Users fees

CIME facilty user fees

Following a mandate given by the Vice-Presidency for Research, CIME must apply new user fees that are effective since 1st of July 2017.
The new cost accounting methodology (see letter from the VPR from January 2017) make the operational costs transparent and auditable. The new utilisation costs will from now on be eligible to research funding bodies (e.g. SNF, H2020), and must be re-evaluated on a yearly basis.
In collaboration with the VPR and CIME Executive Committee, CIME has implemented the utilization and service fees as listed in the table below.

  • No more flat-rate services (training or service etc.), every hour will be accounted for.
  • No special rates for night or weekend use (to be auditable).
  • Differentiation between self-use (trained user independent use of equipment) and “Full-Service” (operator assisted: equipment operated by CIME staff).
  • In “Full-Service” the machine time will be billed as in self-use and the operator (CIME staff) time will be added. These costs are eligible for reimbursement through the funding agencies.
  • The CIME equipment has been grouped into classes of instruments (see table).
  • Specimen preparation done by CIME staff for materials science will be billed as Full-Service.

Introduction to SEM and TEM will be billed on a hourly basis. Although it will be fully operator assisted (like Full-Service) the operator hours will not be added to the bill, and in “bulk trainings” (small groups for the very basic introduction) the time (and cost) will be split evenly between the participants.

Advanced techniques training (for example EDXS, special detectors, charge compensation, EELS, tomography etc.) and transition to another equipment will be billed like Full-Service.

Training and Services in the framework of semester projects (SEM only) and master projects (SEM and TEM) will be billed on machine time basis (no operator costs).

In order to enable feasibility studies, trials in specimen preparation and trials on new techniques every lab gets a “subsidy” of 40h/lab/year on the accumulated CIME staff operator time.

The subsidies will be calculated at the end of the year and a subsidy of max. 40h of staff operator per lab will be paid back to the lab.

For labs with heavy use and important contribution to methods development, the CIME´s CE (executive Committee) can grant additional subsidies.  The details are currently under discussion and will be communicated after the summer break. Please feel free to give us feedback on cases you would think relevant.

The new cost structure makes the platform cost eligible for third party funding. Please feel free to contact the CIME for help and advice when putting electron microscopy work in a grant application.


Table of user fees




3View SEM




Gemini-SEM, Merlin, Teneo


Attolight Rosa CL-SEM

FIB: NVision40, XB-540, PFIB






Full –Service







Basic TEM

Analytical TEM

High-end TEM


Bio-Spirit, Spirit-SION

Talos, Orsiris, TF-20, JEOL-2200FS










Specimen preparation Materials Science: 67/hour on effort base

Specimen preparation Life-Science: See with Bio-EM for details


From Januray 1st 2018 the billing is on a monthly basis.

If you have any questions on the new billing format, please contact Marco Cantoni