MXpress (FX) experiment: a macromolecular crystallography experiment where ESRF staff carry out the experiment

Electronic submission of the Beamtime Application form



Applications for beam time for industrial experiments are to be submitted electronically by the Main Contact only. The Main Contact is the scientist responsible for collecting information on behalf of the experimental team, for co-ordinating arrangements for the group and for transmitting details to the ESRF.  The experiment submitted via the web is linked to the Main Contact's name and password.  Please consult carefully the instructions given below before proceeding.


Application Form for Beam Time
Assign Final Number
Sample Sheet
ESRF Computer Accounts
Other Information


As Main Contact, you will receive an email from the Business Development Office (BDO) directing you to the "ESRF User Portal" on the ESRF web site. You may then complete and submit the electronic Beamtime Application form - see below.

If you are new to the ESRF, you should create yourself in the system.  Go to the Portal and select "I am a new User - Create", then follow the instructions.  You will shortly receive an email with your new password.

If you are already created, you will be asked to log on by typing in your log-on (last name) and personal Password. If you have forgotten it, leave these two fields empty and fill in your email address in the field available under "I have lost my login or password". You will shortly receive an email with your password.

If your email address has changed since the last time you logged on, please click on the link under "I have lost my password and my email has changed" which opens an email to be sent directly to the BDO.  We will then inform you of the new password.

A personal password is attributed automatically by the system to each person registered at the ESRF via the User Portal. It is personal and confidential, and should be kept for future experiments. You will need your password to create/update your User Account.

The password also allows all scientists involved in an MXpress experiment to create a Sample Sheet and attach it to the experiment.

Application for Beam Time via the web

If this is your first visit, you need to submit a Beamtime Application Form electronically, to inform the Safety Group of your experiment and of the samples you will be bringing.  It will also generate your official experiment number.

Log on to the ESRF User Portal and select "Proposals/Experiments" (top blue tab) then "Proposals" in the drop-down menu. Under the "New Proposal" tab, select "Industrial Experiment - Macromolecular Crystallography".  A pop-up will appear on the right - please select "Experiment to be carried out by ESRF staff".

Please ensure that you fill in the information under each Tab and especially the mandatory (red) fields, otherwise the system will not let you submit. Read the form carefully whilst completing it!

All sections of the form must be filled in; safety assessments are difficult, if not impossible, to make if this is not done, and without the approval of the Safety Group, your experiment will not be authorised to take place. The name and characteristics of the substance(s) should be completed carefully.

When you have completed all the Tabs, click on "Save". If you receive an error message, it usually means there are sections you have not filled in, or not correctly filled in. Please read the warning message carefully. Once you have Saved, you will get a notice: "Your experiment has been successfully created".


Assign Final Number

You need to validate your Beamtime Application Form. Select the Tab "Proposals in Progress" - your temporary application form is shown. Click on the Refresh icon at the top of the page (blue circular arrow). The icon next to "Validate your Experiment" has changed; click on it to validate and you will be sent to the "Proposals with Final Number" Tab and you will have your Final Number: FX followed by a two-digit number, which is your experiment number. You may keep this number indefinitely, meaning you only need to submit a Beamtime Application Form once.

You may now, if you wish, start to create your Sample Sheets. Click on the icon next to "Manage your Samples" and you will be taken to a new page, select the "+" sign next to "Click to add a new sample to this proposal" and complete the Sample Form.  See the chapter "Sample Sheets" below for further information.

The data you enter in the Beamtime Application form is registered directly into the ESRF database. As a result, several automatic emails with important information will be generated and sent to you. Please read these emails !


Sample Sheet

The Main Contact or Co-Proposers must create Sample Sheets to attach to your experiment, allowing you to keep the same "FX" experiment number and to submit a single Beamtime Application Form for all future Mxpress experiments.

The electronic Sample Sheet, which supplies detailed information on the sample(s), is transmitted to the Safety Group and the Local Contact.


To create new Sample Sheets: log on to the ESRF User Portal, select "Proposals/Experiments" (top tab) then "Proposals" in the drop-down menu - select tab "Proposals with Final Number", you will see your scheduled experiment. On this line, click on the icon on the right, "Manage your Samples" and all your existing samples for this experiment will be listed. At the bottom of this page, you will see "Click to add a new sample to this proposal" - click on the "+" sign.

You may submit as many Sample Sheets as required for your scheduled experiment.

You may view, edit or delete your Sample Sheets: follow the above procedure to get to the page listing all the samples. Select your sample, then under "Actions", click on the appropriate icon depending on what you want to do.

You may duplicate a Sample Sheet that was created for a previous experiment where you were registered as either Main Contact or Co-Proposer: follow the procedure as above. At the bottom of the page listing all the samples, you will see "Duplicable existing Samples information". Select the samples that you wish to duplicate for the current session.

If you return to the ESRF to do an experiment, once you have received the Invitation which validates your session, simply create and attach Sample Sheets to this new experimental session, to be submitted with the A Form.

You are strongly recommended to avoid a late submission of new Sample Sheet(s). Please keep in mind that the Sample Sheet(s) have to be checked by the Safety Group.

Describe the sample(s) carefully as this description is very important.

There are some obligatory fields. If you have not filled them in, the system will not let you submit.

You may prepare the Sample Sheets during the Application procedure, but you cannot submit them with the A Form until the ICU has acknowledged your experiment.

Please also consult the Safety notes on Biological experiments.


ESRF Computer Accounts

Once you have obtained your Final Number (FX**), two computer accounts are created for you with one password. You will be informed by email:

1) An account on our data disks (NICE) from which you will be able to retrieve your data through SFTP using a log-in and password.

2) An account on our experiment database (ISPYB) where you will be able to fill in a dewar form (please note: this link is for outside access only, you cannot access it from within the ESRF firewall) corresponding to the samples you send us, again using a log-in and password.

To obtain access to this server within our firewall, a computer connection has to be set up by our computer services and yours.  Please contact us with the IP address(es) of the proxy server(s) you use to access the Internet. These addresses must be the ones seen from Internet in the case of systems with multiple network connections.


Other information


This procedure for our industrial clients is adapted from the existing one for academic users who come to the ESRF to do public research. For technical reasons, some of the terms used may not correspond exactly to an industrial experiment, eg. you will see "Proposal" instead of "Experiment", "Proposer" instead of "Main Contact", "Co-Proposer" instead of "Other Scientists participating in Experiment", etc.


We are interested in your opinion - please contact us if you have a problem or simply have a comment to make on this procedure.

You are now ready to use the above procedure.

Please click on Submit Proposal and follow the instructions.