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Before your experiment

Main proposer: Once the proposal is accepted, you will receive an invitation by email 4-6 weeks before the experiment is scheduled. In this email, you will receive the name and contact details of your ESRF Local Contact, a scientist familiar with the instrumental set-up who will assist you with your experiment. You are encouraged to contact your local contact as soon as possible to discuss the details of your experiment.  

New users: Create your account in the User Portal. You cannot be registered as user through the electronic A Form (completed and submitted by the main proposer) until you have an account. Perform your Safety Training on line ('User Safety Training' in tab 'Safety'). If you are to receive financial assistance by the ESRF ('reimbursed' user), you must complete the section/tab 'Reimbursement data' in your user account

Returning users: Make sure your account is up to date in the User Portal.

Consult the checklist

Main Proposer: Fill in this electronic form via the User Portal. The A Form provides the ESRF with the information necessary to prepare the visit of the experimental team and the experimental session. It must be submitted:

  • 1 month before the experiment for users coming on site
  • 2 weeks before the start of the experiment for remote experiments.

Note that the main proposer is not automatically added to the list of users. If you will be participating in the experimental team, make sure you add yourself to the list of users.

Users: Once registered, you can consult the A Form via your user account (in the User Portal, go to the tab 'Proposals/Experiments'. Select 'A Form' and 'View A Form'). Check: arrival/departures dates, accommodation and travel requests, site entrance authorisation.

Joint ILL/ESRF projects: Users have to register both at the ESRF (by filling the A Form covering the full duration of both experiments) and at the ILL user portal (Visitors Club). Consult also the information on reimbursement regulations for SANS-SAXS users (pdf file).

Find out how to complete the A Form

A scientist familiar with the beamline and instrumental set-up will be named as your Local Contact when your project is scheduled. Their details will be included in the invitation for your experiment.

Main proposer: If your experiment has been rated «yellow» or «red» by the Safety Group, you must fill in a Risk Analysis Form and return it at least 2 weeks before the start of your experiment.

Users: All ESRF users are required to perform the ESRF safety training course on line before their arrival on site. The safety training session is available on the User Portal (see tab 'Safety' in your user account). The Safety Training Course is valid for 1 year.

Available safety training courses :

  • A standard User Safety Training Course
  • A remote access training to be followed by "remote" users (this course does not replace the standard Safety Training course, which has to be completed as well)
  • A mail-in access training - when samples are sent to the ESRF and the experiment performed by the beamline staff (this course does not replace the standard Safety Training course, which has to be completed as well)

Please read carefully the page Safety information for users.

If you hold a passport from a non-European Union country, you will probably have to apply for a visa.

Go to the page Visa Requirements.

Financial assistance is provided for ESRF Users from partners countries affiliated to universities and publicly funded laboratories or involved in a peer-reviewed experiment. Go to the page Financial Assistance.

ILL/ESRF Joint Proposals: download the file "Reimbursement regulations" (pdf file).

All ESRF users need to have adequate health and accident insurance during their stay in France. You will be asked to provide proof of insurance to the French Social Security in the event of illness or a work-related accident, either as a User resident in the European Union or as a User resident outside the European Union. Go to the page Insurance & Medical Conditions.

All samples and equipment brought into the ESRF must be authorised in advance. Go to the page Shipping Samples.

For the shipping of samples for remote experiments on non-Structural Biology beamlines click here.

The use of the support laboratories must be booked in advance through the A Form. For some laboratories, a specific form must be completed and sent to the head of the laboratory (forms available through the A Form and in the page 'Support laboratories request forms').

Note: the EMBL Lab support is not anymore available for ESRF Users (09/03/2021).

For each scheduled proposal, the ESRF creates a Unix account on the ESRF NICE (Networked Interactive Computing Environment) system. The account allows collection and transfer of the data generated on the beamline. Go to the page Data NICE Account.

  • Consult the ESRF User Policies and rules
  • Remember that the working language of the ESRF is English and it is mandatory that at least one fluent English-speaking scientist participates in the experiment onsite (registered on the A-form).

Checklist: Prepare for a visit