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F A C T S A N D F I G U R E S
In 2022, user operation with public beamtime at the ESRF saw a return to normal (pre-pandemic) practices across all beamlines as the year went on. The first two EBS beamlines began user operation during the year: BM18, the new beamline for high-throughput, large-field, hierarchical phase- contrast tomography welcomed its first users in February, while ID29, the new time-resolved serial macromolecular crystallography beamline, carried out its first user experiments in September.
Figure 147 shows the evolution of the number of applications for beamtime since 2015. During the 18-month dark period for users in 2019-2020 due to the ESRF-EBS upgrade, the cryo-electron microscope remained operational. In the first half of 2020, before the official restart of the ESRF, this facility along with other structural biology beamlines and the imaging beamline BM05 were made available for COVID-19-related research to address the critical global health challenge. Proposals for experiments are selected via peer review by 12 Beam Time Allocation Panels (BTAPs), composed of specialists mainly from ESRF member states and scientific associate countries. These panels review proposals for subsets of beamlines, as listed on page 176. Table 7 lists the scientific areas of the ESRF research activities reviewed by these 12 panels.
The BTAPs met twice to review the requests for beamtime, around six weeks after the deadlines for submission of proposals (10 September 2021 for beamtime in 2022/I and 1 March 2022 for beamtime in 2022/II). They reviewed 1946 applications, of which 944 were selected for allocation of beamtime (48.5%). In total, the requests for beamtime in 2022 (which is scheduled in shifts of eight hours) totalled 27 762 shifts, of which 14 549 shifts were allocated (52.4%). The distribution of shifts requested and allocated by scientific area for 2022 is shown in Table 7, while the number of shifts requested, allocated and delivered per year since 2015 is shown in Figure 148. The data for delivered shifts in 2022 include experiments up to 31 December 2022, and so are not yet complete since the 2022/II operation period finishes on 1 March 2023.
SCIENTIFIC FIELD TOTAL SHIFTS REQUESTED
TOTAL SHIFTS ALLOCATED
Chemistry 4 650 2 110
Earth Sciences 1 980 1 013
Environment 709 357
Hard Condensed Matter Science 6 133 2 969
Cultural Heritage 277 205
Life Sciences 1 367 740
Applied Materials Science 5 831 2 304
Medicine 837 474
Engineering 395 175
Methods & Instrumentation 548 321
Structural Biology 3 446 3 134
Soft Condensed Matter 1 589 747
Totals 27 762 14 549
Table 7: Shifts of beamtime requested and allocated for public user experiments in 2022.
Fig. 147: Numbers of proposals, experimental sessions and user visits, 2015 to 2022. N.B. 2022 experiments and user visit figures are up to 31 December 2022; they do not include the experiments that will continue to be scheduled in the remainder of 2022/II (in Jan/Feb 2023).