School of GeoSciences

Small research facilities available for use

Our Small Research Facilities (SRF) are available for hire or consultancy, and we can also provide expert training and support.

A female scientist wearing lab coat and gloves holds up a dropper in the Cosmogenic Nuclide Laboratory

To support world-leading research, we are committed to sharing our facilities and expertise with external academic and industrial collaborators both locally and across the globe.  

Our Small Research Facilities (SRF) are a facility or service that support our School in-house research and teaching, but are also available for external users across the University and beyond.  

These are facilities where there is a charge for the facility's use.  The income for facility use covers the facility running costs, as well as help fund the upgrade and replacement of equipment. Charges for using our Small Research Facilities are recognised by grant funders and can form part of a grant submission.  All of our Small Research Facilities charge a reduced rate for student use.

Information on using our SRF facilities is available at the bottom of this page.


Explore our Small Research Facilities (SRF)

You can explore our Small Research Facilities below.  

To discuss bookings, pricing and availability, please contact the facility directly.


Airborne GeoSciences Facility

Our facility operates a fleet of manned and unmanned aircraft equipped with state of the art sensors to support research and teaching across the School and beyond.

Explore the Airborne GeoSciences Facility

Chemical analysis facilities

Our School offers a wide range of geochemical facilities for the the analysis of soils, sediments, plant material, water samples and biochar extracts. 

Explore the chemical analysis facilities

Cosmogenic Nuclide Laboratory

Our facility provides academic and external services in preparing samples for the measurement of terrestrial cosmogenic nuclides within rock and sediment.

Explore the Cosmogenic Nuclide Laboratory

The Edinburgh Materials and Micro-Analysis Centre (EMMAC)

EMMAC provides integrated and interdisciplinary facilities for the application of microbeam techniques to material analysis. There are three individual facilities within the Centre.  

They consist of:

  • Electron Probe Microanalysis (EPMA) Facility (including the Tephra Analysis Unit)
  • NERC Ion Micro-Probe (SIMS) Facility
  • Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) Facility
Explore the Edinburgh Materials and Micro-Analysis Centre 

Electron Probe Microanalysis (EPMA) Facility

Our facility provides academic and commercial services in electron probe microanalysis and tephra analysis.

Explore the Electron Probe Microanalysis Facility

Experimental X-ray Microtomography Facility

Our X-ray CT instrument was designed and built in-house to enable non-destructive 3D analysis of geological materials and for experimental applications. 

Explore the Experimental X-ray Microtomography Facility

ICP Analysis Facility

Our facility provides academic and external services in Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry analysis.

Explore the ICP Analysis Facility

NERC Ion Micro-Probe (SIMS) Facility

Our facility provides academic and commercial services in Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) analysis for the chemical analysis of small volumes of material.

Explore the NERC Ion Micro-Probe Facility

Mechanical Workshop

Our Mechanical Workshop provides design, build and manufacture services on different materials for a wide range of purposes.

Explore the Mechanical Workshop

Organic Geochemistry Facility

Our facility provides academic and commercial services in wide-ranging analysis of natural and contaminant organic chemicals.

Explore the Organic Geochemistry Facility

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) Facility

Our Scanning Electron Microscope analysis provides high resolution imaging techniques together with compositional analysis and mapping. 

Explore the Scanning Electron Microscope  Facility

Stable Isotope Mass Spectrometry (Wolfson Laboratory)

Our established stable isotope laboratory is largely used for palaeoenvironmental research such as the analysis of skeletal carbonates (including annually-banded corals and clam shells, foraminifera, and ostracods) and deep-sea sediments.

Explore the Wolfson Laboratory

Tephra Analysis Unit (TAU)

Our Tephra Analysis Unit (TAU) is an internationally recognised centre for the electron probe microanalysis of volcanic glasses and melt inclusions.  Access to the Tephra Analysis Unit is via the Electron Probe Microanalysis (EPMA) Facility.

Explore the Tephra Analysis Unit

Thin Section and Sample Preparation Facility

Our facility supports academic and commercial services in sample impregnation, cutting, grinding, separation and polishing for the preparation of geological samples.

Explore the Thin Section and Sample Preparation Facility

X-Ray Diffraction Facility

Our facility provides academic and commercial services in X-ray diffraction analysis for qualitative or quantitative mineralogical analysis of crystalline material.

Explore the X-Ray Diffraction Facility

X-Ray Fluorescence Facility

Our facility provides academic and commercial services in qualitative or quantitative elemental analysis of geological materials.

Explore the X-Ray Fluorescence Facility


Using our Small Research Facilities (SRF)

A close view of blue gloved hands dropping chemicals into yellow scientific receptacles for anion analysis

External users

We support a range of external users such as:

  • students and staff from other universities
  • external researchers and research bodies
  •  industrial and commercial organisations and consultancy firms.

Our facilities may be used with prices on application and are dependent on availability.

To query about prices and booking a facility, please contact the facility directly. You can find contact details on the relevant facility web pages listed above.

School staff and students, and the wider University

You can find pricing for the use of our SRF facilities within our School intranet.

Staff and students within the School must also complete a technical request form.

SRF use for staff and students (secured)

Facility locations and access

Our facilities are located within multiple buildings across two University campuses in Edinburgh.  There are various refreshments available on our campuses, including catering services.  A range of accommodation is available in close distance to either campus. 

Our main locations are:

  • Kings Buildings campus
  • Central Area campus

Maps and guides

Getting to Edinburgh and the University is easy no matter where you are coming from or how you choose to travel.

The University provides campus maps and accessibility guides for the campuses and buildings, including travel information. 

Take a virtual visit

Take a virtual visit to explore Edinburgh city and the University campuses and buildings.

Our interactive platform can take you on a guided tour or help you explore the campus for yourself.

University campus maps and guides Start your journey here