If your proposal has been accepted, you will receive an invitation by e-mail from the CRG Liaison Office before your experiment is due to start.

The preparation for proper CRG experiments follows the same procedure as for per reviewed ESRF experiments apart that the users have to apply for reimbursement, if there is any, directly to the CRG.

General information to consult to prepare the visit of the experimental team and the experimental session


Please consult all details on the preparation of your experiment.

You have to ensure that any ancillary equipment supplied by you is conform with the appropriate French regulations.

For bringing Protein Crystallography Samples to the ESRF; a new regulation has been introduced. For each sample which you bring on site for the experiment, you have to submit the electronic sample sheet. Either it is linked to the electronic A-form and you select a sample on the list you submitted with your proposal or you submit a new sample sheet. Further information can be obtained from the Experimental Safety Officer, tel: +33 (0)4 7688 2369, fax: +33 (0)4 7688 2418.

Message to all crystallographers doing data collection at MX beamlines : Whenever possible it is recommended to ship the samples by courier when taking the samples back home. When you pass via Lyon or Grenoble airport, an accompanying letter for biological or chemical samples which is stamped and signed by the ESRF safety group is mandatory. Otherwise the letter will be refused. This applies for all samples with no risk. The letter will be from now on prepared upon request. If a letter is required the person must inform the Safety Group well in advance by e-mail. This is especially important for experiments programmed on week-ends.

 At the end this rule will apply to any person leaving the ESRF with samples in their hand luggage. Cases apart from the MX beamlines will be treated separately.
Please consult the " Guidelines to Users" and note the following:

The main proposer has to inform the CRG Liaison Office well in advance (at least 2 weeks before the experiment is due to begin) of the full names and affiliation of each person coming for the experiment, and of your planned arrival date and time via the electronic "Form A" . Because of regulations applying to the site, the guardians reserve the right to admit authorized persons only. You will appreciate that these formalities cannot be done at the last minute. Please bring a passport or appropriate identification paper with you. Children under 18 years of age are not admitted to the site.
Arrangements for accommodation:  as far as possible, bookings will be made for you in the Guesthouse on site.

The electronic declaration form  must, however, be signed and returned  by each person coming for the experiment. Note that the number of shifts allocated for your experiment includes setting up and dismantling time. You must therefore be ready to leave the beamline at the end of your allocated number of shifts. You must also be aware that you have to use your beam time 24 hours per day.

Visa requirements

Persons of nationality other than that of European Union countries, the USA or Japan are advised that a visa will probably be necessary in order to enter France.

Bear in mind that you must apply for a visa at least one month before your expected departure for Grenoble.  If you require a French visa, our Personnel Department can supply you with a special Form called "Protocole d'Accueil d'un chercheur ou d'un enseignant-chercheur étranger" The processing of your request takes at least two weeks at the ESRF, provided you communicate to the CRG Liaison Office the following information:

Forename - Surname - Nationality - Date and place of birth - Private address - Position - Employer's name - Employer's address - Dates of the stay - Address during the stay in France - Experiment number - Local contact.

Special medical conditions

If you wear a pace-maker or any ferromagnetic medical aid (prothesis), please contact the Medical Service before you enter the Experimental Hall.   The Medical Service is situated opposite the Canteen, and is open Monday to Friday from 08h00 to 12h00 and from 13h00 to 17h00, should you need advice or help.

IMPORTANT: Insurance for the Scientists coming from a European Union Country: Be sure before you leave your country that your have the Forms E.101 and E.128:

  • E.101: Form which certifies that the holder is a payer of National Insurance whilst working outsite her/his country
  • E.128: Community document which demonstrate that the holder is entitled to free or reduced cost medical treatment whilst working temporarily in another EU country
    You will be asked to provide them by the French Social Security in case of illness or (work) accident


Upon Arrival

Upon your arrival at the entrance gate, make yourself known to the site security staff .  A site badge will be prepared and you will receive an envelope containing your canteen card, instructions for safety training, and your Guesthouse key outwith the Guest House Reception opening hours (Reception opening hours: Monday to Friday: 07h00 - 20h00, week-end and public holidays: 07h00 - 12h00).

If you wish to have access to the library outside working hours, please request this when the guardian prepares your site badge.

If you plan to arrive at the weekend or outside normal working hours (working hours: Monday to Friday, 08h00 to 17h00) please pay particular attention to these details, since administrative staff will not be available at these times to help sort out difficulties.


The telephone and fax numbers of the services referred to are as follows:

Service Location
CRG Liaison Office Central Building 04A
+33 (0) 4 76 88 2459/2502/2073
+33 (0) 4 76 88 2020
Reception Central Building 03
+33 (0) 4 76 88 2000
+33 (0) 4 76 88 2020
Safety Officer Central Building 527
+33 (0) 4 76 88 2369
+33 (0) 4 76 88 2418
Computing:  G. Foerstner  Central Building 070
+33 (0) 4 76 88 2826
Site Entrance Gate
+33 (0) 4 76 20 7176
+33 (0) 4 76 20 7169
Medical Service ILL 17
+33 (0) 4 76 20 7447
+33 (0) 4 76 20 7169
Experimental Hall Operators Sector 30; 0-13
+33 (0) 4 76 88 2525


On departure, please return your key to the Guesthouse, and your badges to the site security staff at the gate. It would be useful for us to have feed-back on your stay at the ESRF, so we ask you to kindly return the User Evaluation Form.


Local Contact

A scientist who is familiar with the beamline and instrumental set-up will be available to assist you with your experiment, and can answer any technical questions you may have.  However, you cannot expect this scientist to be present on site at all times, and 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 who will decide what kind of action can be taken.

Data collection and transfer


  • For your DATA COLLECTION: the ESRF provides visiting scientists with a UNIX account on the NICE system ("NICE account") installed approximately one week before the experiment starts and removed automatically four weeks after the experiment ends.

 NB:  FROM 28TH MAY, A NEW PASSWORD has to be used for your "Data Collection & Transfer" via your NICE Account.

All details in "Data Collection & Transfer"

Data will be kept 30 days after the creation date.  Both the account and the data will then be removed by automatic procedures, without prior notice.   Be warned!



You are welcome to consult books and periodicals in the joint ILL/ESRF Library, which is on the first floor of the Common Building, above the Canteen.  You will not, however, be able to borrow documents.  Please restrict any photocopies to an absolute minimum. Library opening hours are Monday to Friday, 08h30 to 17h30. Should you wish to use the library in the evenings and at weekends, please request the guardians at the site entrance when they prepare your badge to allow you access to the library outside hours.

Laboratory Facilities

By arrangement, a range of laboratory facilities are available for CRG users on site.

1. Microimaging and Micromanipulation Laboratory
Scientist in charge: Irina Snigireva (tel: +33 (0)4 76 88 23 60)

This laboratory is designed as a support laboratory for experiments on very small (few microns) samples, which require not only special sample preparation, but also special sample alignment to locate the sample in the sub-µm beam.

2. Biology Support Laboratory at the EMBL

The EMBL Outstation at Grenoble is situated on the ESRF/ILL site, close to the ESRF ring. It is well equipped for a variety of biochemical, biological and biophysical techniques. These are available for scientitsts visiting the ESRF. Main proposers of experiments to which beam time has been allocated in the life sciences (LS) area should consult the current list of equipment and services in "ESRF biological Support Laboratory at the EMBL Outstation". If they wish to have access to these labs, they should fill in the form and return it to the EMBL.

3. Chemistry Support Laboratory
Scientist in charge: Harald Müller (tel: +33 (0)4 76 88 24 84)

If you wish to user the ESRF Chemistry Laboratory outside normal working hours (normal working hours are: 8h00 to 17h00, from Monday to Friday), please fill in the Chemistry Laboratory form.

4. High Pressure Facilities
Scientist in charge: Mohamed Mezouar (+33 (0)4 76 88 27 75)

5. Calibration of radioactive sources
Please contact the Experimental Hall Operator.

Procedures for Temporarily Importing Samples or Equipment

All visitors bringing material, including samples or equipment to the ESRF, are advised that such equipment or materiel remains entirely the responsability of the visitors concerned.

A. Samples
If you wish to bring samples in addition to those mentioned on your Proposal Form, you must declare them and receive prior approval from the Safety Officer before you bring them onto the site. Equipment and substances which must be checked include: lasers, bacteria, viruses, inflammable substances, toxic substances and radioactive materials. Radioactive sources are forbidden. Sanctions will be applied to persons who do not respect these rules. All users are required to take an ESRF safety training course before beginning work on the beamline (see above). The rooms are always open, and you are therefore free to do your safety training at a time which suits you. If you wish to carry out any electrical work, you will need an authorization from the ESRF Safety Group. This authorization can only be granted if you bring a document from your employer stating that you have the necessary technical and safety knowledge in this field.

B. Equipment
Users from countries other than France wishing to bring equipment for experiments at the ESRF are required to follow the procedures below:

1. Users from European Union (EU) countries


Users from institutions or laboratories in European Union member states may temporarily import material for experiments, with no formalities. The material is introduced under the responsability of the user(s) concerned, and may remain at the ESRF for a maximum period of two years.

2. Users from non-EU countries

Users from non-European Union countries will need to follow customs clearance procedures for any equipment or samples they wish to use for experiments at the ESRF. There are three possible procedures which, if followed carefully, will ensure that you avoid difficulties and delays.

2.1 You intend to bring your equipment/sample with you, and take it back with you: In this case, you must obtain a temporary admission certificate called a carnet ATA, or "Carnet de Passages en Douane for Temporary Admission" (Carnet de Passages en Douane pour l'Admission Temporaire), which can be obtained from the nearest customs agency, World Trade Centre or Chamber of Commerce. On arrival in France, you must declare the goods at the customs who will stamp the "carnet". When you leave France, you must have the certificate stamped again by the customs. Normally no further action will be necessary.

2.2 In all other cases where you wish to import and re-export equipment or samples not covered by 2.1, please contact the following shipping company who will make all the necessary arrangements for customs clearance and delivery of your goods:

Grenoble Branch
B.P. 4
38950 Saint-Martin le Vinoux

Tel: +33 (0)4 76 56 57 12 / 57 15
Fax: +33 (0)4 76 56 57 11

Contact Person: Miss Valerie Brachet

Ziegler will require from you full details as follows:

  • your name, address, telephone and fax numbers;
  • weight, number of packets, nature and value of goods;
  • the dates of your proposed visit to the ESRF;
  • other details - e.g. makers's name, series number - as necessary

Ziegler will advise you of the shipping company to be used, and will tehn take care of all necessary procedures in France.

2.3. If you wish to import equipment or samples which you do not want to re-export to your home laboratory.
You can use the procedure 2.1 or if using an express courier service (DHL, Fedex, ...) you can ask the carrier to deliver this equipment directly to the ESRF and to carry out the necessary customs clearance procedures. Please note that unless one of these three procedures is used, there is a risk of disruption to your work; furthermore the ESRF will not be in a position to help to resolve problems arising. In all cases where costs are incurred by the ESRF for the import, export and maintaining at the ESRF of equipment belonging to users, these costs, together with any necessary additional handling fees, will be charged to the laboratory of the user importing the equipment.

Please note that deliveries to the ESRF by any type of transport service can only be made from Monday to Friday (8:00am to 5:00pm).