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Facility Access

The ESRL's primary function is to provide major and trace element analyses for the GSI Tellus geochemical survey. However, a proportion of laboratory time is allocated for non-Tellus work, such as research and Tellus product development. As the laboratory is in receipt of state funding, it is strictly unable to undertake commercial work.

Anyone based on the Island of Ireland is eligible to apply for ESRL facility access. In some cases, international scientists may apply to access the facility but these projects must include a collaborator based in Ireland (e.g. collecting pilot data for a collaborative grant proposal).

Facility access routes


The next ESRL open call deadline is: Saturday, 30 September, 17:00 (Irish time).

There are three routes by which non-Tellus projects* can access ESRL facilities. These are outlined below and detailed in the Laboratory Access Plan.

In every case, an application form must be completed to access the facility. Successful applications will be reported to GSI and may be outlined on the ESRL website.

Access route Details
Unfunded** pilot/short projects (<24 hrs) Applications may be submitted at any time and are approved by the ESRL Director. This access route is intended for small or pilot projects (<24 hrs analysis time) where funding is unavailable. Analyses are free at the point of use. All researchers based on the Island of Ireland are eligible to apply. Applications from international researchers will be considered where pilot data is being collected for a grant including an Ireland-based researcher and/or the ESRL as a collaborator.
Unfunded** open call projects (>24 hrs) Applications should be submitted in bi-annual open calls and are reviewed by the ESRL Scientific Advisory Committee. This access route is intended for larger projects (>24 hrs analysis time) where funding is unavailable. Analyses are free at the point of use. All researchers based on the Island of Ireland are eligible to apply. This access route is not available to international researchers.
Projects with grant funding Projects which have already obtained grant funding may apply for facility access at any time by submitting a short project description and analysis plan. The feasibility/suitability of the proposed analysis will be checked by the Director (<24 hrs analysis time) or Scientific Advisory Committee (>24 hrs analysis time). Analyses are free at the point of use for GSI-funded projects. GSI co-funded projects are subsidised at a rate proportional to the GSI grant contribution. Non-GSI projects are charged at a rate agreed with the Director prior to commencement of work. International projects must include the ESRL or a researcher based on the Island of Ireland as a collaborator.
Download the full ESRL access plan

Letters of support

Separate to the above access routes, the ESRL can issue letters of support to assist with research grant applications. To request a letter of support, researchers must submit a short project outline and an approximate analysis plan for approval by the ESRL Director and a GSI representative. These requests can be made at any time. Although the Scientific Advisory Committee will endeavour to honour analyses outlined in a letter of support, after successfully obtaining funding, applicants must still submit an application through the "Projects with grant funding" access route.

Application forms

Use the links below to download application forms for requesting ESRL access or letters of support. Only these forms can be used to apply for facility access - applications not using these forms will be rejected. Applications to access laboratory facilities through an ESRL open call should be submitted to All other applications for facility access should be submitted to the ESRL Director.

Once facility access has been approved by the Director or Scientific Advisory Committee, send the following form to the ESRL Instrument and Data Specialist to schedule analyses.

ESRL analysis request form

Important information


Where a request to access ESRL facilities has been rejected by the Director or Scientific Advisory Committee, it may be re-submitted at the next opportunity (e.g. the next open call deadline). Re-submissions should be accompanied by a covering letter describing how the reasons for rejection have been addressed.

Time of access

After a request to access ESRL facilities has been granted, users should contact the laboratory Instrument & Data Specialist as soon as possible to schedule their preparation and analysis. The ESRL will always endeavour to be flexible around user's time constraints but delays may be inevitable in some cases. In most cases, delays will not exceed six months but the ESRL reserves the right to delay non-Tellus work for longer in exceptional circumstances.

Data access statement

Any ESRL results which were funded, either in part or in full, by GSI must be published in line with the National Open Research Forum (NORF) framework and Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) research data principles (this includes where ESRL facilities were accessed at a subsidised rate).

Publications & acknowledgement

Any published or public outputs using data collected in the ESRL should appropriately acknowledge that the work was supported by the Geological Survey Ireland-funded Earth Surface Research Laboratory in Trinity College Dublin. Researchers are requested to send copies of accepted papers acknowledging ESRL support to the Director for monitoring the laboratory's impact (these may be listed on the ESRL website).

ESRL staff are committed to supporting facility users and take an active interest in their projects. There is no requirement or expectation to include ESRL staff as co-authors on papers, unless they made a meaningful academic contribution to the initial proposal or data interpretation, or the project included significant analytical development. If users wish to acknowledge the support that they received at the facility through co-authorship, then they can add “ESRL” as a solo co-author to encompassing the whole group.

*The ESRL considers “Tellus work” to comprise Zetium preparation and analyses requested by GSI and related to the primary Tellus geochemical survey. Work submitted to the laboratory by a person or organisation outside of GSI, or any GSI work not related to the primary Tellus Geochemical Survey, is considered a “non-Tellus research project”. This includes projects using Tellus samples or analytical methods which are not part of the primary survey.

**All projects with research grant funding must apply via the "Projects with grant funding" access route. Applicants through unfunded access routes must consent to TCD and/or GSI making enquiries regarding their funding status.