The Advanced Photon Source
a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility


Updated July 17, 2020


On June 15, 2020, Argonne will start a phased, coordinated process to return to normal operations. The first phase of the transition – limited operations – will restart a select number of additional activities at the Advanced Photon Source (APS).

While onsite access remains prohibited for internal or external users for the majority of beamlines, additional limited user facility and CAT operations staff will be added to support remote research and facility R&D.

The APS user program is operational to support:

  • Research on SARS-CoV-2 or other COVID-19 related research that addresses the current pandemic.
  • Critical, proprietary pharmaceutical research.
  • Mail-in/remote access work for any research involving low-risk samples and most medium-risk samples (as defined on the ESAF form).
  • Limited in-situ research (set-up with one person, and ability to carry out majority of experiment safely remotely)

The health and safety of our employees, users, students, and visitors remains our top priority. As the public health situation improves, Argonne will eventually move to subsequent phases, which will bring more user activity back onsite. We will continue to monitor and adapt to changing conditions onsite, in the surrounding communities, in our state and nationwide. We will move forward, or back, across phases as needed as the situation evolves.


In light of the rapidly changing situation world-wide resulting from the coronavirus, the Department of Energy (DOE) Basic Energy Sciences light sources want to ensure they are doing everything possible to enable research into this virus and the search for an effective vaccine or other treatment. The DOE supports research into structural biology in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, and universities. A new webpage, The Structural Biology Portal, collects relevant x-ray, neutron, and cryoEM resources for structural biology in a single location, listing their basic characteristics and a point of contact for each.


The APS is providing expedited remote access for research related to COVID-19 at this time. The Structural Biology Portal lists available APS beamlines for macromolecular crystallography and BioSAXS. Step-by-step instructions on how to apply for expedited beam time are listed on the New User Checklist. All users must be registered and their home institution must have an active User Agreement.

Please submit a Rapid Access Proposal and state that the research is related to the SARS CoV-2 virus or COVID-19.

  • To request an MX beamline, submit a Macromolecular Crystallography Proposal (choose “rapid access 2020-2: for immediate work). Here is a list of MX beamlines.
  • To request a non-MX beamline, choose Rapid Access General User Proposal and select the 2020-2 cycle for immediate work.

For administrative assistance, please contact the APS User Office at For technical assistance, please contact Bob Fischetti at

APS General User Programs during the COVID-19 Pandemic 



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