Scientific Support Units

Scientific support units at the Instituto Gulbenkian De Ciência provide technology driven expertise and services. Nine units are available to support driven research with state-of-the-art technologies and up to date trained personnel. Implementing new applications and protocols. Accelerating research.



All users of IGC Scientific Support Units must read, understand, agree and comply with the policies described in this section.

Besides the “Scientific Support Units Terms of Use” described below, the IGC’s “Code of Conduct” contains additional relevant information about the expected conduct at IGC Scientific Support Units, and can be consulted here.


Access & Training

  1. The IGC Scientific Support Units are open to IGC researchers and external users, both academic and non-academic. However, priority is given to internal researchers.
  2. Before using any resource, new users must request access to the facility staff, who will grant them access after adequate training.
  3. All IGC Scientific Support UnitsUsers are required to receive general safety training for each IGC core facility. This does not exclude regular safety training provided by the Biosafety Officer.
  4. In case of repeated facility usage or general lab usage, external users may be requested to take the IGC global safety course. It is the responsibility of the Scientific Support UnitsHead to determine this threshold, which may vary depending on the type of equipment/lab used.
  5. Visitors are not allowed inside the IGC Scientific Support Units.If you would like to bring a visitor, please request a written permission from the Scientific Support UnitHead.
  6. Users can access the IGC Scientific Support Unitsindependent of the facility working hours if authorized by the unit. However, outside regular operation hours the availability of technical staff will be reduced. The facility working hours should be confirmed with each facility, as they may vary or be limited due to regular or extraordinary procedures. Note that presence of external users out of the working hours might be limited depending on: a) type of facility used, b) type of safety training, and c) written permission from the facility head.
  7. After extended periods (6+ months) without facility usage, access may be revoked until a short refresher training is done with facility staff.  
  8. Some IGC Scientific Support Unitsor part of them might have card control access, with access granted from the facility staff. External users might need a temporary access card if applicable.
  9. No vertebrates, insects, BSL-2 or BSL-3 organisms are allowed to enter the IGC without express authorization from the Model Organisms Unit or Biosafety Officer.
  10. Users must leave the equipment and surrounding space clean and ready for the next user. Repeated offenses will result in loss of privileges and/or access.
  11. The terms and conditions expressed here are a complement to those specific for each facility and made available at each facility’s website and in SOPs. Specific rules and terms of usage will be described during the training and it is expected that users are fully aware of them.



  1. All IGC scientific support units bookings require a Group account request via Agendo platform ( The exception to this is for the Transgenics Unit involving mice or flies for which requests should be made directly to the facility team (Ana Nóvoa for mice transgenics projects: [email protected]; Gastón Guilgur for fly transgenesis [email protected]).
  2. Group Leaders and Lab Managers can view their group’s ongoing requests and bookings.
  3. Data from bookings and requests made through IGC’s Agendo system will be saved during a period of 10 years after the booking/request and files uploaded to Agendo for a minimum of 5 years.
  4. Bookings and personal data are accessible only for users registered in Agendo. The system works on a one-by-one basis, preventing regular users from seeing the users list. Further information is available in general Agendo Terms of Use.
  5. It is mandatory to reserve through Agendo any equipment before usage, including weekends.
  6. If a user allows another user to use their booking, the first user will maintain full financial and technical responsibility for the proper usage of the machine during that time.
  7. Repeatedly booking on behalf of others is not allowed.
  8. Repeatedly arriving late, skipping or deleting booked sessions without providing an explanation; using equipment without, or past, the time booked without informing the staff is not allowed.
  9. To continuously improve the services rendered by each Facility, IGC will promote annual surveys to all its users.
  10. The usage of IGC Scientific Support Unitsby external users is dependent on the current availability and access can be waived at any time.


Group Leader Duties

  1. Group members can independently book, request items and use approved facility resources in good faith (please check “Schedule and Access to IGC Core Facilities” and “Payments and Funds” sections).
  2. Each Group Leader has the responsibility to regularly update the respective group members list in Agendo. Active group members can book facility equipment or request services. For all new users added, Agendo will send a notification to the respective Group Leader and Lab-manager.
  3. It is the responsibility of the Group Leader to ensure their students and postdocs comply with all the policies described here.
  4. In case of equipment damage due to clear misuse, the Group Leader may be fully responsible for its repair, pending a discussion with the IGC direction.
  5. The Group Leader should make all efforts to confirm that work carried out at the IGC Scientific Support Unitsis properly and fully acknowledged, including recognition of intellectual contributions from facility staff, both in scientific communications (abstracts, seminars, etc.) and publications. 
  6. The Group Leader maintains responsibility for the scientific ethics of the work done by the members of their research group in the IGC Scientific Support Units.



  1. To use the IGC Scientific Support Units services, it is necessary to create in Agendo a virtual financial account that will be assigned to your group ( This should be requested to the Facilities Services Officer at the IGC ([email protected]). More than one financial account associated with different grants can be created.
  2. All bookings to use IGC Scientific Support Unitsentails a responsibility to pay for the services/products rendered. The Group Leader is responsible to pay any equipment or service directly booked by its own active group members in Agendo through the designated account.
  3. For IGC internal users only: 
  4. do not use external projects to book Facility equipment on their 1st and last month, as  the expense’s eligibility can’t be guaranteed.
  5. select the financial account that will pay for the requested equipment/services. This account must have available funds in ‘internal expenses’ rubric in order to proceed with the booking.
  6. Monthly billing is performed after the rendered services is duly approved by the Group Leader within 2 weeks, after which it is considered that the requested services were accepted and the billing is done automatically.
  7. For IGC external users only: 
  8. After opening your Group account in Agendo (see Booking chapter point 1 ) you must send to  [email protected] a Purchase Order (PO) with the amount you wish to be credited in your Agendo financial account or add it to the quote request. This is a mandatory step prior to any booking of IGC Core Facilities.
  9. Quotes for the requested equipment/service usage can be provided beforehand by the respective Facility Head. However we recommend that a general PO is sent to allow multiple bookings and requests throughout the year for the same group
  10. Monthly billing is performed after the rendered services is duly approved by the Group Leader within 2 weeks, after which it is considered that the requested services were accepted and the billing is done automatically.
  11. Billed amounts only include the service(s) performed and approved regardless of the value stated in the PO, i.e., external groups only pay for what they have actually consumed. A technical report will accompaign the invoice with description of the services rendered.
  12. IGC does not invoice services in advance. 
  13. Each IGC Core Facility has a specific cancellation policy which may vary for each instrument. Please confirm with the staff the specific policy in case you need to cancel a booking or request.


General Safety and Legal Policy

  1. No food or drinks are allowed in the IGC Scientific Support Units.
  2. Every project using vertebrate animals at IGC must be a) approved by the Animal Welfare Body of the IGC (in Portuguese: Órgão Responsável pelo Bem-Estar Animal - ORBEA; [email protected]); and b) by the Direção Geral de Alimentação e Veterinária (DGAV). Only after obtaining these 2 authorisations experiments are allowed to start at IGC.
  3. For manipulating vertebrates in any type of experimental setup, it is mandatory to have a personal license granted by DGAV.
  4. Not complying to basic safety rules, such as the usage of appropriate personal protective equipment or local SOPs, might lead to temporary or permanent loss of access to the IGC Core Facilities or the IGC’s general insurance refusing your claim in case of an accident.
  5. IGC insurances do not apply to our Facility external users. All external users must be covered by the respective employer.  


Publications and Acknowledgments

  1. It is mandatory to acknowledge in all publications the IGC Scientific Support Unitsthat were used to support that work. Please use the following sentence: “The authors gratefully acknowledge the support & assistance of the [facility name] which is funded by [funding source]”. In case one facility member helped extraordinarily on a publication, this member should be mentioned by name (“especially member J. Doe”).
  2. Acknowledging the facility funding is also mandatory. Please consult SOPs available in Agendo and the IGC Scientific Support Unitsstaff about additional acknowledgements necessary for each equipment.
  3. Authorship of facility head and/or staff should be discussed on a case-by-case basis and defined as early as possible. This is only applied if the facility staff gives relevant intellectual input or for implementing specific novel applications not yet available as a standard service.
  4. Before submitting a paper, please confirm with the facility staff that all technical aspects are properly described.
  5. Payment of Facility services is always due, even if staff carried work that warrants co-authorship.


Data Handling

  1. For self-service resources, users are responsible for backing up their data.
  2. No backup is offered even for a short term and no responsibility can be attributed to the facility in case of data loss.
  3. As a rule of thumb, data can be deleted without further notice after 7 days but each facility might have different policies. Please check directly with the IGC Scientific Support Unitstaff.
  4. Installing software on instrument workstations and using USB pens or external drives for data transfer is not allowed.
  5. For help with data transfer, please contact each scientific support unit.



Check the papers here.



Updated on 27 february 2024

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