DST User Portal


1. Do I need to apply to both Elettra and XRD2-DST sites for beamtime access.

Yes, Every proposal needs to submitted both at the Elettra VUO website (https://vuo.elettra.eu/pls/vuo/guest.startup) and an identical proposal should be submitted to the DST-XRD2 site (http://process.mbu.iisc.ac.in/XRD2/). Please make sure that VUO proposal number is included in the XRD2 proposal site. The system will disallow submission, if the VUO proposal number is not included in the XRD2 site. DST-XRD2 will sanction your beamtime, but to be able to perform your experiment, you need to provide your details to Elettra as well, without which you cannot use the beamtime.

2. Will my trip get funded?

The trip will be reimbursed by DST, provided proposals are submitted to both portals. You can apply for funding from Elettra as well. Elettra also funds a small number of researchers for the experiments. If successful, you can mention this to DST-XRD2 as well. This will help us fund more researchers through DST grant.

3. How do I know that my proposals that I applied to at both DST-XRD2 and Elettra-VUO are 'linked' and being considered?

You will get an email as soon as your proposal is accepted. Elettra-VUO will reflect your scheduled beamtime as well so you know that the proposal is through and linked. Including your VUO proposal number in the XRD2-DST site will allow a direct link between the proposals that will help beamline staff with scheduling your beamtime.

4. What are the documents I need for a visa?

You need the following:
1. An invitation letter from Elettra user office.
2. A copy of the id card of the inviting person (usually the admin head of Elettra operation).
3. A confirmed hotel booking covering all your days in Italy.
4. A confirmed return flight booking
5. A travel insurance of minimum 15 days or the days in Italy (whichever is more).
6. A letter from your host institute stating you are allowed to go to Elettra for experiment and your expenses will be met.
7. 3 months salary slips (not mandatory but good to provide).
8. 3 months bank statement with original stamp from your bank (please avoid printing from internet banking).
9. A proof showing you are eligible to apply to the particular consulate. For example, if you want to apply to VFS in Bangalore, you can attach a copy of your rent agreement or any other such document showing your residence.
10. Two photographs as per VFS Italy.
11. Photocopy of your passport.

Please visit following page for more information:

5. What is reimbursed (and what is not)?

If you are eligible for reimbursement, your flight ticket, hotel and DA will be reimbursed as per the government guidelines.

While booking tickets please keep in mind the following guidelines:
Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure vide Office Memorandum No.19024/22/2017-E.IV dated 19th July, 2017 have reiterated that Air Travel where the Government of India bears the cost of air ticket, must be purchased directly from airlines online (http://www.airindia.in) or at booking counters/website of airlines or from 3 authorized travel agents namely M/s. Balmer Lawrie & Company Limited, M/s. Ashok Travels & Tours and IRCTC only. 

6. How do I ship dewars?

You need to make your own arrangements for shipping the dewars. Shipping dewars to Elettra should be managed through DHL or through any private international shipping agencies by individual investigators. Import of dewars should also be managed individually through either individual DHL account(s) or through shipping agencies. Dewar Air Way Bills numbers have to be included in your respective proposals for the beamline scientists to keep track of the shipments. The cost of dewar shipment will be borne by the sender and reimbursed later upon submission of the AWB and invoice. The bills have to be submitted to IISc (address details and the receipts required). Dewars will be filled with liqN2 upon reaching the beamline.

*Only 1 dewar will be reimbursed per user.

7. How is user access provided by Elettra. Steps that need to be done prior to arrival.

Before you begin to work at Elettra an Access Request must be submitted in due time. You must receive an approval from the corresponding officer prior to your arrival, otherwise you will not be able to enter the laboratory. Once at Elettra, you will be asked for a valid identification document (passport) so please remember to bring one with you. General Users must submit their access Form at least  two weeks before the experiment.
Safety training for first time users is compulsory prior to reaching the synchrotron. Access request and safety training are done through your individual login credentials of VUO. A print out of the safety test certificate, signed by the user has to be submitted at the entrance of the synchrotron. .

*Only 1 dewar will be reimbursed per user.

8. Places of stay near the Synchrotron.

Elettra does not have a guest house and users have to book accommodation in one of the several hotels or inns near the synchrotron. Booking has to be done prior as this has to be included in your visa documents. Please find a list of places for stay below:
Places of stay

9. How to reach Elettra

Please find details of reaching Elettra at this webpage:
Reach Elettra

10. Unipucks or ESRF pucks?

Both the pucks work at Elettra. Some people prefer ESRF pucks because samples stay safer in the vial. Shipping through Unipucks however, can carry more sample numbers per dewar (7 pucks of 16/puck vs. 5 pucks of 10/puck in ESRF pucks). Pins from both puck types are mounted by the sample changer on XRD2.

If the crystals are shipped in canes, these require to be transferred to pucks available with the beamline scientist prior to the start of the experiments.

11. How do I settle reimbursement claims? Who are the people I need to contact?

You need to keep all original receipts, tickets and boarding passes to get reimbursed. You need to contact Ms. Sushma (sushmad@iisc.ac.in) after the completion of your trip. Bills can be mailed to the following address.
Ms. Sushma Devendra
C/O of Prof. B. Gopal,
Molecular Biophysics Unit,
Indian Institute of Science,
CV Raman Road, Bangalore 560012.

12. How long will reimbursement take?

The reimbursement can take a minimum of 8 weeks. The duration can be longer if more documents are needed or there are audit delays.

13. While at the beam, Why should I collect data for others as well? How do I process data while on site/ off site?

The grant is aimed at facilitating a large number of Indian researchers. Because of operational constrains, it might be possible that not all the people can travel to Elettra. In this case, if you are at the beamline, you can collect data for others as well. This may also be helpful in case you can’t travel in future and the favor can be returned. The data can be processed on site in real time with the computing facilities available at the beamline. The users should also bring their hard drives and copy all the data and process them later. In case, where none of this is possible, users can download their data from VUO (individual image files can be downloaded). Pls contact the beamline scientist Dr. Babu Manjashetty for data related details.

14. Can I reschedule my beamtime?

Beamtime once fixed cannot be rescheduled. Kindly indicate your preferred dates early. Once fixed the beamtime rescheduling tends to upset the schedule of other users. Avoid any rescheduling requests once you have been assigned your beamtime.

15. I am a student. Can I apply for beamtime with my credentials alone.

If you are a student it is compulsory to link the proposal to your advisor's/PI's name. The XRD2 DST site provides the option of adding advisor's name. Make sure the VUO proposal number is linked up to the DSTXRD2 site along with providing your advisor/lab details.