General Lab Information

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User Guide

What to do before your beam time

Once your proposal has been accepted, get ready for your beam time at NSLS-II.

1Register for a user appointment

All facility users performing experiments at NSLS-II are required to have an active appointment with Brookhaven National Laboratory. Requests are submitted through our online Guest Information System. Users who have previously registered and have an active BNL appointment may skip this step. You must register through the Guest Information System at least 30 days prior to your beam time.

When registering, please use the following guideline:

Question Response
Purpose of Visit User
Visit Justification [Example] “I have beam time on beamline 3-ID on proposal #123456, entitled: X-ray imaging of a battery. The experiments that I will be performing include... My role in this project is…”
Name of host Beamline Contact Person
BNL Department .NSLS 2 Facility Users (LTU)
Research Facility NSLS2
Proposal Number Enter your active proposal number for the experiment you will be running. If you do not have an active proposal, please wait to submit your registration until you have one. IMPORTANT: You must be listed as an Experimenter on that proposal in the PASS system. To avoid delays, please ensure the proposal PI has included you on the proposal before submitting your registration.

2Complete required training

Once your guest appointment has been approved, you must complete the online training modules before experiments may begin. The User training modules described in this section must be completed online prior to the start of beam time. Please complete the following training courses. For returning users, you can check your training status online.

*Not required for remote-access users

Note: We encourage users to read the GERT Study Guide prior to taking the course. If you have completed BNL GERT training in the past, then you may take the GERT Challenge Exam to renew your GERT training. If you have valid GERT training from another DOE light source facility (APS, ALS, SSRL, or LCLS), we accept GERT reciprocity.

3Submit Safety Approval Forms

All materials, equipment, and researchers involved in the experiments are listed on the Safety Approval Form (SAF), which includes an explanation and risk analysis for the tasks to be completed during the beam time (at the beamline and within the set-up laboratories). SAFs are submitted via the Proposal Allocation, Safety, and Scheduling System (PASS) once a proposal is allocated beam time. For more details and guidance on completing your SAF, consult this guidance document (PDF).

SAFs must be submitted at least 14 days prior to the start of beam time. Failure to submit a SAF at least 14 days in advance can result in cancellation of your beam time and reallocation to another user. All SAFs are valid for one year except Rapid Access, which are valid for one beam time cycle. Risks outside the standard hazard envelope (e.g. work with biohazards, nanomaterials, radioactive materials, pressure systems, electrical equipment, etc.) require more processing time. If electrical equipment is brought to the facility, it may require additional inspections; therefore, users should review the electrical safety instructions and reach out for inspection if appropriate. In all cases outside the standard hazard envelop, users should contact the Experiment Review Coordinator as early as practical during experiment planning.

For all users shipping samples to and/or from Brookhaven Lab, a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is required for all samples. You will be prompted to attach your SDSs in the PASS system during the SAF submission process.

4Request user account and data access

To run beamline experiments and access data at NSLS-II, all active users are being issued a computer account, which is also known as a "BNL domain account." These accounts follow a single sign-on strategy and replace the “controls” accounts that some users have used in the past. Additionally, to ensure that your BNL domain account is ready for you, you also need to be prepared to use two-factor authentication (2FA) through DUO before you can use any computer or log onto any system. Currently, due to the upcoming changes to in the sign-on strategy, NSLS-II users need two different services "Duo Commercial" and "Duo Federal."

Please read more details about how to get an BNL domain account and how to set up your two-factor authentication (2FA) on our user accounts and data access website.

5Prepare for your beam time

Reserve accommodations
If you will be coming to NSLS-II for beam time, there are a number of hotels near BNL and the Laboratory also offers inexpensive onsite housing. See hotels near BNL and onsite housing options.

Ship materials to NSLS-II
Please ship materials to and from NSLS-II in coordination with your home institution or via Federal Express. If this is not possible, or if you have any questions, please contact the beamline scientist responsible for your beam time. See NSLS-II shipping instructions for more details.

Bring required identification
If you will be traveling to NSLS-II, bring the required identification to finalize (or renew) your appointment and receive a BNL photo badge. The photo badge is required for each visit. Expired documents will result in delays in accessing the BNL site and may prevent entry. Foreign nationals are strongly encouraged to bring their valid passport and all visa documents during every visit, which are required to be on file with the GUV Center and current at all times. Users are also encouraged to carry medical insurance and prescription cards. Additional details.