ICFA Statements

9 July 1980
Reaffirmed 13 January 1993
Guideline #5 modified 18 February 2011

ICFA Guidelines for the Interregional Utilization of Major Regional Experimental Facilities for High-Energy Particle Physics Research


Considering that in the future major experimental facilities for high energy particle physics research, notably the very largest particle accelerators and colliding beam machines, are likely to be few in number, probably only one of each type of the very highest energy, and that these machines will be located in different regions of the world,

And recognizing that experimental physicists from all regions will wish to gain access to these few machines in order to pursue their research,

ICFA proposes that the regional laboratories operating these facilities should adopt a common policy towards experimental physicists from other regions seeking to use the facilities they operate. The guidelines proposed are as follows:

  1. The selection of experiments and the priority accorded to them are the responsibility of the laboratory operating the regional facility.
  2. The criteria used in selecting experiments and determining their priority are:

    (a) scientific merit
    (b) technical feasibility
    (c) capability of the experimental group
    (d) availability of the resources required.
  3. It is expected that teams from other regions will normally wish to join with local regional teams to form experimental groups in proposing and carrying out experiments using a regional facility. The national or institutional affiliations of the teams should not influence the selection of an experiment nor the priority accorded to it.
  4. The availability of the resources needed for the experiment are examined at the time of selection of the experiment (see 2 (d) above). The contributions of each team and of the operating laboratory to an experiment are the subject of agreements drawn up between the operating laboratory and the authorized leaders of the teams in the experimental group. When appropriate, realization of the proposals approved may be effected within the framework of bilateral and multilateral agreements in force or newly reached arrangements.
  5. Operating laboratories should not require experimental groups to contribute to the running costs of the accelerators or colliding beam machines nor to the operating costs of their associated experimental areas. However, in particular for a large global facility, allocation of operating costs should be agreed by the project partners before project approval, while still allowing open access for experimental groups.
  6. It is expected that averaged over a reasonable period of time the application of guideline 2. above will lead to a balanced use of the major new facilities by the regions concerned. However, if at any time an operating laboratory finds that the participation of teams from other regions in their experimental program is becoming excessive, the operating laboratory may be obliged to limit that participation. Any such action should be accompanied by discussions with the relevant authorities of the regions concerned and consultations with the operating laboratories subscribing to the guidelines laid down in this document.