A Covid-19 Rapid Call for Access to the Octopus Facility
26 Mar 2020



Rapid Access Call for Octopus Facility Proposals: SARS-CoV-2




The UK's Central Laser Facility (CLF) is inviting rapid access proposals to its Octopus imaging facility for research relevant to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19. The Octopus facility offers a comprehensive range of optical microscopy instruments and techniques including super-resolution (PALM/STORM, SIM, and STED, including STORM at cryogenic temperatures), single molecule imaging and tracking, light sheet microscopy, FRET-FLIM, and optical trapping/tweezers. We also offer a Zeiss Crossbeam cryo FIB-SEM with “slice and view" capability. More information is available at:



To maintain social distancing in this unique call, physical microscopy will be undertaken by expert CLF staff, with samples being sent to the facility. Communication with users before and during the experiments will be by video link or telephone, and remote access to the microscopy instruments will be available. As biological containment level 3 is not available at the facility, we are unable to do live virus work and samples sent to site must be tested and certified as non-infective in advance. This call is open to all researchers in academia or industry worldwide, and will be open until the 1 May 2020, with the possibility of extension depending on circumstances at that time.

This is a rolling call with no deadline; proposals will be evaluated on receipt, and those that pass an initial feasibility and safety check will receive a light touch, rapid turn-around peer-review by members of our Facility Access Panel. There are no charges for access to the facility for successful applicants. Facility capacity is limited by the availability of staff and equipment, and successful proposals will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis. Proposals should be submitted using the online form available here:


We recommend that anyone intending to submit a proposal first contacts the Octopus group leader, Marisa Martin-Fernandez (marisa.martin-fernandez@stfc.ac.uk).

The CLF's Octopus Facility is housed in the Research Complex at Harwell at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom.

Diamond Light Source Rapid Access Call for Proposals: SARS-CoV-2

Diamond Light Source are also offering priority rapid access for groups who require instrument time for projects directly related to SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins.  More information, and details on how to apply, can be found here.

Contact: Clarke, Dave (STFC,RAL,CLF)