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Long Term Projects

Users may request a long-term commitment from the ESRF to provide beamtime during up to six successive scheduling periods (three years). Scientific excellence is the primary criterion for the acceptance of such a Long-Term Proposal (LTP). Further criteria are:

  1. A commitment from the proposing User group concerning the contribution of financial, technical and/or human resources during the implementation of the LTP;
  2. An identifiable benefit to the ESRF User community (such as a new technique, a new instrument or new possibilities for the beamline) expected to result from the successful accomplishment of the goals for the LTP.

For the submission of a LTP the specific LTP beamtime application form must be used.

LTPs can be submitted once a year with a fixed deadline of 15 January, for decision on acceptance in April. Beamtime for accepted LTPs becomes available during the following scheduling period, i.e. the period from August of the same year to February of the following year. The proposers may request a start delayed by one scheduling period, if this is necessary to prepare properly the experimental sessions.

The initial LTP can last up to three years (six consecutive scheduling periods). It is important to note that:

  • the request for beamtime and beamline in the electronic LTP proposal form must be done for the FIRST 6-MONTH SCHEDULING PERIOD ONLY.
  • The beamtime requested for the other scheduling periods should be noted in the table of section 5 of the LTP experimental methods template.
  • The beamtime allocated for each of the scheduling periods will be determined during the corresponding Review Committees. A prolongation of the LTP can be submitted after the final report has been submitted.

As for all ESRF proposals, each LTP must be identified with a single spokesperson, who is named as Principal Investigator, along with a list of Co-Investigators. The Principal Investigator must be affiliated to a scientific institution of an ESRF Member or Associate country. Exceptions from this provision require prior agreement from the ESRF Management.

The Co-Investigators may come from institutions outside the ESRF Member or Associate countries. An ESRF scientist may participate as one of the scientific investigators in a LTP, but not as its Principal Investigator.

The Principal Investigator is the single contact point for the ESRF and is responsible for submitting:

  • The LTP proposal
  • The A-forms
  • The LTP annual and final reports

Scientific Review Scientific Review

LTP proposals are evaluated and recommended for approval by the corresponding Proposal Review Panels, according to the beamline(s) requested. The criteria for evaluation are :

1 Scientific excellence.
2 The commitment from the proposing User group concerning the contribution of financial, technical and/or human resources during the implementation of the LTP.
3 An identifiable benefit to the ESRF User community (such as a new technique, a new instrument or new possibilities for the beamline) expected to result from the successful accomplishment of the goals for the LTP.
4 Quality of the proposal and associated reports.

The Panel(s) can request assistance from the relevant Beamline Responsible, Group Head or Director of Research by asking her/him to participate in the discussion of a specific LTP.

Approval will be made by the ESRF Management based on the Panel recommendation, taking into account the compliance with the general criteria for LTP proposals and the amount of beamtime remaining for standard proposals on the concerned beamline(s).

Technical and Safety Review Technical & Safety Review

This is made as for the standard access mechanism by the beamline scientists for the technical review and Safety Group for the safety review. The ESRF internal appraisal will be prepared during the month after the submission deadline (i.e. from 15th January to 15th February).

These internal reviews address:

1 Safety and technical feasibility issues [safety officer, beamline responsible(s)],
2 The adequateness of the beamtime requested [beamline responsible(s)],
3 The adequateness of the financial and human resources requested and offered [beamline responsible(s)],
4 The impact on beamline operation and on normal proposals scheduled for the same beamline [beamline responsible(s)],
5 The consistency of the LTP with the ESRF Medium-Term Scientific Plan [beamline responsible(s) & Group Head].

The internal review comments are made available to the Proposal Review Panels.

Technical and Safety ReviewGeneral Considerations

As a general rule, no more than 30% of the beamtime on a single beamline should be assigned to proposals involving a long-term commitment of beamtime such as Long Term Projects (LTPs), BAGs and HUBs, in order to leave sufficient time available for regular standard proposals. Management may decide on an exceptional basis to exceed this limit as necessary.

The success and continuing pertinence of a LTP will be assessed via annual reports that are evaluated by both the Proposal Review Panel and ESRF Management. Scientific publications and their impact, emerging from the LTP and included in the final report, will be considered a key item in the assessment. The ESRF Management reserves the right to terminate a LTP proposal if progress is evaluated as non satisfactory. In case of failure to submit an annual report, the ESRF Management reserves the right to stop the allocation of beamtime to the LTP. Failure to submit a final report may affect the acceptance of future proposals at the ESRF by the applicants concerned.


  • The Annual Report

The annual report should highlight the scientific results and the status of the project. It must make reference to the applicable milestones as indicated in the original LTP. Any failure, change in strategy, unexpected problems, etc. must be clearly indicated. The annual reports may contain elements relevant to a possible renewal of the LTP. They can be used as supporting material for a resubmission, in order to avoid time gaps in beamtime allocation between the end of the LTP and its possible renewal.

The Proposal Review Panel will assess the progress of the LTP at its meeting in April and will comfirme the continued allocation of beamtime for the LTP, or change the allocation if appropriate. If necessary, the Panel will provide feedback to the LTP Principal Investigator.


  • The Final 3-Year Report

The Final Report shall comment on the success of the LTP, report on the main scientific results and provide a list of the scientific publications that emerged from the LTP and a copy of the key publication. It shall set out the technical accomplishments and the benefits resulting from the LTP for both the LTP User group and the ESRF User community.


1 New proposal.PNG Submit the online request for beamtime
  • Create a new proposal.
  • Fill the different parts of the proposal:
    • Proposal form.
    • Declare all samples for your proposal.
    • Complete the “LTP project description” form (template below) and upload it as a pdf file to your online proposal.
  • Submit the proposal - remember to check the content by clicking on the pdf link before submission as no further editing will be possible after submission.
2 If the LTP proposal is approved and awarded beamtime:
Sample Sheets.PNG Register any additional sample sheets for the samples to be studied using the “Manage Samples” action of the proposal.
re-allocation request.PNG The Principal Investigator must submit an annual report for each year that the LTP is running and a final report at the end of the 3 years of beamtime, see next section.

Templates Templates Required


Content of the form

1. Abstract:

A short abstract, not exceeding half a page, must summarise the proposal.

2. Scientific case:

This section presents the scientific case and the development aspects of the proposal, outlining in particular the reasons for filing a LTP, the results expected, and milestones, i.e. the scientific and/or technical goals for each year of the period covered by the LTP;

3. Competence & References:

This paragraph contains:

  • A summary of the relative experience and competence of the proposing scientists to carry out the proposal;
  • References to publications relevant to the scientific or technical subject (in order to allow the Beamtime Allocation Committees to obtain detailed information in the field, if needed);
4. Technical details:

The proposed technical implementation of the LTP is described. Besides the standard information requested from all applications for beamtime (such as the beamline equipment and set-up, sample environment issues, safety issues, special support …), it must specify:

  • resources and services the Users assume to be available at the ESRF,
  • extra efforts expected from the ESRF in terms of staff and instrumentation,
  • contributions of the User group to the execution of the LTP, including human and financial resources for the construction, commissioning and operation of specific equipment brought by the User group.
5. Beamtime(s) & Beamline(s):

Beamtime(s) and beamline(s) must be requested for each scheduling period within the total period covered by the LTP. This section summarizes the expected results, consistent with the milestones stated in section 2.

6. Resources:

Information about how and when the proposing User group expects to obtain the resources (human and financial) needed for the implementation of the LTP, including whether or not the User group needs the prior acceptance of the LTP to secure the resources required;

7. Benefits to the ESRF User Community:

The long-term benefits to the ESRF User community expected from the successful implementation of the LTP. This could consist, for example, in new instrumentation, a new technique, or a new community using the ESRF. Safety cons

1 ReportComplete the “LTP annual report” each year and send as a pdf file to the ESRF User Office on or before the 31st January.
2 Full report At the end of the 3 years of beamtime, complete the “LTP full 3 year report” and send as a pdf file to the User Office on or before the 31st January of the year following the last beamtime session.

Templates Templates Required

New template will be available in December 2024.