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High performance computing (HPC)
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)
Research Complex at Harwell (RCaH)
Synchrotron radiation

High performance computing (HPC)

ARCHER, EPCC The University of Edinburgh

Applicants intending to apply for time at the ARCHER national supercomputing service should contact us in the first instance for information on how to apply and how access should be incorporated into grant proposals (see contact details below). For further information visit

Earlham Institute

Applicants wishing to access HPC facilities at the Earlham Institute should visit the website ( and apply directly to the Institute.


Central Laser Facility (CLF), Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

Provides access to large scale laser systems for UK and EU researchers. The facility has a number of high-powered laser installations and also operates a Lasers for Science (LSF) user facility. LSF has a number of laser systems available to users, including:

  • Confocal microscopy lab
  • Ultrafast spectroscopy
  • Steady-state and nanosecond ultraviolet Raman facility (SNURF)
  • EPSRC Laser Loan Pool
  • Functional Biosystems Imaging (FBI) group

Access to CLF is provided through the Facilities Access Panel, run by the Science and Technology Facilities Council.


ISIS, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

The world’s leading pulsed neutron and muon source, in operation since 1985. It is currently expanding through the construction of a second target station that should lead to new developments in areas including biomolecular sciences.

Access to ISIS is available free at the point of delivery to UK scientists. Details of application procedures and reimbursement policy can be found on the ISIS website.

Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL)

The ILL is an international research centre based at Grenoble which has one of the most intense neutron sources in the world. The UK is a partner in ILL.

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)

The UK 850 MHz solid-state NMR facility at The University of Warwick.

Research Complex at Harwell (RCaH)

The Research Complex at Harwell (RCaH) is an exciting joint venture between BBSRC, MRC, STFC, EPSRC, NERC and Diamond Light Source.

It is located on the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) site on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire, adjacent to Diamond, a third generation Synchrotron Radiation source.

It is also close to other leading facilities on the campus: the ISIS neutron source, Central Laser Facility, electron Bio-Imaging Centre, Membrane Protein Laboratory and a Biological Solid State NMR Facility.

RCaH is open, on a competitive basis, to research teams from UK universities, as well as to Diamond and RAL staff.

BBSRC encourages proposals through its standard grant, fellowship and other schemes for researchers wishing to occupy space within the research complex.

The following video gives an overview of the facilities available and the benefits it can bring to your research.


Applicants wishing to make use of the research complex should contact the Research Director, Professor Peter Lee, to discuss visiting the RCaH.


Our preferred organisation for sequencing research is the Earlham Institute (see external links).

Synchrotron radiation

DIAMOND Light Source, Harwell Science & Innovation Campus

The largest scientific infrastructure project to be built in the UK in 40 years. It is a third generation 3 GeV (Giga electron Volt) synchrotron light source, about 10,000 times brighter than the SRS at Daresbury. This facility replaces the previous light source, the SRS at Daresbury that closed in August 2008.

Diamond is currently the best medium-energy x-ray source in the world and is optimised to produce x-rays with energies between 100 electron volts (soft x-rays) and 20,000 electron volts (hard x-rays). In addition, Diamond also provides a good source of x-rays up to 100,000 electron volts.

Applicants wishing to make use of DIAMOND should contact the Diamond User Office for details of how to apply for beamtime. Guidance is also available in the BBSRC Grants guide (see related links) and in the Je-S help notes (see external links).

Other synchrotron sources

BBSRC-funded researchers can access the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) based in Grenoble, France. Applications to ESRF should be via the electronic portal, where there are details of reimbursement, access policy etc.

Access to other synchrotron sources internationally is permitted, but should be fully justified in any application to BBSRC. A list of these sources can be found in the external links section of this page.