General information for users
07 May 2009



An overview of the key actions all users of the facility must take.




The ISIS User Office is responsible for most of the administrative and domestic details that surround an ISIS experiment. If you are coming for an experiment you will need to submit a Visit Notification online here​.

The ISIS User Office strives to deliver an effective and unobtrusive service under the headings of:

  • Access to ISIS instruments through administration of the peer review of the proposals
  • Consumables requests

  • Transport to and from ISIS at the start and end of your visit

  • Accommodation

  • Meals

  • Reimbursement of expenses

  • Providing STFC logins for access to Experiment Risk Assessment or Travel and Accommodation systems

User Feedback for the ISIS User Committee

Access to ISIS

The deadlines for submission of proposals are: 16th April  and 16th October

Access through the two proposal deadlines is called 'Direct Access'. The ISIS Facility Access Panels meet around six weeks after each deadline early in June and early in December, to review the proposals.

If you need faster access to beamtime than is available through the Direct Access route, please consider Rapid Access - which enables submission of proposals at any time (but do contact the ISIS instrument scientist before submitting a rapid access proposal).

The ISIS Xpress service is ideal for straightforward, short measurements which and ISIS scientist will run on your behalf. 

Industry users can apply to use ISIS through the ISIS Collaborative R&D programme.

short pdf guide to ISIS Access mechanisms is available, as is a more detailed description.

Consumables requests

UK researchers who have been awarded beamtime at ISIS may submit a request for up to £1200 per experiment for consumables required for sample preparation. 

In exceptional cases, requests up to a maximum of £3000 can be made. In such cases, you must submit a written request with a full breakdown of costs to the User Office for approval.

Expenses for consumables must be submitted within three months of the experiment through the online proposal system.

Please see the Consumables page for full details of consumables claims.

Consumables for ILL experiments

To apply for funding for an ILL experiment please fill out the attached form and return to the ISIS User Office (


The User Office can help with transport to and from the ISIS Facility for those who are eligible, please refer to the relevant sections below.

UK Visitors

Transport to and from Heathrow and Gatwick airports can be arranged if required. If you require a taxi during your stay, please ensure this is arranged in advance via the user office.  The cut off for weekend taxi arrangements is 15:00 on a Friday. 

Please note: 

Users wishing to travel between Didcot Parkway Station and RAL are encouraged to use the bus in order to keep costs to a minimum. 

If you take a taxi from Didcot, you will need to pay for this yourself.  Most companies will accept card payment but it would be advisable to have enough cash to cover the fare which should be approx £20.

Eligible costs for bus and taxi fares can be claimed back by completing an expenses claim form which you can obtain from the User Office.  Please ensure you get receipts for anything you wish to reclaim.

Please note that taxi costs will only be reimbursed where no bus service is available.

Please see the Directions to ISIS page for information on the buses to and from Didcot.

Overseas Visitors

We are not able to provide taxis to and from airports for users travelling from overseas.  Users from overseas will have to make their own travel arrangements to get to RAL using public transport.  

Please refer to the Directions to ISIS page for further details.

For users funded through our EU Access grant or through an overseas agreement (currently only Italy), we will reimburse your travel expenses but you should make your own travel arrangements.


On arrival, all visitors should visit;

  1. the ISIS User Office to notify their arrival and receive safety information
  2. the Health Physics Office, next to the ISIS Main Control Room to receive their film badge and
  3. the ISIS Main Control Room to receive their swipe card.


All accommodation should be booked through the ISIS User Office using the online travel and accommodation booking system.

Rooms in the on-site guest house are allocated on a first come first served basis. When the on-site hostel is full, visitors will be accommodated at The Cosener’s House in Abingdon.
B&B accommodation will only be used when both, the on-site guest houses and The Cosener’s House are fully booked.  In this case visitors have to pay the owner directly, even if they will later reclaim this expense.


All eligible UK users will have money loaded onto their visitor passes, which can be used in the RAL Restaurant and R1 Coffee Lounge.

Restaurant Opening Times
Monday - Friday
Breakfast 07:30 - 09:30
Lunch 11:45 - 13:45
Dinner 18:15 - 20:15 

Breakfast 07:30 - 09:00
Lunch 12:00 - 13:30
Dinner 18:15 - 20:15 

Library and Information Services

The RAL library, which is located in R61, is always open and is staffed between 09.00-16.45. Online services include the ISI Science Citation Index, Beilstein, Gmelin and travel planning software.

Reimbursement of expenses

Up to three UK users per experiment can have their expenses reimbursed for economy travel costs (a case for more people per experiment should be made to the ISIS User Programme Manager).  Please contact the User Office if you have any questions regarding reimbursement. Further details are available on the Expense Claims web page.

Expenses Claims MUST be submitted within 3 months of the expenditure.

ISIS User Office Contact Details

Telephone: +44 (0) 1235 44 5592

Opening hours

08:30 - 16:30 Monday to Thursday
08:30 - 16:00 Friday

Contact names

The User Programme Manager is:
Andrew Kaye
+44 (0)1235 446383

The User Office Manager is:
Emma Roberts
+44 (0)1235 446005

The User Office Administrators are
Sally Dixon
+44 (0)1235 445592

Amanda Hoyland
+44 (0)1235 445090

Kerry Larman
+44 (0)1235 446007

Lisa Wiltshire
+44 (0)1235 4457​08

Experimental Reports

An experimental report is required for each completed ISIS experiment.  Please see the Experimental Reports page for more details.

Publications Policy

In the vast majority of cases, the Scientist responsible for the instrument used for an experiment or the research team’s local contact, would expect to be a co-author on any associated publication. Without their work in designing, commissioning, building, maintaining and developing the instruments and their dedication, experiments could not succeed.  If the research team is largely self-sufficient, the matter should be discussed with the ISIS staff member at the beginning of the experiment.  In any case, a note indicating the support received from ISIS should appear in the acknowledgement of any publication resulting from an experiment at ISIS.​​