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Types of Proposal

  • Applications for beamtime must be submitted electronically through the User Portal. Each application is assigned to a specific scientific area and is submitted to a Review Committee.  Members of these committees are specialists in relevant areas of science and are appointed by the ESRF management.
  • Requests for beamtime are based on shifts of 8 hours.
  • Allocations of beamtime will usually be made in multiples of 3 shifts

Types of Proposals

Before submitting a proposal for ESRF beamtime, we strongly recommend that you first consult the Proposal Guidelines specific to the category of your new proposal very carefully, as these contain detailed instructions regarding the electronic completion and submission of your proposal.

  • Standard Research Proposal
    Request for public beamtime over a period of 6 months on ESRF or Collaborating Research Research Group (CRG) beamlines that are not structural biology beamlines
  • Long Term Project Proposal
    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)
    Consult What is a Long Term Project

Proposals for Structural Biology beamtime

  • Block Allocation Group (BAG) Proposal
    Large, well-established groups requiring a significant amount of beamtime should apply for the "Block Allocation Group" status. Each BAG is awarded a block of beamtime per allocation period: the scheduling of their beamtime is also grouped, allowing greater flexibility in the choice of projects and samples.
  • Rolling Proposal  for groups requiring beamtime for single or a small number of projects (by scientists who are NOT included in a BAG proposal)
    • Crystallography or BioSAXS proposal
    • Cryo-EM (SPA / Cryo-ET) proposal
      Request of beamtime for the use of the cryo-electron microscope CM01 for Cryo-Electron Microscopy (Single Particle Analysis or Cryo-Electron Tomography)
    • SSX or TR-SSX proposal
      Request of beamtime for the use of the serial synchrotron crystallography beamline ID29

Deadlines for submission

STANDARD and Block Allocation Group (BAG) Proposals

Two proposal review rounds are held each year, with deadlines for submission of applications for beamtime on:

  • 1st March* (inclusive) for the scheduling period August (of the same year) to February (of the following year)
  • 10th September* (inclusive) for the scheduling period March to July (of the following year)
  • Review Committees: The proposals submitted for 1st March and 10th September proposal rounds are reviewed during the Review Committees which are held in April and October, respectively.

* if this date is on a week-end, then the deadline is set to the following Monday.


  • LTPs can be submitted once a year with a fixed deadline: 15th January (inclusive).
  • Review Committees: the ongoing and new Long Term Project proposals are reviewed once a year, during the Review Committees which are held in April.

MX non-BAG Proposals - Rolling access procedure

  • This method of applying for beamtime can be made AT ANY TIME
  • Review Committees: the MX non-BAG Proposals are reviewed by the Review Committee within 6 weeks of their reception at the ESRF.