Grant agreement ID: 101057511
Duration: September 1st, 2022 to August 31st, 2026

Horizon EU (Research infrastructure services to support health research, accelerate the green and digital transformation, and advance frontier knowledge)

EC Funding for External Research Teams within the Horizon EU Programme of the European Commission: Transnational Access to GSI under the Integrated Activity on EUROPEAN LABORATORIES FOR ACCELERATOR BASED SCIENCE (EURO-LABS).

General Information

The GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH operates an accelerator complex which consists of the linear accelerator UNILAC, the heavy-ion synchrotron SIS and the experimental storage-cooler ring ESR. Ions of all elements, from hydrogen to uranium, can be accelerated up to momenta given by the 18 Tm maximum rigidity of the SIS. Even for uranium beams this corresponds to velocities of more than 90% of the velocity of light. Moreover, beams of artificially created unstable nuclei - radioactive ion beams - are available for the research programme, as well as beams of highly ionized atoms up to bare uranium and beams of secondary pions.

The accelerators are complemented by some 20 experimental areas, equipped with modern spectrometers and detector systems, which offer outstanding opportunities for fundamental studies in the fields of nuclear physics, atomic physics and dense plasma research. At the same time, forefront application-oriented research is being performed in material science, biophysics and radiation medicine. The laboratory has thus become a focal point where scientists from both domestic and foreign universities and other research institutions collaborate.

Research capabilities

GSI provides ion beams of all stable elements up to uranium with energies from the Coulomb barrier up to 2 AGeV. In addition, radioactive and cooled stable beams with high charge states up to U92+ can be delivered. Moreover, also secondary pion beams with momenta from 0.5 GeV/c to 2.5 GeV/c are available.

The high standards of the accelerators are complemented by a large number of technically highly advanced experimental facilities and set-ups, the most important of which are listed in the following:

Equipment/Projects dedicated to nuclear science and applications:

  • The velocity filter SHIP for the separation and detection of super-heavy elements.
  • SHIPTRAP, a Penning trap behind the SHIP spectrometer for nuclear structure and atomic physics studies on very heavy nuclei/atoms.
  • The new gas-filled separator TASCA for heavy element studies.
  • A large projectile fragment separator (FRS) for the production and in-beam separation of nuclei far off stability.
  • The cooler-storage ring ESR, equipped with powerful stochastic and electron cooling devices, Schottky mass as well as time-of-flight mass spectroscopy for mass measurements of short lived nuclei, an internal gas-jet target, a collinear laserspectroscopy system and various X-ray and position sensitive particle detectors, for in-ring (reaction) experiments.
  • The R3B nuclear reaction set-up to study collective states and complete kinematics reactions with exotic nuclear beams; an upgrade of that facility is presently ongoing.

Equipment/Projects dedicated to other/multidisciplinary research:

  • Experimental stations for atomic physics studies (channelling investigations with cooled ion beams extracted from the ESR, etc.)
  • High power density beam bunches and various equipment for plasma physics research.
  • Experimental stations and a cell biology laboratory for research into the radio-biological effects of ion beams
  • Experimental stations and various instrumentation (incl. the new Materials Research Branch at the UNILAC) for applications of high and low energy heavy ion beams in materials research and modification (e. g. a heavy-ion microprobe, a diamond anvil cell for irradiating samples under high pressure, diagnostic tools like raster tunnel and raster scanning microscopy, etc.).
  • Multipurpose/Test Stations, e.g. for tests of electronic components, or of detectors built for particle/nuclear physics and also for space missions.


Access procedures

GSI as a user facility is open to national and international user groups. To apply for access to the accelerator and experimental facilities, a written project proposal has to be submitted to an international Program Advisory Committees, the GSI General Program Advisory Committee (G-PAC) or one of the sub-PAC for materials research, for biophysics and radiobiology or for PHELIX and plasma physics. If a user group in addition applies for EC support under one of the Integrated Activities (Transnationl Access) of HORIZON EU, a separate funding application has to be submitted. This is reviewed by a specific User Selection Panel specific to the Access Project.

The G-PAC presently has 12 external members, with more than half of them coming from universities or research institutes outside Germany. The EURO-LABS User Selection Panel is composed of 3 members from the G-PAC or external institutions and the manager of the Access Project.

In a first round the G-PAC evaluates all of the submitted proposals on the basis of scientific merit and makes recommendations concerning the beamtime to be allocated to each project. In a second step the EURO-LABS User Selection Panel (USP) reviews the funding applications. The panel evaluates the time and the amount of travel requested for setting up and executing the experiment, and decides on the number of person-days and travels to be allocated to the proposal in question.

Beam time scheduling

Once a proposal has acquired the status of an accepted experiment, a GSI contact person (at least of postdoctoral level) is assigned to each external group. This contact person gives support in all practical aspects, including the beam time scheduling.

Beam time scheduling is managed by the GSI beam time coordinator. He acts in close contact with the users and their GSI contact person, with the accelerator division and with an internal GSI Round Table Committee that is responsible for coordinating the scientific and technical requirements connected with the use of the accelerator facilities. The current beam time schedule can be found here.

Technical and logistic support offered to users

For research groups with approved experiments, beams and experimental facilities are provided free of charge. In addition, the support offered by GSI includes:

  • office space and access to the GSI computing facilities;
  • training courses and briefings on the general safety regulations at GSI and on the specific regulations at the experimental facilities;
  • limited access to the GSI detector and target laboratories, as well as access to a maintained workshop for experimentalists and assistance from the GSI general mechanical shops;
  • German language courses for foreigners;
  • bus shuttle from the nearby train and tram stations from Mon. to Fri.;
  • the Welcome Office providing logistic support with regard to accommodation, travel and payments;
  • lodging facilities: On site there is a guest house with 28 bed/office rooms, partly equipped with terminals for connection to the GSI computing facilities and to international data networks (registration at the GSI IT Dept. needed). Within walking distance from the institute, another lodging facility is available with 31 bedrooms.
  • Web based submission of applications for experiment proposals, for users support under the EC access program, and after allocation of experiment time and access funding: web-based application for scheduling, for registration as access user, etc.

Eligible research teams (so-called user groups) are composed of one or more researchers whose majority must work in a country other than Germany. They must be entitled to disseminate the results they generate under the project carried out at GSI. Access for user groups with a majority of users not working in a EU Member State or Horizon Europe associated countries is limited to 20% of the total amount of units of access provided under the grant.

Financial Support within EURO-LABS

Financial support within the EURO-LABS Transnational Access Activity is on a per day basis and amounts to 90 Euro per day. Travel expenses will be reimbursed (economy fares) up to 300 Euro. The local administrative rules will be applied.

Application for Access funding

The spokesperson of an eligible users group submits an application for funding under EURO-LABS, 'Transnational Access to GSI'. The respective form is available here. If you would like to participate, please fill in the application form.

Proposals can be submitted any time during the contract period. The next meeting of the USP will be held in September 2023, proposals should be submitted by 24th of August 2023. In particular, we encourage to submit funding requests for those experiments that are already scheduled for 2024 and 2025. Applications submitted after 24th of August 2023 will be treated individually, latest at the next G-PAC Meeting.

Please send your signed applications to:

Dr. Christine Hornung

GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

Planckstr. 1

64291 Darmstadt


phone: +49 6159 71 3529

fax: +49 6159 71 2902

email: c.hornung (at)

How to get your Access funding

Users of EURO-LABS 'Access to GSI' are requested to register at least two weeks prior to their travel to GSI to provide us with information on their respective project acronym, individual user data, and the relevant travel information. For this advance registration, please use the TARI User Registration. In addition, a registration via the Welcome Office is required, as well at least two weeks prior to their travel to GSI.

When registered via the TARI form, participants of the project will receive an email with access to a personalized travel cost statement. This travel cost statement needs to be filled, signed and submitted including receipts of the travel to the NUSTAR office (Luise Dörsching-Steitz, SE 2.186, phone 2127) at the end of the travel.

In case of questions, please contact us via euro-labs-tna(at)

Reporting after the experiment

Publications are required to acknowledge the EURO-LABS project: This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe Research and Innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 101057511 (EURO-LABS).



Please keep GSI informed of all the publications referred to above by sending the references to Christine Hornung by e-mail (c.hornung (at) or via the upload link.

Each spokesperson of a user group supported under an EC Research Infrastructure contract is requested to complete the "EC User Group Questionnaire". The questionnaire must be submitted once by each user group as soon as the experiments on the infrastructure come to end.