Single access point to the Dutch EM infrastructure
NEMI is the central entry point for EM in the Netherlands. The infrastructure is accessible to academic researchers from The Netherlands or abroad that are able to successfully submit an Access Request that meets criteria of scientific quality, see ‘Access Procedures’ below. This does not imply that access is free or charge; beam time tariffs also depend on whether the particular part of the infrastructure was subsidized through national or European funding schemes.
The coordination of the NEMI infrastructure and access to the nodes and their technologies is performed by the NEMI Executive Board. All information relevant for users, e.g. presentation of each Node, level of entry (Regional or Flagship Node), information about available technologies, access to data repositories, data management software, and guidelines for user support is provided at the central location. The NEMI support team also provides a central consultation point, which will help future users to identify the most suitable technology and Node for their particular research purpose.
All Nodes associated with NEMI have committed to provide:
- Physical access to imaging instruments (list of technologies offered on NEMI website);
- Technical support and expertise;
- Hands-on training of users during their visit at the Node;
- Regular user training courses (levels based on available instrumentation and expertise);
- Image acquisition and processing technologies;
- Support with the immediate storage and processing of image data;
- Support for project planning, additionally required instrumentation, animal facilities, wet lab space, server space, user accommodation, etc.;
- Standard operating procedures, best-practice data management plans, and connection to data infrastructure.
An overview of the EM expertise available at the Flagship nodes is summarized in the following table.
|Flagship Node||Distinguishing technologies||Associated PI’s|
|Development of instrumentation, in-situ hard-matter EM, holography||Pieter Kruit, Jacob Hoogenboom, Sonia Conesa-Boj, Henny Zandbergen|
|In-situ soft-matter EM, soft-matter cryo-EM, ultrafast EM||Nico Sommerdijk, Heiner Friedrich, Jom Luiten, Erwin Kessels|
|Groningen (UMCG/RUG)||Large-scale EM, single-particle cryo-EM||Ben Giepmans (UMCG), Bart Kooi, Cristina Paulino (RUG)|
|Leiden (LUMC/LU/NeCEN)||High-resolution EM for life Sciences, cryo-correlative light EM (cryo-CLEM)||Bram Koster, Roman Koning (LUMC) Ariane Briegel, (LU), Ludo Renault (NeCEN)|
|Immuno-EM, live cell-CLEM, analytical EM, image processing||Judith Klumperman (UMCU), Friedrich Förster, Marijn van Huis, Krijn de Jong, Alfons van Blaaderen, Martyn Drury (UU)|
|Multimodal cryo-EM-mass spectrometry (MS), ion microscopy||Peter Peters, Ron Heeren, Raimond Ravelli, Carmen Lopez-Iglesias|
The NEMI infrastructure will be made available to national and international users through the NEMI user program. Access will be arranged in line with the European Charter for Access to Research Infrastructures.
A request for usage starts with the submittal of a user proposal, containing a request for access to a specific element of the NEMI infrastructure together with the scientific rationale, budgeted user time and required support and training. Requests to Regional Nodes can be submitted via the NEMI website or directly to the management of the requested node to ensure rapid throughput of frequent users. Applications for access to NEMI Flagship nodes will be assessed by a NEMI Access Requests Board composed of the principal PIs of the distinct Nodes supplemented with international scientists from the scientific advisory board. All applications will be assessed on the basis of scientific excellence and the suitability of the selected EM technique to answer the scientific questions posed. Decisions will be taken by this Board within 3 weeks after submission of request and microscopy beam time will be scheduled within 6 weeks after acceptance. Finally, in-house training will be provided for frequent users of the facility.