2. Before Your Beamtime

Image of ISIS laboratory



Please use the links below to make sure you have everything in place to make the most of your time at ISIS. Entry into the ISIS experimental halls will be delayed unless you have an up-to-date safety test and have read the health information.

Users and their ERAGetting my experiment scheduled

You will be contacted by your Local Contact or Instrument Scheduler who will liaise with you, and schedule your experiment.​

What do I need to do before my experiment?
Please read the current ISIS Covid guidance for users.​

You will have needed to register with the User Portal to submit your proposal. It is this website that you can then use to complete the stages required before you can come to carry out your experiment. ​

Once your experiment has been scheduled, the principal investigator (PI) will receive ​an e-mail from the User Office confirming the dates and listing booked Sample Environment equipment. The PI is required to check they have been allocated the Sample Environment equipment needed. 

We need to know in advance who is coming for your experiment so that they can be given access to the ISIS experimental hall. ​The PI will need to complete a Visit Notification online in the user portal to register the names of everyone that will attend and, if required, request their accommodation and/or transport.​​

Health and safety information and tests

It is important for all team members to update their personal​ details at https://users.facilities.rl.ac.uk/mydetails, and study the training pages and then take (and pass) the ISIS safety test at https://users.facilities.rl.ac.uk/safetytest (if you have not done this within the past year)​.

To be granted access to the experimental halls and lab​​oratories, you must read through the safety documentation and pass the online Radiation Safety Test and the ISIS Sample Preparation and Chemistry Labs​​ Test (if applicable); both available on the User Portal.

You need to let us know if you are coming to ISIS and are pregnant or breastfeeding​. Please read our information for pregnant users

Image of user at ISISInformation during Covid​

​​The current restrictions have led to changes in how ISIS o​perates, and extra measures have been put in place. These are all available on our specific COVID guidance page

Experiment risk assessment​

The PI will need to co​mplete an Experiment Risk Assessment (ERA) at https://users.facilities.rl.ac.uk/eras to confirm all of the operational details of the experiment so we can put the necessary safety arrangements in place. An ERA is required for all experiments. 

Arranging my visit

ISIS is located at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, RAL, near Didcot in Oxfordshire. 

Accommodation can be booked through the user office using the online Travel and Accommodation system. You will need your experiment RB number or your purpose of visit. The process for arriving at RAL differs depending on what time you plan to arrive. Please see our arrival page for more detailed information.  

You will be given a site pass when you arrive for your visit. ​It is important that you wear this at all times and that it is clearly visible. This is the pass that the main control room then use to give you access to the parts of the experimental halls you need for your experiment.

For some eligible users, as well as access, the card can also be used as payment in the restaurant. We top up the card with "money". You can then present your pass at the restaurant to pay for your meal.​​

​​​Sample shipping​

​If you are shipping a sample to ISIS, then please read the shipping guidelines

Image of an ISIS laboratoryISIS support laboratories​

The support laboratories offer assistance in supplementary analytical and characterisation techniques related to beamline experiments, as well as help with health and safety issues. Users are advised to contact the support team to enquire about the use of specific equipment well in advance of their visit to ​ISIS Neutron and Muon Source​

Funding for consumables​

UK researchers awarded beamtime at ISIS or ILL may submit a request for up to £1200 per experiment for consumables.​

User twinning scheme​​

The ISIS Twinning scheme aims to put less experienced neutron or muon users in touch with more experienced groups.​ The aim is to encourage new or less frequent users, knowing that the learning curve on understanding what neutrons or muons can do, how experiments are run and how data can be best analysed can be very steep. 


Link to During your experiment info

Useful Information