  • Training and general assistance are free of charge (only the microscope time is charged)
  • A maximum of 8 hours per 24 hours of continuous usage are charged per user. Each 24-hour period starts at 13:00 each day, to encourage unattended long-term experiments to be performed overnight (not applicable for intravital imaging experiments)

External users

The facility is open to - and regularly used by - external users, both academic and commercial. For external charging rates, please contact our facility staff.

Rates for grant applications

The status of FILM is now 'Small Research Facility', which means that for all grant applications (research councils and charities) the same rates apply, and microscope usage must be included in all grant applications. The rates to be used in grant applications are the ones in the CHARGE OUT LISTS published by the Research Support Services on their website. These rates are calculated by them at the beginning of each year, based on estimated income and expenses. Real usage charges might vary slightly, depending on real usage.  Chargeout Rates for Grant Applications

Please note that there are different rates for standard confocal and multiphoton usage: the naming on the FEC chargeout list is slightly confusing, for multiphoton mode you must calculate the rate for the confocal microscope + the rate for the multiphoton laser.

Charges from old accounts (FEC)

If a researcher has applied for a research council's grant between March 2007 and May 2008, facility usage from that grant is subject to special FEC regulations, meaning the costs should be refunded by the research council via College Estate budget / faculties / divisions to the facility, rather than directly from the persons grant account. If your grant falls into this category, please get in contact to avoid any complications.

All research council grants before March 2007 and after May 2008 need to include facility usage as a separate line item in the grant application, and the researcher has to pay for usage directly from the grant account.

From 1st May the charging system will change to PPMS - details on how to access your charges to follow


Getting usage and charging information from Sharepoint

The Sharepoint system is used for booking and charging of FILM equipment and gives users and PI's instant access to all usage information. What follows is a description of how you can quickly access this information and export it to Excel spreadsheets.

This information is also available as a printable Quickstart guide - FILM usage statistics in Sharepoint (PDF)

Getting usage and charging information from Sharepoint

Viewing usage summaries

Viewing the complete information in Sharepoint

  1. Open the FILM Sharepoint website in Internet Explorer (not all functions work in other browsers like Firefox)
  2. Click on the microscope booking page for which you want to see the usage information
  3. On the top-right of the Calendar page, switch the view from 'Diary calendar view' to 'Recharge details'
  4. Please note that the column 'MRF FEC' contains the full economic costs of your usage (the real costs of the microscope usage). The subsidised charges used for the bills are in the column 'Recharge'
  5. To sort or filter the list (e.g. a certain user, by 'Length of Booking'), click on the respective column headers and pick the desired option

Calculating usage statistics

  1. Go to the menu 'Actions/Edit in datasheet'
  2. Filter and sort the data by clicking on the column headers (with custom filters you can combine filters, eg. for more than one lab member)
  3. Go to the menu 'Actions/totals' to display an additional row for 'Totals' at the bottom of each column
  4. Click in the 'Total' row underneath the column you want to calculate and select the value you want (e.g. Total - length of booking > Sum)
  5. If needed, copy and paste the result to an Excel sheet

Exporting information

The easiest and most efficient way to export data is by first visualising them inside Sharepoint and then copying them to an Excel sheet with copy/paste


  1. Format your data as needed (see above)
  2. Select the desired data
  3. Right-click on the selection and copy the data, then paste them into your application

Export to Spreadsheet

Warning - this method has two disadvantages:

  1. It exports all raw data, so you lose all filtering, sorting and calculations you have done in Sharepoint.
  2. It doesn't export the actual data, but only links to the data in the database. When the database changes, or is unavailable (eg. away from work), your data won't be available.

Therefore, 'copy/paste' is usually the method of choice.

If you still want to export the data, go to 'Actions > Export to spreadsheet'

Automatic email updates

To always stay on top of your usage, you can easily subscribe to a daily or weekly email summary on a day and time of your choice. Simply go to 'Actions > Alert me' and select your options.

Tracking payments

  1. Switch the view to 'Recharge details' (see above)
  2. Once the payment has been transferred, the column 'Journal No.' will show you the reference number for the payment