UK Hub for the Physical Sciences on XFELS (HPSX)
10 Jul 2019



The UK Hub for the Physical Sciences on XFELs supports the UK academic community wishing to access the European XFEL and other international XFEL facilities



© European XFEL / Heiner Müller-Elsner

​STFC have established a new UK Hub for the Physical Sciences on XFELs, with the strategic aim of supporting the UK community of Physical Science academics wishing to use XFEL facilities . Funding is available to support UK academics in gaining access to these cutting-edge facilities.


The UK has invested £30M in the construction of the European XFEL, and will contribute £3M annually to support operations. In addition STFC and EPSRC have jointly funded the development of the DiPOLE D100X laser for the High Energy Density (HED) end station. While there is a small, established community of UK XFEL users, the 2016 STFC FEL review identified that the potential user community should be helped to grow. The Hub aims to use the expertise and facilities available in the Central Laser Facility and Diamond to help UK academics to access the new, advanced capabilities that XFELs offer.

The Hub is operated by the Central Laser Facility (CLF) with additional assistance from the Diamond Light Source and is available for all Physical Science academics in the UK. Academics working in the Life Sciences should contact the XFEL Hub at Diamond.

PhD funding and Travel Bursaries

The primary scope of the Physical Science Hub is to provide basic logistical and consumable support to potential users in order for them to gain experience of XFEL facilities, including allowing them to attend experiments where grant or facility support isn't available. In addition the Hub will fund critical spares and operational consumables to support the D100X laser at the European XFEL.

In addition, a number of Physical Science PhD projects are currently being jointly funded by the Hub. Any announcements regarding the next call for jointly funded PhDs will appear on this website (PhD call now open!​). Please get in touch if you have any questions regarding PhD funding.

The following support is now available for UK Physical Science academics:​

  • Travel and Subsistence (T&S) -  This will enable UK based Physical Science PIs to either attend FAP-approved experiments, or attend collaborative experiments in order to gain experience of XFEL experiments
  • Scientific Networking - Funding will also be available to support networking activities through attendance at workshops, user meetings etc.
  • Targetry and Sample Preparation - Limited funding is available to support custom or complex targetry / sample preparation for FAP-awarded experiments where facility or grant funding is not available..

For more details and to apply for funding click HE​RE.

For any questions about the Physical Science Hub please contact James Green.

Contact: Green, James (STFC,RAL,CLF)