Access and Service for Users at BER II

User Coordination: Neutrons for research on condensed matter

The user access to the large scale facilities at HZB, BESSY II and BER II, and the user service is coordinated by the User Coordination Office. Requests for beamtime at the synchrotron BESSY II and at the neutron facility BER II by scientific users are submitted through the general web based user portal GATE. This is a unified proposal submission and review system that processes on average 800 proposals for beamtime at each biannual “Call for Proposals”. Beamtime is allocated to the proposed projects based on the ranking given by the Scientific Selection Panel (SSP). The SSP is divided into eight topical colleges, comprised of external experts who are nominated by the Scientific Advisory Committee and appointed by the HZB Board of Directors.
The organization of the scientific visits of the users is handled through the user portal GATE. On-site service for the user visits is also provided by the User Office at both HZB sites. The service includes access to the area, accommodation, and financial support for travelling. The user office works in close collaboration with the radiation protection office, which ensures compliance with all national and european radiation safety regulations. A common HZB instrument and lab service online databank IGAMA embedded in the web pages of the User Coordination provides all necessary information on available instruments, beamlines and lab support at BESSY II and BER II.

HZB is an active partner in the current Horizon2020 Integrating Activity for Advanced Communities CALIPSOplus, which supports access of European researchers to European and Middle Eastern light sources. Within CALIPSOplus, the HZB leads the dissemination and training work package (NA2), with the aim of widening the use of available light sources in Europe to all possible interested researchers, focusing attention on countries that are not yet particularly active in these facilities.

Proactive and transparent user support, communication paths and feedback processing are in operation. These processes were successfully audited by TÜV Süd in November 2017 and the User Coordination Office was awarded the ISO 9001 certificate. The scope of the certification applies to “coordination and service for the use of scientific infrastructures”, under certificate register No.: 12 100 54875 ( The User Coordination Office has thus become the first to have its user service approved under these strict quality criteria.

More than managing large scale facilities, HZB is also in the final stages of setting up CoreLabs - a new multidisciplinary platform available for external academic as well as industrial partners. Through CoreLabs, users will be able to access complex infrastructures with state-of-the-art characterization equipment, for the research and development of innovative energy materials: CoreLab Energy Materials in-situ Laboratory Berlin (EMIL), X-Ray CoreLab, CoreLab Correlative Microscopy and Spectroscopy (CCMS), Hybrid Silicon Perovskite Research, Integration & Novel Technologies (HySPRINT), Competence Centre Thin-Film and Nanotechnology for Photovoltaics Berlin (PVcomB), and CoreLab for Quantum Materials.

Additionally, the users have access to a cluster of sample preparation and characterization on-site labs, to support their beamtime experiments, and a dedicated team of scientists at the Sample Environment working group who provide expertise and support in setting up existing and customized sample environment solutions to address parameter control requirements from the users.