Access to infrastructures

Preparing your visit

Following positive evaluation of your proposal, you will receive an invitation for a scheduled beamtime session which has been allocated to your project.

Please make sure that you accept the scheduled beamtime before the deadline stated in the invitation.

In order to avoid any unnecessary delay to your beamtime, please consult the instructions under this section and carry out the required actions as far in advance of your beamtime as possible.

Not submitted your proposal yet?

The call for proposals is now CLOSED. We will begin accepting rolling proposals for 2023 beamtime in early spring.

For COVID-19 related proposals, rapid access is available and can be requested by contacting the user office.

Checklist and accommodation

Checklist for main proposers

At least 5 working days before your beamtime, you are required to:

  • Complete and submit the A Form for the scheduled beamtime

If you plan on attending the experiment at EMBL Hamburg, you will need to:

Checklist for users

At least 5 working days before your beamtime, you are required to:

In order to complete the safety training and the required documentation for each experiment, every user visiting EMBL Hamburg for beamtime must have an account on the EMBL user portal (SMIS). To set up an account, please visit the EMBL user portal.

All requested forms and certificates should be sent to the EMBL user office either by fax or by email.


The DESY guesthouse offers single and twin rooms (35€ / 44.50€ per night) to visitors who wish to stay on the site. Requests for accommodation should be sent to the EMBL user office through the A Form for your experiment session.

Room keys can be collected from the staff at the main entrance to the DESY site from 14:00 on the day of your arrival. Please vacate the room and return the key to the main entrance by 10:30am on the day of your departure.

If you wish to stay at a nearby hotel, please consult the list of hotels and guesthouses and enter your preference in the field Comment for the EMBL User Office (at the bottom of the Users section on the A Form). The user office will contact you to confirm availability after you have submitted the A Form.

A Form

The A Form is the interface through which the details of your experiment are communicated to the EMBL Hamburg user office prior to a beamtime session.

Once beamtime has been scheduled and accepted, the main proposer can access the A Form by signing onto the EMBL user portal, going to Proposals/Experiments > A Forms, and clicking on Edit A Form for the experiment.

Instructions for the main proposer

The scientist who submitted the beamtime proposal must:

  • Add all of the users who will attend the beamtime to the A-Form 
    (the main proposer must also be added if attending)
  • Enter the visit details and requests for the users
    (arrival and departure dates, accommodation, reimbursement and/or DACHS card requests)
  • Mark one of the users as the visit coordinator
    (by ticking the Visit coordinator box next to that user’s details)
  • Submit the A Form
    (after everyone in the user group has validated their user and safety declaration)

PLEASE NOTE: If a user does not complete their declaration before the main proposer submits the A Form, the details and requests related to this user will not be communicated to the user office. If a user validates the user and safety declaration after the A Form has been submitted, the main proposer will need to resubmit the A Form to send the details for this user to EMBL Hamburg.

Instructions for beamline users

After having been added to the A Form by the main proposer, each user will receive an email informing them that their details have been linked to the experiment. In the email, the user will be asked to sign onto the EMBL user portal and validate their user and safety declaration form.

  • sign onto the EMBL user portal (or click on the link in the email you received)
  • go to Proposals / A Forms and then click on TO-DO under Declaration Form
  • enter your details in the pop-up window and click on Validate this form

How to complete the A Form

  • To complete the A form, the main proposer has to add the USERS who will attend the beamtime by searching for them in the database, select the SAMPLES which will be used and specify the SAMPLE ENVIRONMENT.
  • If any of the users who will attend the beamtime do not have an SMIS account yet, they will need to register before they can be added to the A form.
  • In the Users section, the main proposer should enter the arrival and departure date for each user. If on-site accommodation is required, the corresponding box should be ticked along with the type of room requested.
  • If a user does not already have a DACHS card, please put a tick in the box next to DACHS card requested.
  • A visit coordinator must be nominated from the list of users attending the experiment. This person will confirm the actual beamtime received after the experiment.
  • Once a user has been added to the A Form, they will be contacted by email and asked to validate their user and safety declaration via the user portal.
  • The names of the users who have not yet completed their declaration will appear with a line through them until the form has been validated. A message at the top of the screen will confirm when a user has validated the declaration form.
screen message for validation of the declaration form.

When all of the users have validated their online declaration forms, the main proposer should submit the A Form to EMBL Hamburg.

DACHS card

Every beamline user requires a DACHS card to access and operate the beamlines. If you have already been issued with a DACHS card, please bring it with you each time you visit the beamlines at EMBL Hamburg.

To collect your DACHS card:

  • visit the EMBL Hamburg user office (1st floor in building 48e, room L108) before the start of your scheduled experiment.
  • at the weekend and outside of general office hours, DACHS cards can be issued at the main entrance to the DESY site.

To report a lost or stolen DACHS card, please contact the user office without delay.

Safety training

The safety training must be completed by every user visiting EMBL Hamburg for beamtime. The safety modules required for your visit should be completed on the EMBL user portal. (Go to Safety > User safety training from the menu bar at the top of the website.)

Required safety modules:

  • Basic Instructions
  • Liquid Nitrogen (if this is relevant to your samples/experiment)
  • SPC / User lab (if you have requested to use either of these facilities)

After you have successfully completed the safety training, please print off and sign your certificate before sending it to the EMBL Hamburg user office by email or fax.

In order to ensure that your access rights and permissions are in place at the start of your beamtime, the certificate must be sent to EMBL Hamburg at least 5 working days before the scheduled experiment.

Sample shipments

Shipments to EMBL Hamburg

Please ensure that your shipment has been cleared by customs before sending it to EMBL Hamburg.

EMBL Hamburg postal address:

EMBL Hamburg
c/o DESY, Geb. 48E
EMBL User Office, Attn. (Name of your local contact)
Notkestr. 85
22607 Hamburg
Tel: +49 40 8990 2111

Once your samples are on their way, please inform the EMBL Hamburg user office and your local contact/s for the experiment. In your email, please include details of the courier service you have used and the tracking number for the shipment. If your samples require special handling or specific treatment when they arrive, please ensure that you include this information in the email.

Return shipments

To return samples or empty dewars, please send an email to your local contact and the user office with any special instructions regarding your samples and equipment. Please include the following details:

  • preferred shipping service and customer number
  • full return address
  • name and telephone number of a contact person at the return address
  • brief description of what should be sent (e.g. 1 empty dewar) 

Your experiment

Before the experiment

Prior to the start of your beamtime, please go to the EMBL Hamburg user office in building 48e (1st floor, room L108). In the user office, you can collect your DACHS card and ensure that you have valid access rights and permissions for your beamtime.

Each beamline user is required to complete and sign an EMBL end of shift form which can be completed in the user office before your experiment. Please note that the local contact for the experiment needs to countersign each form. 

At the start of the experiment

At the beamline, you will be given further beamline-specific safety instructions by your local contact and you will be asked to check the Declaration of Substances form (which is displayed on the wall during your experiment).

After the experiment

Once you have completed your experiment, the visit coordinator must make sure that the entries in their end of shift form for the actual beamtime used are correct. If anything needs to be updated, the visit coordinator can amend the details in the EMBL user portal before submitting and printing the form.


If you have questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact or visit the EMBL Hamburg User Office on the 1st floor of building 48e on the DESY campus.

Email: useroffice(at)embl-hamburg.de

Tel: +49 40 89902-111 / -183 / -102 / -311
Fax: +49 40 89902-260


EMBL Hamburg
c/o DESY
Building 48e, room L108
Notkestr. 85
22607 Hamburg