colleague. If they do we cancel the training and send them back to the bench. Most of them understand aſter our 1 hour meeting that it is fully in their interest to get the best samples possible for the training because we help them acquire data. Our trainings are mandatory 1 to 1. We do not train people together. Tere- fore the training is always adapted to their sample/experiment/ experience/personality. My colleague Gabriela Imreh does all of the training. She squeezes about 40 trainings per year outside of holidays. Sylvie Le Guyader

Hi Sylvie, Tanks for providing the whole outline of your

training. Now I see that I and some other core managers were com- paring basic (confocal) microscopy training aimed at independent use of core equipment vs the experimental aspects of the training. I think both types of training are useful and have their advantages. 90% of my core users are new lab members that just continue fol- lowing their lab protocols and require only instruction on how to use (and not break) core microscopes. I guess cores may use dif- ferent approaches and still make their users happy. Anyway it is very useful to exchange various training approaches. For Niyanta I would mention the iBiology Microscope Course available on their website or YouTube. Arvydas Matiukas

Te discussions on microscopy training are extremely

valuable. I need to review all the replies again and, based on them, revise the rules I post, modify how we do training, and write directions for new users to read before training. In response to Arvydas’s question about trainees, I find

that status as student, postdoc, technician, or PI has no bear- ing on existing expertise or willingness or ability to learn the material. Why or how people learn diverges widely based on many factors. Small groups of trainees are good for saving time on the material that can be shown and discussed, however, only the person who gets to drive the machine may be ready to use it unassisted. Everyone else needs to follow up with practi- cal training. Michael Cammer

We train people in the same way as Sylvie. Tis works not

only to make sure people are well trained and supported but also to take care of the equipment. I also want to mention the great MyScope resource hosted by the University of Sydney from Microscopy Australia ( html). Jacqueline Ross

I have collected a few resources on our website, so that I can

refer our users to it more easily. Tis is at https://www.bioimaging. Have a look at “Educational Websites” and “Materials for teaching.” Maybe you will find something helpful. Te listed page from Australia (was mentioned by others) contains a quiz that you can take, and you can print out a certificate if you answer 8+ of 10 questions correct. As in terms of hands on training, we start with a 3-hour introduction session for up to 3 people. Usually we use our samples for two reasons. First, we want the user to pay attention to the microscope and soſtware, not on the biological content of the images we make. Second, we can be sure that the sample is all right and we don’t have users with crappy samples blaming it on the microscope. I agree with others that aſter 3 hours it makes no more sense, brains are full. Next we do a “guided session” with the user’s sample until the user is obtaining good results. Tis is a 1:1 session. Depending on sample difficulty, prior knowledge and user talent we sometimes have a third session. I am impressed by Sylvie’s approach, but I doubt our group leaders would be willing to come up with so much money for training.

2020 January •

Some think what we do now is already too time consuming (but most are happy about it). Steffen Dietzel

Does anybody offer their confocal training as an official

grad-level class? In the past, offering a hands-on class was problematic for us since (i) no tuition dollars flow back to the core and (ii) PI’s wanted their students using their own samples so “free class time” meant no income for us when those proj- ects would normally have been done outside of class. Our cam- pus is moving to a new budget model and tuition dollars may flow more directly back to us. We are considering combining training and supervised independent use as part of the class design and allow student efforts to be credentialed. I would be interested to know that if anyone else is taking this approach how many credit hours are offered, and what is covered as part of the course. Tomas E. Phillips

Very interesting discussion. Here in Leicester I train users in

3.5-hour 1-to-1 sessions on the microscope they want to use and with their sample, so I can show them how to setup the micro- scope and optimize it for their use. If I am happy with their prog- ress they get an account and the next time they want to use the microscope they have to make an appointment with me or bring an experienced user from their group, so we are sure they are able to start the system and get an image on the screen. Aſter that it is up to the user. I also would not have the time/resources to spend more time on training each individual user. My facility is spread over 4 buildings so I am not always around to guide and solve problems, but I walk in and try to keep an eye on their progress. Occasionally I have a user that fails the “progress test” and they will get a second induction session. If I am still not happy with their ability to use the microscope they have to make appoint- ments with me to do their imaging. With some users I do the imaging or I keep a close eye on their imaging because their sub- ject is difficult. As for teaching, the facility is involved in several courses. I think it is always good if the students know we are around as they are potential future users. None of the lectures bring in money, nor does undergrad use of the microscopes dur- ing courses. Postgraduate courses on the microscopes get charged for hourly use of the system. Kees Straatman

We teach a grad-level microscopy course in confocal (also

SEM & TEM courses). Tuition dollars don’t come to the facil- ity, but the instrument use (student use hours) is billed to the course, and that money does come to the facility. Te instru- ments are billed at the standard “in-house” rate. Note: Tese are the same courses the undergrads in our “microscopy major” take. Phil Oshel

Here at a predominantly undergraduate institution (PUI), I

teach a microscopy methods course that includes training on the confocal (mixed grad/undergrad, about 10 students every other year). Most of our undergrads doing research start in their sec- ond year (or even before), so I only have 1 or 2 (sometimes none) to train between course offerings. We have no internal recharge (and no technician), the Dean’s office pays for service contracts on the confocal, SEM, and TEM, and the course has a budget of $1,500. Beyond that, the facility gets a small amount of support from external-user recharges. I do help with protocol optimiza- tion once the students are out of the course and in someone’s lab. Julian Smith, III


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