PhD course on Electron Microscopy

Aim and content

This course is free of charge for PhD students at Danish universities (except Copenhagen Business School). All other participants must pay the course fee. Anyone can apply for the course, but if you are not a PhD student, you will be placed on the waiting list for the course until enrollment deadline. After the deadline of enrollment, available seats will be allocated to students on the waiting list.


This course is suitable not only for beginners in electron microscopy, but also for those who already use the electron microscope in their work and now want to extend their knowledge of basic principles and more specialised techniques. The course is run in collaboration with the Royal Microscopical Society (RMS).

Week 1 provides an essential foundation in the basic principles of electron microscopy, focusing on room temperature techniques which are the basis of ultra-structural studies of cellular systems, covering topics such as principles of transmission and scanning electron microscopy, electron sources, vacuum systems, specimen-electron interactions and diffraction, electron optics, and electromagnetic lenses. Biological specimen preparation will constitute a major part of the course, including methods of chemical fixation.

Week 2 provides a comprehensive introduction to cryo EM, an approach which includes structural determination of macromolecules and macromolecular machinery by electron microscopy which in 2017 attracted the Nobel prize in chemistry. The course will cover the technology, practical application and principles of cryo EM, including cryo-preservation by high pressure freezing and single particle analysis. Advanced electron microscope techniques such as immunogold labeling, electron tomography, and data analysis/visualization of molecular structure data will be introduced towards the end of the course.

The state-of-the-art facilities available at CFIM ( including a Titan Krios allow for a strong practical element, with time for each student to gain hands-on experience of both transmission and scanning electron microscopes. The course will be run by experienced microscopists in a relaxed atmosphere with the aim of promoting discussion and exchange of ideas between students and tutors.