The selection procedure to access the ICTS in the mode of competitive access calls consists of the following stages:

First of all, the Users wishing to access the RIs should complete and submit the Access Proposal Form (APF) which will be available on the ICTS website. It is important to mention that the Applicants are strongly advised to contact the single contact point (Access Coordinator, AC) in order to know which facility of the ICTS is more feasible for their proposal, and thus properly completing theAPF. The AC transfers the request to the Facility Managers (FMs) to check which facility suits best the Access proposal. Once done, the AC informs the User on which facility to choose for the submission of the APF.

Upon receipt of the Access Proposal, the AC review the application form to check that all the information provided is correct and make sure the User is eligible to access the ICTS, i.e. making sure s/he fulfils the User requirements. Then, the FM responsible for the installation required by the Applicant receives the APF to carry out the assessment of the technical feasibility of the Application. After the AM assess the technical feasibility of the Application, the AC sends those applications that have passed the assessment to the Evaluation Committee in charge of evaluating the Application.

The Evaluation Committee, composed of 5 external experts, receives then the Access Proposal and a template (evaluation form) to fill in their scientific review by email, and have two weeks to review the proposal according to set criteria.The committee may request via the AC advice or further details from the FMs at any time. Once the committee has completed their evaluation form according to set criteria, this will be sent back to the AC who will collect the comments from each expert and the individual score of each member of this panel. This creates a score out of 15, being accepted only those proposals scoring more than 9.

If access to the facilities is limited for any reason, access priority will be given to

  1. the Users with higher score
  2. the PSA Staff
  3. those Users who have not previously used the requested installation, and
  4. those Users who are working in countries where no equivalent research infrastructure exist.

The AC is the one in charge of sending the letters of acceptance or rejection, including in the latter the reasons for rejection. These reasons will be drafted commonly by the selection panel and the FM in order to avoid any wrong information or misunderstandings in the reasons.

Then, the Applicants will have the possibility to respond on the rejection of the proposal by contacting the AC. The AC will transfer the request to the AM in question and together they could reopen the evaluation with the selection panel, should they consider that the request of the applicant is justifiable. The selection panel will have to review again the proposal taking into account the new comments of the applicant regarding the rejection, giving a definitive answer within the following 15 days of the review request.