The  ESRF is the world's brightest synchrotron light source. Every year, 9000 scientists from 20 partner countries and from around the world travel to Grenoble to use its extremely brilliant X-rays for leading-edge research. This fundamental and applied research contributes to addressing the complex global challenges that our society faces, such as health, energy and the environment. It also contributes to the development of new technologies for industry and to preserving humanity's cultural heritage, lighting the way to a sustainable and peaceful future.

The force of the ESRF is its capacity to innovate, pushing the limits and seeking ever-higher performances for the benefit of the global scientific community. In 2020, the ESRF launched a brand-new generation of high-energy synchrotron, the ESRF's Extremely Brilliant source (EBS). With the support of the ESRF's 20 international partner countries, EBS provides scientists with new opportunities to unveil the structure of materials and the mechanisms of life, down to atomic resolution.


Life at the ESRF is structured around the following principles:

Scientific excellence. Access to experiment time is competitive, and selection of experiments is guided by external review.

Productivity. Among synchrotrons worldwide, ESRF has the most external users and refereed publications.

Performance. The ESRF leads synchrotrons worldwide on reliability and quality of service to users.

Accessibility. The use of the ESRF is free of charge for all academic research. Close to a quarter of the academic research at the ESRF involves industrial partners. Industrial use of our facilities and expertise, including full intellectual property protection, is possible.

Openness. The results of academic research at the ESRF are always published, and the knowledge, skills and technologies developed at the ESRF are shared with the member countries and associates. Within the organisation, hierarchies are flat and bureaucracy is kept to a strict minimum.

Cultural richness. The staff of the ESRF represents more than 40 nationalities. Using English as the working language, these 600 highly qualified people mutually benefit from their rich and diverse backgrounds, cultures and languages.

Awareness of safety, health and environment. These are important aspects of daily life at the ESRF, to ensure that users and staff enjoy a high-quality workplace.