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How to book IN experiment - Detailed instructions

IN experiment all industrial experiments that are not macromolecular crystallography experiments

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.



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 coming to the ESRF for an industrial experiment to create a Sample Sheet and attach it to an 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 - Non Macromolecular Crystallography".

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: IN followed by a four-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 !

If you wish to change the scheduled experiment, eg. date, number of shifts, etc. after the Beamtime Application Form has been submitted, please inform the ICU. We will make the necessary modifications. Please do not submit another Beamtime Application Form!!

A Form

**NB: If you are sending your samples and are NOT coming to the ESRF, you need to submit a Remote A Form **

If you are a new user, when you have submitted the Beamtime Application Form and generated an experiment number, the BDO receives this Final Number, confirms the experiment in the ESRF database and sends to the Main Contact, as well as to the other scientists participating in the experiment (if they have been listed as "Co-Proposers"), an Invitation email. In this email, there are various instructions, including on how to submit the A Form. If you are a regular user who already has an experiment number, once the date, beamline and number of shifts have been fixed with the ESRF scientists, the BDO will send the Invitation email as above. You do not need to submit a new Beamtime Application Form.

As Main Contact, you are only able to edit and/or submit the A Form when you receive this email Invitation. You will not be able to submit it whilst preparing the Beamtime Application form.

You should return to ESRF User Portal, log on with your last name and password, click on "Proposals/Experiments" (top blue tab) then "A Forms" in the drop-down menu and your scheduled experiment will be shown. Select "Edit A Form".

You may prepare the A Form without submitting it - select "Temporarily Save A Form" at the top of the page.

Under the Tab "Users", the Main Contact should enter the names of all those people coming to the ESRF to carry out the experiment.

NB. All the people you wish to add to the A Form must have already created themselves in the User Portal! The Main Contact must contact all members of the experimental team to ask them to create an account if not done.  They may then be ADDED to the A Form.

If you are a regular user, you may use the pre-defined list under "Select User from Proposal/Experiment".  Otherwise, type the first few letters of the last name in the field below & wait a few seconds, a list of possible names will appear - select the correct name and click on "OK". Don't forget to then also click on "Add"!

Click on the "+" sign to open up the window under each user. Enter the arrival and departure dates, and check the "Guesthouse - Single or Twin", and "Canteen card" boxes if relevant.

In order to be able to SUBMIT the A Form, each user must validate an electronic Declaration and follow the on-line safety training.

Electronic Declaration

The User should log on to the ESRF User Portal, select "Experiments" (top blue tab) then "A Forms" in the drop-down menu. All scheduled experiments will be shown. (S)He should select the relevant session - there is a red circle "To Do" under "Declaration". Click on here and check the box "I declare...." then Validate.

On-line Safety Training

To do the on-line safety training, select "Safety" (top blue tab), then "User safety training" in the drop-down menu, then "Standard Training".  Read all the pages carefully, as if you answer any of the questions at the end wrongly, the system will cancel the entire training and you will have to do it all again! This training is valid for one year.

Under the "Samples" Tab, select the Sample sheets for this experimental session, create new ones or modify existing ones - see the chapter "Sample Sheets" below for further information.

Under the "Sample Environment" Tab, check the relevant boxes.

Please ensure that you fill in all 3 Tabs: Users, Samples, Sample Environment. Read the warning messages in red at the top of the page!

The Main Contact must also submit the Sample Sheet(s) related to the experimental session. If you forget, when submitting the A Form, you will receive an error message. See below for further information.

When the Main Contact submits the A Form, an automatic email message is generated to all the people on the A Form as well as several services at the ESRF.

The A Form should be completed by the Main Contact and submitted electronically as early as possible, and at least two weeks before the experiment is due to begin.  We are not able to guarantee your accommodation on-site at shorter notice. Should it not be possible to accommodate you in the Guest House, our Reception will reserve you a hotel room in central Grenoble. Your accommodation will be confirmed approximately one week before the start of your experiment.

Please note also that the Safety Approval Form (SAF) that gives you access to the beamline is generated with the information provided via the A Form.

If there are changes to the scheduled experiment, eg. change of scientist, arrival or departure dates, etc. once the A Form has been submitted, the Main Contact needs to return to the ESRF User Portal in order to re-submit the A Form. Select your scheduled experiment, make the necessary modifications and submit once again. However, if possible, please avoid multiple submissions of the A Form!

NB: All Co-Proposers registered on an A Form can view this A Form via the ESRF User Portal - log on to the ESRF User Portal, select "Proposals/Experiments" (top blue tab) then "A Forms" in the drop-down menu. All scheduled experiments will be shown. Select the relevant session and click on "View A Form". Co-proposers are not able to edit the A Form, only the Main Contact may do this.

User Account

In order to create an account in the ESRF database, each user should log on to the ESRF User Portal, select "Account" (top blue tab) and fill in the following information, bordered in red and therefore obligatory:

  • Date of Birth

  • Place of Birth

  • Country of Nationality

This information is mandatory for the authorisation of Site entrance.

** Failure to do this means that the User will not be allowed on site ! **

Sample Sheets for IN experiments

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

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

There are two ways to create new Sample Sheets:

1) 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.

2) Log on to the ESRF User Portal, select "Proposals/Experiments" (top tab) then "A Forms" in the drop-down menu - select your session, click on "Edit" or "View A Form" - under the Samples tab, click on Quick Link "manage samples".  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.

Once connected to the A Form, under the Tab "Samples", select the sample(s) you will study during your experimental session in the list of "All Samples defined for the Proposal". This will create a new list of "Samples to study in this Experiment Session" which will be automatically attached to the A Form when submitted and will be communicated to the Safety Group.

NB: It is NOT possible to submit the A Form unless you have selected Sample Sheet(s) for the corresponding experimental session!

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.

If you have already submitted the A Form, but you wish to add another Sample Sheet, you are obliged to re-submit the A Form. This will generate several automatic emails, so please try to ensure that all the necessary Sample Sheets have been added to the A Form before submitting it the first time.

If you are sending your samples and not coming to the ESRF: you do NOT need to submit an A Form, but you must create and save the Sample Sheet(s) for the experiment at least a week before your scheduled experiment.

Chemistry Laboratory Form

If you are intending to bring or use hazardous chemical products, as well as indicating this on your Beamtime Application Form, you should fill out a Chemistry Laboratory Form  and scan it to the BDO.


Other information

Local contact

All external users carrying out experimental work at the ESRF are required to have an ESRF-accepted scientist as a Local Contact.

The Local Contact is a scientist who is familiar with the beamline and instrument set-up. (S)He can assist at the different stages of your experiment and answer any technical questions you may have. The scientist in charge of the beamline ensures that an appropriate Local Contact is designated for each experiment scheduled.

However, the Local Contact will not be present on site at all times, in particular after 22h00. In case of major difficulty, and if your contact scientist is not present on the beamline, you should contact the Experimental Hall Operator (25 25) who will decide what kind of action should be taken.

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 your Application for Beamtime Form and the Sample Sheets.  Moreover, any ancillary equipment supplied by the user must conform to the appropriate French regulations.

Further information can be obtained from the Experimental Safety Officer:
tel: +33 (0)4 76 88 21 76 - fax: +33 (0)4 76 88 29 36


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 the Industrial Services 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.