Research and the AIM Facility

The staff of the AIM Facility have considerable expertise in the preparation of samples for brightfield, fluorescence, confocal and electron microscopy. A variety of special techniques and methods are available for processing and fixation. Due to the diversity of specimen types encountered, attempts should be made by researchers to determine, via literature searches, the most current protocols applicable to their own specimen type.

Small investigative projects may be carried out by the staff of the AIM Facility. For large and ongoing research projects, initial protocols may be developed and research assistants or postgraduate students trained for continuation of the work. For users who will need to use the instruments in the AIM Facility extensively as a basic research tool for their project. The team offers full training in sample preparation and operation of the equipment, so that the user may operate instrumentation without assistance.

The AIM Facility houses a range of Microscopes (see instrument list), all microscopes are capable of digital imaging.

The AIM Facility will provide temporary storage of digital images while a project is in progress and the user is responsible for making arrangements for transferring and archiving files. We provide several ways for users to back up their digital images: burn files onto CD/DVD, transfer files to a USB key/memory stick, or use the University of Galway network to back up directly onto their networked PC.

All consumable costs associated with a project are expected to be covered by the research funds for that project. The AIM Facility does not receive funding to cover these expenses so specimen processing charges and imaging time/training is imposed to cover costs.

An hourly charge for microscope time is levied to cover service and maintenance costs. Financial arrangements can be made for long term projects to reduce the hourly rate for users. To discuss cost issues please contact the team directly.

The AIM Facility is here to support your research. It is very important that any publication or presentation that makes use of data collected using the shared facilities is acknowledged correctly. 

The team can offer investigators:

  • Expert consultation on experiment design and specimen preparation 
  • Training
  • Imaging for a fee
  • Ongoing assistance