Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I submit a proposal?

Proposals for both PETRA III and FLASH can only be submitted during the call periods.

To submit a proposal you have to be registered in the DESY Online Office for Research with Photons (DOOR)

Please consult our web pages for an overview for PETRA III and FLASH beamlines and contact persons. We advice our users to discuss their proposals with the beamline staff before submission.

Detailed information about the content and format of the different proposal types can be found in our user guide. In case of questions please feel free to contact us

Do I need to have a dosimeter for my beamtime at DESY?

No. As a user of one of our beamlines you will not have access to any area where radiation is to be expected. Therefore you will not have to bring a dosimeter.

When is the deadline for proposal submission?

Users registered in DOOR will receive an e-mail notification about the call openings and the deadlines.

As a rule, calls for regular proposals at PETRA III and at FLASH are published twice a year.


PETRA III regular proposals FLASH
1 March & 1 September 1 April & 1 October

Calls for BAG and LTP at PETRA precede those for regular proposals. For deadlines please consult our webpages

Information to users of beamlines P12 - P14:

If you are interested in working at the PETRA III beamlines P12-P14, you have to prepare your proposal according to EMBL guidelines and have to submit it via the EMBL User Portal.

For any questions or queries concerning your proposal and beamtime at P12-P14, please contact the EMBL User Office.

I have submitted a proposal on time. When will I receive information about the results of the review and my beamtime?

Following the deadlines for PETRA III on 1 March and 1 September the proposals first go through the internal review followed by the scientific review by our Project Review Panels (PRP). Apprx. 8 weeks after the deadline, i.e. in May and November, the PRPs come together to finalize the review. After completion, beamtimes are distributed according to the ratings and the beamtime available during the respective run. We will notify you about the results as soon as the scheduling is finalized. For proposals submitted for the September deadline the final notification are sent out in January before the Users' Meeting at the latest, for proposals submitted for the March deadline, it is done in June.

Following the deadlines for FLASH proposals on 1 April and 1 October, the internal review and scientific review of proposals by our Project Review Panels (PRP) is done. The PRP “Soft X-Ray - FEL Experiments” comes together twice a year at the end of May/beginning of June and at the end of November/beginning of December (around 8 – 10 weeks after the deadline) to discuss and finalize the scientific review. After scheduling, users will be informed about the results ca. 4 weeks after the FLASH PRP has met, i.e. normally in July and January, respectively.

What are the responsibilities of the Project Leader?

The project leader takes the general responsibility for the project and planned experiments at DESY. Therefore, the leader must be an experienced researcher ("senior scientist").

In case travel reimbursement has been requested for participants from an EU country (beamtime related to an EC-Proposal), the Project Leader is responsible for the completion of the required "confirmation of beamtime" which can be printed out via DOOR.

What are the responsibilities of the Principal Investigator of a project?

As the PI of the project, you are responsible for all administrative procedures within DOOR, e.g. safety declaration, registration of participants, reporting, application for travel cost reimbursement etc. You are also required to keep your group members up to date of any relevant information and changes which are sent to you by e-mail (concerning travel reimbursement applications and procedures etc.).

I plan to participate in a beamtime at PETRA III/FLASH for the first time. What do I need to consider?

All users at PETRA III and FLASH must complete the following steps:

(Users at EMBL beamlines other regulations apply, please consult the user EMBL webpage )

Before your arrival at DESY (as soon as possible)

  1. create a personal account in DOOR DESY Online Office for Research with Photons
  2. make sure to also be registered for your beamtime in DOOR

  • If successfully registered, the proposal number and beamtime dates will appear under NEXT SCHEDULED SHIFTS” in your DOOR account. If not, kindly ask the PI of your proposal to register your name as participant.
  1. Book your accommodation at the DESY Hostel

  2. Complete our mandatory online safety training accessible via DOOR and send the signed certificate to the User Office, either per e-mail or via fax (as indicated on the printout of the certificate)

After your arrival at DESY

  1. Obtain a DACHS-Card at :

in bldg. 6/ R110

Mon-Thu 8:00-12:00 and 13:00-16:00 and Fri 8:00-12:00 and 13:00-14:00

at the DESY main entrance, Notkestr. 85 only outside office hours

Please bring a valid identity card, passport or driving licence to proof your idendity.

  1. Consult your Local contact e.g. for experiment preparation, appointment for on-site instructions (if not already done by another participant of the experiment)
  2. After arrival at DESY, get in touch with your local contact (beamline scientist) and - if required-  Lab personal in order to complete any mandatory on-site instructions
  • For future beamtimes and visits, you have to make sure that your safety training modules and your on-site-instructions are up-to-date and renew them, if necessary. You can check the current validity of your safety modules in your personal DOOR Account under Validity of previous DESY Photon Science Safety Trainings".
  • Please bring your DACHS-Card with you to subsequent visits at PETRA or FLASH.
  • An Overview on application and Experiment Procedure can be found here:


How can I reserve a room at the DESY Hostel?

Requests for bookings at the DESY Hostel will be processed by the DESY Hostel only. The User Office cannot book rooms on behalf of users. For questions concerning your reservation please contact the DESY Hostel directly.

We recommend booking your hostel room as soon as possible and well in advance before your beamtime!

What happens if the DESY Hostel is overbooked during my stay?

Our DESY Hostel will email you in case of overbooking during the requested period and will provide a list of reasonably priced hotels nearby DESY campus.

If you successfully applied for Travel Reimbursement via DOOR, please keep the written rejection by the DESY Hostel and include it in your documents for travel reimbursement. Otherwise your reimbursed costs per night will be limited to the nightly fee at the DESY Hostel.

I need visa for the duration of my beamtime. How will DESY Photon Science assist me?

If you need a visa for Germany, please keep in mind that you must apply for a visa at least 6 - 8 weeks before your expected departure for Hamburg. Especially for users from India and some other countries the procedure might take even longer! To avoid any delay and related cancellation of beamtime, please contact us as soon as your beamtime/visit has been scheduled! If you require a visa invitation letter for your visa application, please fill in the Data required for Invitation Letters from DESY (or Personal Information Form for Users from India@DESY( below and send it to

Please note that invitation letters are only issued to users whose beamtime has been definitely scheduled and who are registered as participants for this beamtime by the PI in DOOR.

Data required for the Invitation Letter from DESY
Personal Information Form for Users from India@DESY

Users from the India@DESY collaboration are kindly requested to also see the following links:

I need a confirmation letter of this beamtime for my home institute. How can I obtain such letter?

If you need a letter in which we formally invite you to this beamtime, please make sure that you have been registered as participant for this beamtime in DOOR.
If so, you can generate a participation letter under "Next scheduled shifts" --> "PDF" in your DOOR account. Please note that this letter cannot be used for visa purposes.

For visa invitation letters, please see "I need visa for the duration of my beamtime. How will DESY Photon Science assist me?" in our FAQs.

Who is eligible to receive Travel Reimbursement from DESY?

Only users employed at German universities and users from institutes within the European Union and associated countries* are eligible for travel cost reimbursement. Reimbursement has to be requested by the PI of the proposal via DOOR before the beamtime.

* Researchers from institutes in the following countries may be supported: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and associated countries (H2020): Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina,Faroe Islands, FYR of Macedonia , Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey, Switzerland, Ukraine

Users from German universities:

If not supported by any other funding source, we can reimburse travel and subsistence expenses for a maximum number of 3 participants per experiment. The reimbursement is calculated following the German Federal travel expense law (Bundesreisekostengesetz).  Users from German research institutions (such as Helmholtz, MPG, Leibniz etc.) are not eligible for reimbursement.

Users from EU institutes:

As partner in the European Commission Programme CALIPSOplus, we are able to reimburse travel costs for a maximum number of 3 participants per experiment based on a proposal with an ID ending with EC (e.g. I-20160999 EC) at beamlines run by DESY and/or HZG.

For NFFA users distinct rules apply according to NFFA regulations.

For details please consult our webpages.

EMBL beamlines are excluded from the reimbursement.

How do I apply for travel reimbursement?

An application for travel reimbursement must be submitted via DOOR by the PI for a maximum number of 3 people. The requestor will be informed of our decision via e-mail. In case of approval, he/she will receive further instructions and is required to share them with all participants. The participants must also be kept informed about any relevant changes. All DOOR applications should be submitted prior to beamtime.

After the stay at DESY, each individual traveler has to submit a travel reimbursement form together with all original invoices, receipts and tickets to the DESY Photon Science User Office. Hostel invoices have to be paid  by the user first, and will then be reimbursed. We pay a lump sum for daily allowance, no receipts for meals have to be submitted.

All travelers are required to familiarize themselves with the detailed information regarding the different procedures and regulations which can be found here:

Reimbursement documents have to be handed in to the User Office not later than 6 months after the experiment and the trip to DESY!

Where can I obtain travel expense statement forms?

Travel Expense Statement Forms are available during office hours at the DESY Photon Science User Office and cannot be obtained online.
They can also be picked up in room L119b in the PETRA experimental hall "Max von Laue" (see shelf on the left hand side).

Has an application for travel reimbursement been submitted for me?

If you are not sure whether an application has been submitted for you, please contact your PI or get in touch with the User Office. If there is no application for you, please kindly ask your PI to apply for reimbursement on your behalf.
Please note that applications for travel reimbursement have to be submitted prior beamtime.

Where can I obtain my DACHS-Card?

Before a DACHS card can be issued for you, it is essential that your name has been registered for your beamtime in DOOR!

DACHS-Cards cannot be issued in advance. Users must appear in person and present a valid identity card, e.g. passport or driving license. Obtained DACHS-Cards will be valid for future visits and should be brought along to every visit at PETRA or FLASH.

DACHS-Cards will be issued

  1. in bldg. 6/ R110

Mon-Thu 8:00-12:00 and 13:00-16:00

Fri 8:00-12:00 and 13:00-14:00)

  1.  outside office hours

at the DESY main entrance, Notkestr. 85

Please bring a valid identity card, passport or driving licence

Which modules of the Online Safety Training do I have to complete?

The module “Basic Instructions” is mandatory for everyone working at DESY Photon Science including staff and users. All other modules are optional and depend on your intended work here. For example, for work and beamtime at PETRA III (in experimental hutches, control hutches and labs) you have to complete “PETRA III” additionally.

An overview of the required modules can be found here:

Where do I have to send my Safety Certificate?

A signed copy of your certificate must either be faxed (+49 40 8994 4141), emailed ( or handed in personally to the DESY Photon Science User Office in 47c, L106.
For urgent activation of your certificate outside opening hours of the User Office, please contact the shift service or the beamline manager.
Please note that the modules are not automatically renewed after completion of the online training, they are only updated once a signed copy is handed in and activated.

Will I be notified when my certificate has been activated?

Due to the high number of safety certificates we receive on a daily basis, we cannot confirm the activation individually. However, you will be notified if a problem occured related to your safety training. You may check the current validity of your completed safety modules under "Validity of previous DESY Photon Science Safety Trainings" in your personal DOOR accounts. The information is updated after activation of your certificate by the User Office.
In case you provided a signed copy to us, but the validity of your modules is still not updated, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the User Office by phone (+49 (0)40 8998-2304 or -2368) or e-mail.

After activation of my safety certificate, will I automatically get access to beamlines, labs etc. or do I need to complete anything else?

For full access, the computer based training is not sufficient. For all laboratories, workshops and beamlines you intend to work at, you will have to participate in on-site instructions after your arrival at DESY. Please discuss details with your local contact and check the given information for the infrastructure facilities. DACHS cards will provide access to the respective areas only with

  • completed and registered safety training modules


  • completed on-site instruction provided by the persons in charge of the respective laboratory or beamline/experimental hutch.
Whom should I contact if I have questions or problems concerning procedures in DOOR?

If you encounter problems using DOOR please do not hesitate to get in touch with the DESY Photon Science User Office personally or via e-mail to DOOR.