Training and usage

  • Each MIF instrument has one or more designated trainers. Designated trainers help to train and supervise users on a particular instrument, and ensure the instrument is used safely and correctly on a day-to-day basis. Designated trainers are able to sign off on training logs and will notify the MIF manager of any misuse of or problems with a MIF instrument. A designated trainer is appointed at the discretion of the MIF manager.
  • Only authorised users can use MIF instruments without supervision. To be authorised , potential users must be trained by the MIF manager or a designated trainer of an instrument to sufficient competency to run experiments independently. This typically requires training at least three times and sign off on training log forms by the MIF manager or designated trainer. Note that for certain experiments or instruments, more than three training sessions might be necessary.
  • In general, Honours students and unconfirmed (1st year) PhD students are not allowed to become an authorised user. Some students in these categories may become authorised users of certain instruments at the discretion of the MIF manager.
  • In general, non-departmental users of instruments cannot be authorised. They will have to book instruments through a designated trainer or the MIF manager. Some users in this category (eg. users who will use a certain instrument for the long term and/or have had prior training in the department) may become an authorised user at the discretion of the MIF manager.
  • All other users must arrange to perform their experiments under supervision from a designated trainer or the MIF manager.


  • Bookings can only be made by authorised users through the online booking system at http://mif.biochem.unimelb.edu.au.
  • Users will only have booking access to the instruments they have been authorised to use.
  • To facilitate monitoring of usage and charging by the MIF manage, bookings can only be changed when the timeslot has not passed.

Data storage

  • Data collected by instrument users are stored on the hard drives of the PCs attached to the instruments. From time to time, these hard drives will be cleared of files to maintain sufficient storage space. It is the users’ responsibility to save their data onto storage media immediately after each experiment and/or to make backups of their work. The MIF will take no responsibility for lost data due to hard drive failure or computer malfunction after experiments have been completed and users have departed from the instruments.

User Charges and Fees

  • Users will be charged fees according to the Instrument Fees document. The fees will be reviewed yearly by the MIF manager and the MIF committee.
  • Instrument usage will be tallied every quarter by the MIF manager. Total charges for each lab will be forwarded to the departmental business manager.
  • Servicing costs for each instrument will be covered as follows:
    • 50% by the department
    • 50% by lab heads in proportion to instrument usage for the last quarter

Collaborative Work

  • Collaborative work can be conducted by contacting the MIF manager or lab heads. This can be an effective way to analyse complex data or to apply unusual experimental setups. Generally, a fee for ‘usage by a non-departmental user’ will be charged (and also a data analysis fee for the particular instrument).
  • After discussion between the user and the lab head or MIF manager, the experiment may be classified as a collaboration. In this case, a fee for ‘usage by a departmental user’ will be charged instead, and the expectation is that the lab head or MIF manager will have his/her name included in any publication arising from the work.

Policies for Specific Instruments

Analytical Ultracentrifuges

  • Usage fees for academics will be capped at $5,000 per year per lab.
  • A discount of 20% on all usage fees will apply to the CIs who contributed to the initial LIEF grant.
  • Heavy or long-term users will be required to purchase their own sample containers (‘cells’).
  • Users must record all information required on the log sheets including run number, sample name/concentration, wavelength scan details, initial radial scan details, actual run details and the cell number or identity. Users who fail to include the required information may have their access restricted or be charged at the maximum rate.
  • Installation and removal of the monochromator for each experiment must be done by the MIF manager or designated trainer. Users must not install or remove the monochromator .
  • All facility cells must be cleaned before the start of the next booking time. For a weekend booking, all cells must be cleaned by 3 pm on the Monday.
  • Users who fail to clean the facility cells before the start of the next booking time may be charged an additional $100 cleaning fee (this does not apply to users who purchase their own cells).

Circular Dichroism spectrometer

  • Users must record usage information in the provided log book, particularly the number of hours the instrument lamp has been turned on.
  • The lamp is not to be left on for more than 30 minutes when no scan is under way or temperature is not being adjusted.

Fluorescence spectrometer

  • Users will have to bring their own cuvettes (or borrow from another lab).
  • Users must record usage information in the log book provided.

Isothermal Titration Calorimeter

  • The chamber and syringe must be cleaned after each run.
  • Users must record usage information in the log book provided.

Fast Protein Liquid Chromatography (FPLC)

  • Columns are to be provided by the users. Columns are not to be left connected to the instrument for more than 12 hours after a run has finished.