Who can become a registered user of the HCBI?

The Harvard Center for Biological Imaging is open to any academic or commercial researcher regardless of affiliation.


1. Obtain a Research Computing login and password. You will need this EVERY time you come to the HCBI to login to the microscope.

You can request your account here. External users (including Harvard affiliated hospitals and institutes), Undergrads, and G1s should enter the following information:

Job Title: "External/Undergrad/Grad Student"
PI: "Shanna deBlieck"
Approver: "Connor Crowley"
Department: "Harvard Center for Biological Imaging"

RC account request

On the "Services" page, external users must select all microscopes they plan to use. Internal users only need to select one microscope.

External users should type "New HCBI Customer" in the Comments field on the final page.

Click submit and you will receive an email confirmation in 24-48 hours.

2. Complete the Project Registration Form.

You will receive an email from with further instructions on how to complete your registration and safety training.

 If you are an internal user (i.e. you have access to a 33-digit Harvard Billing Code):

Approval of internal users can occur in as little as one day's time provided your lab administrator is available to upload an expense code.

If you are a Harvard affiliate or external user (i.e. you DO NOT have access to a Harvard 33-digit code and will pay by Purchase Order: 

Return a signed copy of the Memo of Understanding and a Purchase Order (Minimum $500) to

Members of the MIT community should complete the MIT-specific MOU.
Members of The Whitehead Institute should complete the Whitehead-specific MOU.
Members of The Broad Institute should complete The Broad-specific MOU.
Members of Tufts University should complete the Tufts-specific MOU.

Approval of external users can require >2 weeks depending on how quickly your instituion can sign the MOU and generate a PO.

3. Contact a amember of the HCBI training team ( to discuss which microscope is best suited to your project and how to prepare your sample.

4. The doors to the HCBI are locked from 7PM-9AM Mon-Fri and all day on weekends. If you plan to use the HCBI at night or on weekends, you will need to obtain a Harvard ID card (external users) and have building access added to it (internal and external users). Building access can be requested from can assist with this.


Registration and training are FREE! For a table outlining the HCBI's hourly fee structure click here.


hcbi_mou_mitwhitehead_template.pdf287 KB
broad_mou.pdf162 KB
mit_hcbi_mou.pdf198 KB
tufts_university_mou.pdf192 KB