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Frequently Asked Questions


Q. How can I use the user facilities?

A. The first step to access the user facilities is to submit a proposal. Proposals are peer reviewed, and the ratings are the primary criteria used to determine which proposals will be allocated time to use the facilities. Contact Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL), Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) or Facility for Advanced Accelerator Experimental Tests (FACET) scientists to discuss facility capabilities and to ensure that the proposed experiments are feasible.

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Q. Where is the facility located?

A. SLAC is located at 2575 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, California 94025 USA. In general, the SLAC campus is open 24 hours a day. Directions to SLAC and site entry information are available online.

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Q. What is needed to enter the security gate at SLAC?

A. Photo identification (ID) is required to enter the SLAC main gate. Users must review access requirements and inform User Research Administration of their planned arrival in advance. LCLS and SSRL users must be listed on scheduled user facility experiments (on the access list). Users must complete training in order to obtain a SLAC ID badge and proximity access. International users must bring their passport and visa documents to present to SLAC Security for access. Users from certain countries also need to forward additional information (including their passport bio page) in advance to obtain approval before visiting SLAC. In addition to SLAC's main gate, users need a SLAC ID badge to enter through Security Gates 17 or at Sector 30.

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Q. Where can I find lodging accommodations when I visit SLAC?

A. Users and visitors are encouraged to reserve accommodations at the Stanford Guest House which is located on the SLAC campus and conveniently located within a short walk to the user facilities. Guests have access to high-speed Internet access, a fitness center, a 24-hour reception desk, laundry facilities, and free parking. The Guest House offers single as well as shared rooms, and all rooms have their own bathroom, and at reasonable rates for the area. All rooms are non-smoking. Reserve rooms on-line. During periods of peak demand, the Guest House sets aside rooms for users; access these rooms by identifying yourself as a 'user'. Ask to be put on the wait list to be notified if rooms open up. There are several additional accommodations nearby. The SLAC Housing Office may also be able to provide advice about local rental properties.

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Q. What are the food service or dining options available at or near SLAC?

A. There are currently limited food options at SLAC until after the new SLAC cafeteria re-opens in the new Scientific User Support Building (SUSB). In the interim, a Starbucks kiosk is located near the Guest House for weekday walk-up coffee, breakfast, snacks and lunch (6 am to 5 pm). Weekdays, lunch can also be ordered from the EAT Club which delivers meals to several locations at SLAC. There are vending machines and kitchen facilities at a few locations at SLAC including SSRL Building 120 and the Guest House. Many other dining facilities are available nearby and on the Stanford campus.

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Q. Are there public transportation options to get around the local area?

A. The Stanford Marguerite provides FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE to several locations in the Palo Alto area. The SLAC line operates Monday-Friday (except holidays) between SLAC and Hoover Tower on the Stanford campus every 20-40 minutes from ~7:20 am-8:10 pm. The Guest House also provides complimentary shuttle service available evenings and weekends for guests; contact the front desk for more details.

For information on other Bay Area bus and train schedules, call CalTrain 800-558-8661,SamTrans 800-660-4287, or 408-321-2300 for other Bus and Light Rail Routes.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car is located on campus and offers a free pick-up service from the Stanford Guest House lobby. Guests can take advantage of discounted rates by mentioning the Stanford Guest House.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car
360 Oak Road
Stanford, CA 94305
(650) 833-8060

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Q. Is a user agreement needed to work at the SLAC user facilities?

A. For all on-site users, there must be a user agreement between the user institution and Stanford University. A single user agreement covers all experimenters from that institution. Experimenters interested in conducting proprietary research should contact User Research Administration well in advance of the anticipated need for beam time as the legal procedures and advance payment requirements may take several months to finalize. Proprietary research,  which users request confidentiality of proposal, data and results for a certain period of time, follows DOE and Stanford University guidelines and is executed through a Proprietary User Agreement. Proprietary research requires advance payment at the user facility's full-cost recovery rate which is updated annually and established as a dollar rate for each shift of beam time.

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Q. Do I need to establish a user financial account?

A. Each light source user group should have a user financial account to procure gases, chemicals, supplies or services to support your experiment at SLAC’s user facilities and to send samples, dewars, or other equipment between SLAC and your institution (FACET users do not need to establish a user account). The most common method of establishing or renewing a user financial account is by providing a purchase order (PO) (or a letter from the financial officer of the user institution). The PO should be made to SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory for the amount of expenditures desired to support user experiments. The PO should include the following information:

Contact User Research Administration to determine if you have a current user account or to open a user account.

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Q. How do I ship equipment to/from the SLAC user facility?

A. Contact your User Administrator or SLAC Shipping for more information on shipments to and from the user facilities, see also http://www-group.slac.stanford.edu/fac/index.asp?id=shipping.

If, at the end of your experiment, you plan to ship samples, equipment or other scientific items from SLAC to a location outside of the U.S., please alert User Research Admnistration, review the instructions for international user shipments.

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Q. How and when are potential safety issues associated with my proposal reviewed and controlled?

A. We take very seriously the challenges of user safety. Everyone who uses the facilities shares in the responsibility of ensuring a safe workplace. This includes planning experiments properly, taking extra efforts in identifying related hazards, and working closely with us to develop mitigations and controls.

SLAC is committed to protecting the health and safety of on-site personnel, the public, and the environment as it carries out its scientific mission. Consistent with SLAC's Integrated Safety and Environmental Management System (ISEMS), job/task specific hazards and controls are covered by a work planning and controls (WPC) process which plans for safe work by identifying tasks and their hazards, establishing controls to mitigate risks, documenting results and monitoring effectiveness. Each person who works here is required to be familiar with the hazards associated with his/her work and experiment, the hazards associated with work areas, and to properly implement all necessary training, procedures and protocols for mitigation of those hazards. Work planning and controls require that users plan experiments properly, take extra effort to identify potential hazards, and work closely with us to develop mitigations and implement controls. Consider and apply these steps (as well as the environmental impact of all tasks performed):

For users, including visiting scientists and students, this safety review is conducted each time a proposal is submitted or scheduled to use the user facility, so it is important that proposal spokespersons/PIs fully disclose any potential hazards when submitting a proposal, requesting access, or before arrival. This process prompts the training, controls, procedures, and personal protective equipment necessary to safely complete experiments or activities by seeking the participation of those who will perform the work.

The proper use, storage and disposal of hazardous substances is critical to maintaining a healthful workplace and protecting the environment. All experimenters, especially Proposal Spokespersons and PIs, are responsible for informing the Safety Officer of hazardous substances they wish to bring, and to arrange for their proper shipment, storage and disposal. The Safety Officer can arrange for storage and waste containers.

All work at SLAC requires review prior to authorization and release. A knowledgeable SLAC employee, such as the Safety Officer, Facility Scientist or Engineer, will review the proposed experiment and potential hazards with the user to ensure that the procedure follows best known methods/practices and that the user can adequately explain the steps, hazards and controls of the procedure. Work authorization is dependent on required ES&H training, agreements, and safety checklists. Should the experimental conditions change, re-authorization is required to ensure that potential hazards that may have been introduced are controlled.Everyone who uses the facility must immediately report any unsafe work practices or safety concerns to the Safety Officer, Duty Operator, Floor Coordinatorand/or staff to continue to keep our user facilities safe.

In addition to commonly accepted hazards, SLAC is in a high earthquake risk area. In the event of an earthquake, 'duck and cover under a table or against an inside wall'. Be aware that objects can shift suddenly, so it is important that equipment be earthquake braced. Be aware of your surroundings and the nearest emergency exits. Wait until the shaking has stopped before trying to leave the building. When safe and instructed to do so after an earthquake, fire or other emergency, proceed to the nearest emergency assembly area.

In the event of an emergency or life threatening situation while at SLAC, immediately call 911 or extension 5555 from any SLAC telephone (650-926-5555). While at SSRL or LCLS, also notify your supervisor, the Duty Operator, Floor Coordinator, or Safety Officer. There is a medical department at SLAC which is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. ? 4:30 p.m. for non-life threatening injury assistance, counseling and other wellness services.

Additional information on the SSRL Facility Emergency Plan can be found at http://www-ssrl.slac.stanford.edu/safety/emergencypreparedness/ssrl_emergency.html.

No alcoholic beverages may be consumed or stored on the SLAC site except when preapproved by the SLAC Director for special events at specific locations.

Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed buildings and facilities. Smoking is permitted only in designated outdoor areas away from doorways and ventilation systems.

Visitors, including children, may only enter experimental floor areas with pre-approval and a qualified escort for brief guided tours.

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Q. What safety training is needed to work at the user facility?

A.A large variety of potentially hazardous materials, processes and equipment can be present at the user facilties, and we take very seriously the challenges of user safety. SLAC uses the integrated safety and environmental management system (ISEMS) to bring safety and environment into work practices at all levels. Each person who uses the facilities shares in the responsibility of ensuring a safe workplace and compliance with federal, state, local and SLAC workplace safety regulations. Contact the user facility safety officers if you have questions or need assistance.

No person may participate in any experimental activity at SLAC unless he/she has been identified by the proposal spokesperson as a member of their experimental team for a scheduled experiment, has complied with access requirements, and has completed the web-based training courses BEFORE ARRIVAL.

Users must complete several safety training courses online BEFORE arriving at SLAC to receive a new badge (or renewed proximity access on their current badge):


Go to this browser check web page (http://training.slac.stanford.edu/web-training.asp) to verify that your computer is compatible with the web training system requirements..

        NOTE: SLAC web training is compatible with Windows computers using the Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox browsers and Mac           computers using Safari, Firefox or Chrome browsers.

                 Linux has limited support. You may try using a Linux computer with the Firefox browser but we don't guarantee positive results.

                Flash is required to access the web training. A complete list of system requirements is located here                 (http://training.slac.stanford.edu/sys_req.asp).


If you do not see any warnings, this indicates that your computer has passed the system check. If you see a warning message, follow the link displayed there for further instructions.


Once you pass the system check, then click the red banner to access the log-in page where you will enter your system ID # [insert system ID here] and the password slac2005.

    After log-in, select the "Web Training Catalog" tab.

    Click on the "Users" folder and then select the following courses to complete..


    Course 396 - Safety Orientation for Non-SLAC Employees (SON) (You must view every slide to receive course credit)

    Course 115 - GERT (Passing the quiz with a score of at least 80% is required to receive course credit)

    Course 154 - SLAC Vehicle Safety Training (Agreement to abide by SLAC driving regulations is required to receive course credit)

    Either Course CS101 - Cyber Security Basics for New Users (First time users of SLAC computing resources)

    Or Course CS200 - Cyber Security Annual Refresher (For returning users who have previously completed CS101)


Roll over the course name and you will see a "Launch" link. Click this link to launch the course. Each training is approximately 45 minutes.


Please verify your training was recorded by clicking the 'My Progress' tab to the left of the picture on your SkillSoft home page. Then click on the "Completed" tab to see a list of your completed training.



Once you have completed the courses, print your certificates of completion! Credit for completing courses will be downloaded into the SLAC training database the following day.

Take the certificates with you to SLAC Security to get your SLAC ID badge.

Please notify slac-training@slac.stanford.edu if you encounter problems with required training.

Additional training may be required depending on the user facility or the potential hazards associated with your proposed experiment.

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Q. What should I do in case of an accident, injury or emergency while at SLAC?

A. In the event of an emergency or life threatening situation while at SLAC, immediately call 911, then call SLAC extension 5555 from any SLAC telephone (650-926-5555). While at SLAC, also notify your SLAC Contact, Safety Officer, Duty Operator/Floor Coordinator. There is an Occupational Health Center at SLAC which is open Monday-Friday 8 AM-5 PM in Building 28, Room 11 for non-life threatening injury assistance, counseling and other wellness services.

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Q. How do I find or contact a specific individual at SLAC?

A. To find contact information for individuals at SLAC, reference the SLAC Directory, the Stanford University directory. SLAC Security Officers (x2551) may also provide general telephone assistance.

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Q. Who should I inform about my research publications?

A. Contact your User Administrator and SLAC Contact whenever exciting results are about to be published. We can work with users and the SLAC Office of Communications to develop the story and to communicate user research findings to a much broader audience. Information on user publicaitons is extremely important as metrics of scientific achievements and productivity as well as meeting reporting requirements to our funding agencies.

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Q. How can I learn about new developments and user research at the facilities?

A. User facility capabilities and user research is highlighted regularly on the user facility (FACET, LCLS, SSRL) and SLAC websites. To stay informed about facility developments, user research and other important news, visit or subscribe to SLAC Signals, SLAC Events, SLAC Breaking News, RSS, SSRL newsLCLS news or FACET/Test Facilities news.

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Q. Is there a centralized list of lightsource related conferences, meetings, workshops or job opportunities?

A. SSRL and LCLS are part of the www.lightsources.org consortium which maintains a consolidated list of scientific conferences and events and job opportunities.

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Q. How do I get more information or get more involved in issues of interest to the user community?

A. The user facilities have user’ organizations that broadly represent the scientific user community to management and to the general public. For additional information, contact any elected member of the SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee or LCLS Users' Organization Executive Committee or SLUO. Participate in user conferences and workshops which are valuable opportunities to learn about the latest plans, new developments and exciting user research as well as interact with other scientists and potential collaborators.

The SLAC user facilities participate in the National User Facilities Organization (NUFO). To obtain additional information or to get more involved in supporting national science initiatives, users may also want to contact scientific associations such as the American Chemical Society, American Physical SocietyGeochemical Society, International Union of Crystallography, Materials Research Society.

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Q. What mechanisms are available to provide feedback to the facilities?

A. We welcome and encourage user feedback. Users can provide feedback by contacting their User Administrator or SLAC Contact. Additionally, SSRL and LCLS users are asked to complete the end-of-run survey after each scheduled experiment, log in to the user portal to review scheduled experiments and submit a survey . User feedback helps us to continue to improve our service and to meet DOE reporting requirements.

Also contact the Safety Officer, management or users organizations to discuss questions or provide feedback or suggestions.

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Q. Do I need to wear a dosimeter?

A. The law requires radiation dose measurements for individuals working in areas where they may exposed to radiation; see dosiimetry and radiological environmental protection FAQ. You are required to wear a dosimeter while working in or visiting areas that are defined as:

Although radiation levels are low at most SLAC locations, we measure personnel radiation doses to ensure that dose levels are "As Low As Reasonably Achievable" - ALARA - and keep records that are required by the Department of Energy.

Radiological Worker Training (RWT) and an RWT dosimeter is needed for individuals who will handle radioactive material or who are identified as radiological workers.

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Q. What should I do if I leave my dosimeter in the experimental hutch or forget to return it before going through airport x-ray screening or receiving medical treatment involving X-Ray radiation therapy or internal radioactive isotopes?

A. Immediately alert and return the dosimeter to your User Administrator or notify the RP Dosimetry Office. Complete the SLAC Lost/Damaged Dosimeter form

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Q. What do I do with my dosimeter after my visit?

A. Before you leave, return your dosimeter to your User Administrator.

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