Before your measurement

1. Submit a proposal

To submit a new proposal, login to the Virtual Unified Office (VUO) and choose “Submit a new CERIC proposal”

You don’t have a VUO account yet? Read the instruction below on how to “Create a VUO account”

A proposal submission requires the following information:

  • General information: Proposal title, proposal objectives, scientific discipline.
  • Participants: Must be registered in the VUO.
  • For each beamline/laboratory requested you will have to:
    – Choose the facility
    – Complete sample and experimental details
  • Proposal description: Download the proposal description template and complete it without changing the header. Include relevant pictures when available. Once completed, upload the template.
  • Check and submit: Read the proposal and check whether anything is missing before submission. If mandatory fields were left blank, you will receive an error message.

Here you can find a more detailed tutorial, with some screenshots as examples.

Read the CERIC Scientific Data Policy here

For further information please contact CERIC User Office:

Proposals should address challenging scientific or technological problems that require the use of one or more of the complementary methods offered by the partners for sample growth and characterization.

The best way to design a successful experimental plan is to discuss your scientific problem with experts of each of the required techniques, to receive valuable advice on how to prepare your sample, on the estimated required time for your measurements and on the optimal experimental parameters, with the goal of obtaining the most from your measurements. The full list of available facilities and contact persons can be found here.

In its scientific description, a good proposal should address the following points:

Background: It should describe the scientific and/or technological problem and its context.

Motivation for the present proposal: Include information about previous experiments performed on the system, and the achievements expected from the proposed experimental plan. The aim is to explain how this proposal will contribute to shedding light on the problem described in the “background” section.

Experimental plan: Describe all the experimental steps included in your proposal: from sample preparation to data analysis. Sample preparation facilities will be available for those cases in which the correct sample preparation/growth for a given technique may require specific competences or knowledge of the analytical methods. The aim is to ensure the success of the analysis and not the sample preparation per se. As a consequence, proposals requiring sample preparation must foresee the use of at least one analytical method. Be as specific as you can in terms of the analytical techniques you require, to allow the evaluation of the feasibility of your proposal. Include relevant pictures (e.g., spectra previously acquired from your sample) if not yet included in an already published paper. If your sample is an archaeological or industrial object, include a picture or drawing if available.

Explain why this work calls for access to CERIC: Due to their high demand, it is essential to justify the need for the advanced techniques offered at CERIC. If similar results could be achieved with less sophisticated methods, you should not apply for CERIC.

References: Include a list of publications (better if your own or from your group) relevant to the proposal.

Proposals must be submitted through the CERIC Virtual Unified Office (VUO), To access the VUO for the first time it is necessary to register.

Once registered, you must login with your username and password

For further information please contact CERIC User Office:


Partial support for user’s mobility will be available through funding provided to CERIC from the Italian Ministry for Education, University and Research. Read the policy here.

A maximum of two users for measurement may benefit from travel and accommodation support. Each of them should submit an access request as “CERIC funded User” at least three weeks in advance before the arrival to a facility (four weeks in advance in the case of access to JRC – Joint Research Centre laboratories). Since prices of tickets and hotels increase with time, failing to send a timely access request may prevent the group from getting support. For travel booking, complete your access request and then contact


To apply for the Indo-Italian PoC or to have more information about the funding program, please refer directly to the DST (Indian Department of Science & Technology)


The support covers travel and accommodation expenses for two users, for the period of measurement in a CERIC-ERIC facility as scheduled in the official calendar. It is allowed to request the extension of the support for arriving in place one day prior to the beginning of the measurements, as well as for leaving one day after the end of the measurement, in case the travel arrangements require so (e.g. no transportation available after the closure of the measurements). Users may request, on their own budget, to add days to their stay. Transportation of goods such as equipment, instruments, sample holders, samples, etc. will not be supported.

Tickets and hotels booked directly by users without the approval of the travels office will not be reimbursed. Taxis are permitted only in justified cases if previously authorized. All non-authorized taxi expenses will not be reimbursed.

For accommodation booking, you can choose one of the hotels listed for each facility. These hotels have been tested by our users and they comply with our quality standards. Alternatively, you can propose a different one but it must be authorized by the CERIC travels’ office, after checking that its rates are in line with our budget requirements.

CERIC offers financial and logistic support for the shipment of the samples dedicated to remotely scheduled measurements.

A single access request as “CERIC Funded User” has to be submitted indicating the sample mail-in modality.

EU Users
Users sending samples from EU countries can directly access VUO and select “Sample shipping” from the “CERIC Access Request” section, fill-in the requested information, select the preferred pick-up time and download the shipment documents that will have to be attached on the parcel(s).
Please note that all the shipments made through the VUO will be handled by DHL.

More detailed instructions on how to compile the shipment submission form can be found below.

Non-EU Users
Users sending samples from non-EU countries are invited to organise the shipment using their own resources and subsequently submit a reimbursement request through VUO.
Check the reimbursement procedure here.

Shipment Submission Form Guide

Select “Sample shipping” from the the CERIC Access Requests section of the VUO

You can either select an existing shipment done in the past from the list or create a new one by selecting “Add Shipment”

Fill in the required fields
“Shipment Sender”

“Recipient Details”

“Package Information”

“Pick-up Details”

Once all the required information are filled in, “save” the data, then after having checked that the information entered are correct select “Get the Airway Bill” and Confirm the shipment solution proposed by selecting “Ok”.

You can now download the pdf with the needed documents (waybill, label), print them and attach them to the package.

You can now confirm the booking of the pick-up by selecting “Book Pick-up”.
You will then get the confirmation message along with the pick-up confirmation number

The shipping reservation is completed.
Please inform the CERIC User Office about the samples being sent by selecting “Items Sent” and wait for the confirmation message

In case of questions or problems please contact


2. Proposal evaluation

After the deadline for proposal submission, proposals are evaluated according to these two aspects:

The TECHNICAL EVALUATION is performed by the scientist(s) in charge of the requested instrument(s), and aims to determine the technical feasibility of the experiment and the accurateness of the requested hours. Less expert users can have their proposal pre-evaluated by the instrument scientist in order to receive comments and suggestions, submitting in the first deadline. Instrument scientists will not give any input on the scientific assessment of the proposal.

The SCIENTIFIC EVALUATION is performed by an independent, international panel of experts and is based on scientific excellence only. Two scientific reviewers will be assigned and will provide a score for each technique requested in the proposal. Such score reflects both the overall scientific excellence of the project, the novelty of the approach and the necessity and effectiveness of the technique requested for achieving the results. Every project is then given an overall score, based on the individual scores of the single techniques.

Due to oversubscription of a given instrument, a proposal may be granted time only for some of the requested techniques.



3. Services for the users

Although we may provide invitation letters, we cannot help you to obtain a VISA. Make sure you initiate your application on time. You can check whether you need a visa in the website of the country’s embassy you are planning to visit.

For accommodation booking you can refer to CERIC or use one of the hotels listed here for each facility. These hotels have been tested by our users and they comply with our quality standards.

Users that have been granted experimental time on any of the CERIC instruments will be able to use the Rocket.Chat tool to instantly get in touch with colleagues and scientists from the CERIC facilities. All the participants listed in the proposal will receive an email with the instruction on how to access the service that will be available from 6 months prior the beginning of the planned measurements to 1 year after the end of the last measurement.

The Rocket.Chat can be accessed at

For more information about the service please check here

Please note that the content of the chat may be made publicly available as part of the metadata

In case of problems please contact CERIC user office:


4. Access to the facilities

In order to enter CERIC facilities, please submit an access request through the CERIC Virtual Unified Office (CERIC VUO) at least three weeks in advance before your arrival to the facility. In case of access to JRC (Joint Research Centre laboratories), the access request must be submitted at least four weeks before your arrival to the facility.

CERIC Funded User

If you are eligible to request the financial support, please submit an access request as “CERIC Funded User”.

For more information about financial support see section 1.4 of this User Guide.

CERIC Non-Funded User

If you are not eligible or do not intend to request the financial support, please submit an access request as “CERIC User”

The full list of CERIC facilities can be found here.

Budapest Neutron Centre
Under construction
Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste
The safety training needs to be completed in order to enter the facility. You can take the course online: simply login with your VUO credentials and choose “Elettra” in the following menu point:

Once you complete the training, a certificate will be stored in your profile.

Click on the facility you are planning to visit and find out about the services offered to the users (accommodation, restaurants, WI-FI, transport).

For accommodation booking you can refer to CERIC or use one of the hotels listed here for each facility.


After your measurement

1. Asking for reimbursement

If you have expenses to claim (tickets, accommodation or sample mailing), please complete the online reimbursement form available in the VUO, in the section “CERIC Access Requests”.

Any reimbursement request should be submitted within 60 days from the end of the experiment.
Any expense incurred without previous authorisation of CERIC will not be reimbursed. 
Original receipts should be attached to the form (in case of Electronic invoices) or delivered by mail to the following address:

Attn. Travel Office
Strada Statale 14 – km 163,5 in AREA Science Park
34149 Basovizza, Trieste ITALY

Sample mailing

Expenses up to 200 Euro related to the shipment of the samples for proposals scheduled in “sample mailing” modality can be claimed through the reimbursement form.



2. Feedback

After finalising the last of your scheduled measurements, you will be asked to complete an experimental report describing how you took profit of the measurement time. The report should contain all used techniques and the results that you obtained from the measurements. The uploaded report together with your publication record will be accessible by the reviewers for your next application for CERIC measurement time.
Please note that only one report per proposal is necessary.

After the end of your measurements you will be asked by the Virtual Unified office (VUO) to fill in a User’s Survey that will help us to improve users’ satisfaction.

PaNOSC and ExPaNDS H2020 projects are developing data management and analysis services for the photon and neutron user community. These services will be available first locally, and in the future via the EOSC. To help as large a user community as possible, PaNOSC has launched a Call for Use Cases for the data management services being developed. Anyone who is a user of one of the photon and neutron facilities, either directly or via open data from one of these facilities, is encouraged to submit their use case(s) for data treatment or data management needs. The Use Cases must be related to one of the data services being developed by PaNOSC (see and ExPaNDS.


Submitted use cases will be published at and will be showcased at user meetings, at other events of relevance for the photon and neutron community, and at EOSC-related events.

For any further question, please contact us at:

To learn more about already submitted use cases, please visit this page:


3. Publications

Open access to CERIC facilities is provided free of charge with the condition that any research output derived from the measurements performed and the knowledge exchange with CERIC scientists are properly acknowledged.

The published materials generated as a result of the work carried out wholly or partially at the CERIC Facilities have to acknowledge CERIC with the suggested statement:
The authors acknowledge the CERIC-ERIC Consortium for the access to experimental facilities”.

If the publication is generated with the benefit of the mobility support offered by CERIC, the suggested statement to use is:
“The authors acknowledge the CERIC-ERIC Consortium for the access to experimental facilities and financial support”.

In addition, the published materials have to properly acknowledge any significant contribution or support provided by individual personnel from CERIC or its facilities according to the facilities’ policy.

The Principal Investigator of any granted CERIC proposal is responsible for uploading and keeping updated the publication database in VUO with any information regarding publications resulted from the measurements performed by the Principal Investigator or any other participant to the proposal.

CERIC may deny free open access to users who fail to acknowledge CERIC, its facilities or its scientists when appropriate.

CERIC-ERIC’s Communication Office is here to support your research, but your collaboration throughout the experimental and publication process is fundamental. For more information about the support provided by CERIC to the dissemination of your scientific results check here.