How to apply for access


Submission Procedure

Please note, new link for proposal submission:

To find a suitable laboratory for your access project, from fundamental science to validating a practical application, please browse our catalogue of technologies and services offered by leading European research centres.

Interested researchers are encouraged to contact the Director of the laboratory they wish to visit to obtain information on detailed access opportunities and conditions. Access is provided on the basis of scientific excellence of the proposal, reviewed by an external and independent Selection Panel. Priority is given to new users. A typical access project has a duration of 2 to 4 weeks. Applications for longer visits are highly exceptional.

In case of questions regarding the facility that would be suited for conducting the intended research, the applicant may also contact the Chairman of the Access Board, Laserlab-Europe's internal supervisory body in all questions regarding Transnational Access. The present Chairman of the Access Board is.

Proposal submission is done fully electronically, using the LASERLAB-EUROPE Electronic Proposal Management System (ARIA).

Please note the following:

  • You first need to create an account and profile. This profile has the function of a CV and can be used for all your future online access applications. Remember to update as needed. You can edit your profile at any time in the dashboard. Please note: Team members can only be added if they have registered and completed their own accounts.
  • It is highly recommended to prepare the "abstract" and the full proposal text off-line before starting the submission procedure. At the end of the submission procedure you will be asked to attach one single PDF file of the full proposal text to your proposal.
  • For applications to CLF, CLPU, GSI, LULI, FELIX, FERMI, HILASEHZDR and PALS please use only the specific application forms provided at the respective institution's web page.
  • For all other host institutions please use the general application form. Download: 
    docx-file >>
    rtf-file >>
  • You may save and change the proposal before submission at any stage of the procedure.

After electronic submission you will automatically receive an e-mail acknowledgement indicating a link which will allow you to view your proposal and its processing status . Your proposal will only be properly processed after the generation of this acknowledgement. In case you do not receive such an acknowledgement, or if you find any other problems, please contact the Laserlab office.

 Previous submitted proposals and active proposals are accessible if you login to your account.

Submit your research proposal >>>

Evaluation Procedure

Please, note the criteria for eligibility. Details>>

Incoming proposals will be examined by the infrastructure you have indicated as host institution for formal compliance with the EU regulations, and then forwarded to the Users Selection Panel (USP) of Laserlab-Europe. The USP sends the proposal to external referees, who will judge the scientific content of the project and report their judgement to the Users Selection Panel. The Users Selection Panel will then make a final decision, taking into account the following guidelines:

  • Selection will be done on the basis of scientific merit, taking into account the interest of the Community.
  • Priority will be given to User Groups who have not previously used the infrastructure and who would not normally have access to it.
  • Selection will also take into account that the contract is intended to finance primarily short visits to the infrastructure.

The proposal is then returned to the infrastructure Director, who will notify the applicant of the decision of the Users Selection Panel and will take further action. In case the proposal is accepted the host institution will inform the applicant about the further procedure. For accepted proposals, the actual duration of the experiment needs to be confirmed by the host institution, taking into account possible budgetary constraints. The scheduled beam-time should, in general, be completed within 20 months after the Selection Panel's decision. 

Explanatory Note:

Although Laserlab-Europe and the external Selection Panel make every effort to keep the period of time for evaluation and selection of proposals as short as possible, applicants should be prepared to face a period of typically four to eight weeks, in exceptional cases (e.g. due to unavailability of referees) even longer, before the evaluation result becomes available. In any case, visits may only be started after positive evaluation by the Selection Panel, of which the applicants will be informed through the host institution.

In case of any technical problems or undue delays applicants are encouraged to contact their prospective host institution, or the Laserlab office. No provisions are foreseen for the applicants to contact directly the Selection Panel or the referees, which are supposed to remain anonymous.

In case of questions or complaints concerning the general procedures the applicant may contact either the Coordinator or the "Access Board", Laserlab-Europe's internal supervisory body in all questions regarding Transnational Access. The present Chairman of the Access Board is .


Access Policy for oversubscriptions

Host Infrastructures that accept proposals at any time must be prepared to handle possible oversubscriptions, i.e. situations when too many positively evaluated proposals are aimed to a particular infrastructure for a given period. They must also be prepared to schedule the approved proposals within a limited time interval following the evaluation. The following rules should generally apply.


  1. The host infrastructures shall report 3 times a year to the Access Board on the scheduling of all proposals that have been received after positive review by the Selection Panel.
  2. The scheduled beam-time should, in general, occur no later than 20 months after the Selection Panel decision.
  3. In filling up the available beam-time periods the host infrastructure should consider the available access budget (see Footnotes 1 & 2) and the average rate of incoming proposals. This may lead to the necessity of ranking and locally scheduling only part of the proposals.
  4. Ranking is primarily based on the scientific excellence of the proposal. If several proposals are judged of comparable quality, priority should be given to new applicants.
  5. If local scheduling under the above rules appears not possible, the applicant(s) will be immediately informed and the "excess proposals" will be turned over to the Access Board for further consideration. The initial host infrastructure shall at this time provide a statement explaining the ranking for the present period and the reasons for not scheduling the proposal. The Access Board is responsible for the approval of this selection. It is also responsible for coming to a final decision about the scheduling of the proposal, including possible re-direction to other host infrastructures, within 3 months. Re-direction requires the consent of both the applicants and the new host infrastructure.
  6. If re-direction is not possible, the proposal may either be rejected by the Access Board (see Footnote 3) or be put on a “waiting list”, from which the applicant may withdraw at any time. The waiting list should be visible to all host infrastructures and should be reviewed in regular intervals by the Access Board.
  7. Rejected proposals or those on the waiting list are open to be accommodated outside the EU access programme by any volunteering infrastructure at any time.


Footnote 1: Scheduling of proposals beyond the horizon of the current, approved 18 month implementation plan may only occur at a level of 10% of the 18 month access budget.

Footnote 2: No further proposals may be accepted or scheduled after the total access budget of the host infrastructure has been exhausted (taking into account the sum of all completed and scheduled proposals).

Footnote 3: In rejecting proposals the Access Board acts on behalf of Laserlab-Europe. It has to make sure that rejection is ultimately based on financial constraints only. Board members coming from the original host infrastructure may not participate in rejection decisions (“external” decision). Rejected applicants may appeal to the Management Board.


For your information

The following information on completed access projects will appear on the Laserlab-Europe webpages:

  • proposal number and title,
  • year of completion,
  • PI's name and affiliation.