Campus Image

Two-Photon and Super-Resolution Microscopy Pilot Grants

These grants will provide funding for training and use of a Neuroscience Microscopy Service (NMS) two photon or super-resolution microscope for a limited time period (up to 4 months). The expectation is that these initial experiments would provide preliminary data to support either grant application(s) for additional funding or a decision to dedicate existing funding to complete the project.

ELIGIBILITY: Stanford PIs. One submission per PI. Must be a new project at NMS.

DEADLINE: Proposals are accepted on an ongoing basis as funding permits up until May 15, 2016. Since funding is limited, earlier applications will have a higher probabilty of success.

FUNDING: Up to $5k, for training and microscope time at NMS (two-photon or super-resolution microscopes only).

APPLICATION PROCESS: To apply, send a brief proposal (1-2 pages, figures included in page count, references not) containing:

  • one paragraph abstract in lay language
  • 1 or 2 specific aims
  • brief description of proposed experiments

SUBMIT PROPOSALS TO: Andrew Olson, Director, Neuroscience Microscopy Service (

Successful applications will be funded on a rolling basis as received. It is anticipated that up to 5 awards may be funded. Successful applicants must provide a research summary report (2-4 pages, including figure(s)) within 6 weeks of grant conclusion containing:

  • one paragraph abstract in lay language
  • brief description of experiments
  • results (including example images from the NMS microscope)
  • discussion (including future plans to complete the project, as appropriate)

If preliminary data leads to further funding, successful applicants must notify NMS/SNI. As with any research facilitated by a Stanford Service Center, if the results are used in a publication, NMS must be acknowledged.

NMS thanks the Stanford School of Medicine Dean's Office for providing the funding for these pilot grants.

For questions or to submit a proposal, contact: Andrew Olson, Director, Neuroscience Microscopy Service (

NMS has 2 two-photon microscopes, one for in vivo imaging, and one for tissue slices. The scopes are equipped with dual pulsed Ti:sapphire lasers, tunable between 690 and 1040 nm. Both microscopes are equipped with dual sets of scan mirrors, so that one laser can be used for imaging while the second laser is used for photoactivation or uncaging. The in vivo imaging rig is equipped with a motorized stage, gas anesthesia, and a heating pad, and has four-color detection with GAsP PMTs. There is a surgical prep room adjacent to the microscope. The tissue slice rig is equipped with a motorized stage, a perfusion system, and an electrophysiology setup for simultaneous whole-cell recording in tissue slices. The tissue slice rig has two-color detection (red and green fluors) and uses multi-alkali PMTs.

NMS has a DeltaVision OMX structured illumination super-resolution microscope from GE Healthcare. It provides super-resolution imaging with up to three fluorescence channels (blue, green and red fluors), using sCMOS cameras for imaging. Software image reconstruction enables two-fold improvement in resolution over standard confocal imaging.

For further details on the microscopes, see the Equipment pages.