Standard Research Proposal

GUIDELINES for preparing
a Beamtime Application for a STANDARD PROPOSAL

1st MARCH 2017 (inclusive)
Review Committees: 27 - 28 April 2017



Experimental Method Form - Lengh limitation

You are requested to use the TEMPLATE.docx of the "Experimental Method Form" for a Standard Research Proposal; this document should consist of a maximum of two A4 pages (including references) with a minimal font size of 12pt. The submission application does not allow the submission of an "Experimental Method Form" which exceeds two pages.

Experimental Reports

Please make sure that the Experimental reports registered as "relevant reports" in your new Application for Beam Time have been EFFECTIVELY submitted and registered in our data base. Please submit, as far as possible, experimental reports (if necessary preliminary reports) on your most recent experiments, even those carried out during the last 6 months preceding the proposal submission deadline, and register them in your new proposal(s) as "relevant reports".

Be aware that:

Applications for Beam Time which do not respect these two points concerning the template and the reports will not be awarded beam time by the Review Committees.


In this page:

General instructions
Specific points to consider
Experimental method form (template)
Electronic submission (instructions)

General instructions

Consult our document "Advice on writing a good proposal"

A beam time application for Standard Proposal has two parts:

  • the electronic "Standard Beamtime Application Form "
  • the Experimental Method form (template in Word format to download, to complete and to attach to the electronic application form in PDF format)


  • Proposals must be written in English;
  • All sections of the form must be filled in. Please respect the space available on the form;
  • An experimental report on previous measurements - including experiments on CRG beamlines - must be submitted electronically before  subsequent requests for beam time are made, using the Experimental Report Form. Please mention on your new beamtime application form the experiment(s) for which you have submitted report(s);
  • Requests for beam time are based on shifts of 8 hours. Allocations of beam time will usually be made in multiples of 3 shifts;
  • Multiple Requests: Fill in a separate beamtime application form for each experiment or project.

 Note: it is not possible to start the completion a new application for beam time before the complete submission and VALIDATION of a previous application.

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Particular attention should be given to:

The safety aspects

The name and characteristics of the substance(s) must be completed carefully.

Who to contact:

  • the Experimental Safety Officer: Martine Moroni
    Tel:  +33 (0)4 7688.2369  Fax:  +33 (0)4 7688.2418

  • the Joint Safety Officer for Biology: Véronique Mayeux
    Tel: +33 (0)4 76 88 22 03

Consult also the biosafety information web pages

The status of your proposal

Is it a New, a Resubmission of a previous proposal or a Continuation of a previous proposal?:

  • New: This is a completely new proposal which has never previously been submitted for beam time at the ESRF,
  • Resubmission: The project described in your proposal has already been submitted to the ESRF in an earlier proposal round but was not allocated beam time. It is being resubmitted in this round either in an identical form or with some changes and/or improvements. By selecting the option "Resubmission", a specific tab "Details" will be issued in your application form where you will have to indicate any changes and/or improvements made in your proposal compared to the previous submission;
  • Continuation: The project described in your proposal is a continuation of a previous proposal for which beam time was allocated at ESRF. The project described in your proposal is a direct follow-on from the work and results of  the earlier proposal.

The selection of the beamline(s)

(Upgrade programme: check the status of the beamlines)

Select carefully the beamline(s) for your research: in the new proposal review process, it is the beamline(s) selected in the electronic proposal form which determine(s) the committee(s) which will assess the proposal.

In order to request the appropriate beamline(s) for your research, and therefore to have your proposal assessed by the appropriate review committee, you are kindly requested, in case of doubt:

  • to consult the information page on the beamlines,
  • to contact the beamline responsible if you need complementary information
  • to MAKE SURE, before the validation of your proposal, that the status ("principal" or "alternative") of the selected beamline(s) corresponds exactly to what you need.

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Experimental Method Form (make sure you use the most recent template)

This document (template.docx) should consist of a maximum of two A4 pages including references with a minimal font size of 12 pt. Proposals which do not respect these rules will be AUTOMATICALLY REJECTED by the Review Committee.

Proposal summary: aims and scientific basis of the proposal - Scientific background

State clearly the aim of the proposed experiment together with the general and specific scientific background;  give results of preliminary work carried out with synchrotron radiation and/or other methods.

Experimental technique(s), required set-up(s), measurements strategy, sample details (quantity,...)

Describe the arrangements which will be made for the reception, preparation, use and disposal of the sample.  For life sciences proposals, a description of how the sample is obtained is essential.

Describe the experimental set-up and requirements, in some detail.  Queries concerning the feasibility (technical or safety aspects) of an experiment should be clarified with ESRF staff before the proposal is submitted.  The User Office can assist you to find the most appropriate person.

Safety considerations

Experimental conditions requiring special safety precautions such as the use of lasers, high pressure cells, bacteria, viruses, dangerous substances, toxic substances and radioactive materials, must be clearly stated in the proposal.  Moreover, any ancillary equipment supplied by the user must conform with the appropriate French regulations.

Beamline(s) and beam time requested with justification

Results expected

Describe the results expected from the measurements, their scientific (or technical) relevance, and how they relate to existing work on the topic.

Concluding remarks

Justify the beam time you request and give technical reasons which make the ESRF necessary for your experiment.

Include REFERENCES where these are relevant, but do not assume that they will be systematically consulted for essential details.

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The Electronic Submission is done through the ESRF User Portal (SMIS). In order to login to the application you will require your ESRF login (last name) and personal password. If you are registered in the ESRF data base but you have forgotten your personal password, kindly contact the User Office by e-mail (user office). If you are not yet registered in the ESRF data base, you will be able to create your own user account and to access the proposal submission application.

IMPORTANT: Should you run into difficulties submitting your proposal electronically contact the User Office who will give you instructions to proceed with the electronic submission of your proposal.

 Access to the electronic application form, via the User Portal:

  • tab "Proposals / Experiments"
  • select: "Proposals" in the drop-down list
  • tab "New proposal"

    Note: it is not possible to start the completion a new application for beam time before the complete submission and VALIDATION of a previous application.

What to do?

  • SELECT the electronic beamtime application form for an ESRF Standard Proposal
  • COMPLETE and SAVE your electronic application form for a STANDARD PROPOSAL: the data registered in the proposal (details for the main-proposer, the co-proposer(s), proposal title, beamline(s) and shifts requested,...)  is submitted directly into an ESRF data base;

    Once SAVED, the electronic beamtime application form is given a Reference number and registered under the tab "Proposals in Progress" for further process. It can be modified until the deadline (1st March or 10th September).

  • DOWNLOAD the template of the "Experimental Method Form" (link below) and SAVE it on your local folder for completion:** LaTeX Users ONLY: convert the Experimental Method file in Postcript or PDF format;


Once your Experimental Method file is completed and saved on your local folder, you must attach it to your electronic application form via the User Portal (tab "Proposals/Experiments -> "Proposals" -> "Proposal in Progress" , select "Manage your Experiment Form"):

  • DOWNLOAD your Experimentam Method Form (the application accepts ONLY documents.PDF) and SUBMIT it: it will be automatically attached to your electronic beamtime application form;
  • CHECK the PDF file of your complete proposal issued by the submission application;
  • VALIDATE your proposal.
    Please note that the submission of your new proposal will NOT be complete unless you VALIDATE your proposal (Beamtime Application Form AND Experimental Method).

    Once validated by the main proposer, the proposal is registered/listed under the tab "Proposals in Progress" for further process.

How to modify your proposal?

You have validated your proposal: it can be modified until the deadline (1st March or 1st September, inclusive).

Validation by the User Office

One week AFTER THE DEADLINE, the User Office:

  • validates the proposals and attributes them a FINAL NUMBER (i.e.: CH-1111),
  • communicates by e-mail to the main-proposers the final number of their proposal(s) ("Acknowledgement message")

    Once validated by the User Office, a proposal is registered under the tab "Proposals with Final Number/Experiments" and cannot be modified

In case of severe problems, please contact the MIS group or the ESRF User Office.

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Information for Users

Proposal deadline for beamtime from March 2017 to July 2017:

10th September 2016 (inclusive)

Long Term Projects:

15 Jan 2017 (inclusive)

Review Committee Meetings:

27-28 October 2016

User guide