Breaking news:

The hominins of Sima de los Huesos are drawing ever closer to the NeanderthalsRead more     The whole of Africa was the cradle of HumankindRead more      First publication confirming the existence of Neanderthals at AtapuercaRead more     Experimental work reproduces the knapping process at OlduvaiRead more     

CENIEH - Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana

Competitive Access

Competitive Access has the purpose of responding to requests for access to the cutting-edge scientific and technical installations that are available, placing all of their potential at the disposal of the scientific, technological and industrial community for the development of the research and the R&D+i projects that may be presented. These access requests are subject to the opening of specific ‘windows’ for the use of equipment, laboratories, techniques, etc. for specific purposes and at set times and for the use of laboratories and equipment that may be requested throughout the year and that will be defined in the calls for access requests. In this case, the requests will be assessed within the organization by the Internal Committee and by an Access Committee external to CENIEH, which will prioritize the requests, in the case of excessive demand.

Competitive Access should be the selected option when the requests involve a high number of analyses or require extensive use of equipment over time, and when the intention is to use the installations for the training of researchers and technicians, within a specific investigation or R&D+i project that has previously been approved.


- Preparation of proposals

Requests to obtain access to CENIEH Infrastructure will be processed at the times at which open windows become available for access, which will be posted on the website under "Calls for Access Requests".

Preliminary stages. As a preliminary stage to the drafting of proposals, we recommend that the applicant contact the scientific-technical area of the Infrastructure with a view to evaluating the technical viability of the proposal to be presented. The contact person/persons to conduct the first evaluation prior to access will be indicated in each window for calls for competitive access. They will be able to assist with the decision over the time needed to process the request for access and other relevant aspects before the proposal is presented.

Request. Requests may be presented in either Spanish or in English as indicated in the modality for access. The information that is required on the principal investigator and, if applicable, on the users of the installation, the title of the project, the installations that are requested, the type of access applied for, the type of proposal, as well as additional information on the work to be completed will be entered on the form. 

In the case of projects directed by external institutions in which CENIEH participates, the request will be filled in by the CENIEH member of staff who assumes responsibility for coordination, supervision and completion of the work or task to be performed at the Centre.

If the requests concern long-term proposals, approved at a previous CENIEH call for competitive access, then access in the new cycle will only require the presentation of an abridged proposal, in continuation of the earlier one.

The request should incorporate the two following documents:

  • Brief curriculum vitae of the applicant. The CV should include the most relevant references of the research, innovation or business group (use of the Standardized CV is recommended) making the proposal. Send the CV to indicating under the subject the Experiment/Project title that appears in the Scientific Section-Project.
  • Where the application for Competitive Access involves a qualified user or is by self-service with the equipment included in the “‘List of equipment for qualified users and for self-service”, the document “Annex: User commitments” should also be signed and returned before access may be granted to CENIEH. Once completed, this document should be sent through the link “indication of user commitments” in the form "Annex: Competitive Access", specifying the equipment that will need to be used.

Submission of proposals. Having filled in the forms, all documentation will be sent to, where it will be revised and the applicant will be notified of any possible rectifications, so that the proposals may be sent for evaluation.


- Evaluation of Proposals

The evaluation of proposals will be done following the competitive access procedure. A first evaluation will be completed by the Internal Committee that will prepare an initial report for submission to the Access Committee. Each proposal will be reviewed by at least three evaluators, who will each evaluate it individually, applying the evaluation criteria established in the call for competitive access, and who will fill in the particular evaluation report for each request that has been reviewed. The evaluators will return these reports within the established deadlines to the Secretary and the Chairperson of the Committee, who will convoke the meeting of the evaluators and classify the requests under the following headings: 

  • A: Proposals that are approved and that have their assigned access time.
  • B: Proposals that are approved but have no assigned access time. These proposals could eventually gain access, in cases where free time becomes available because of the cancellation of an applicant from group A. 
  • C: Proposals with unsatisfactory evaluations, because they are of no interest from a scientific-technical point of view, despite their technical feasibility. 
  • D: Proposals with unsatisfactory evaluations, because they are not technically feasible, even though they may be of scientific and/or technical interest.


- Decisions on Calls for Access Requests

The decisions on access requests will be published on the CENIEH website under the section on Calls for Access Requests within the timeframe indicated therein. Likewise, the interested parties will be notified of the decisions by e-mail.

Once the Call for Access Requests has been determined, a budget on the cost of access for CENIEH will be prepared in accordance with the work to be carried out. This document will be sent to the applicants so that they verify or otherwise the acceptance of the access request within the designated timeframe.


- Prior to accessing CENIEH

Having determined the call for access, a budget on the cost of access for CENIEH will be prepared in accordance with the work to be carried out and the project that has been presented, evaluating the possibility of funding, if available, through CENIEH. This form will be sent out to applicants so that they may confirm or otherwise their acceptance of the terms of access within the indicated timeframe as indicated.

Having accepted the budget, the calendar for use will then be agreed to complete the work at the installations.

Before accessing CENIEH, following the decision on the request for access and acceptance of the terms of access, it is an essential requirement to sign and to return the form “Annex: user commitments” (if not previously completed in accordance with the mode of access) or to submit it at the time of access.

Dispatch of samples to CENIEH. The users of the installation will assume the costs of the dispatch of samples to CENIEH and their reception, assuming responsibility for all possible procedures related to the dispatch of the samples and all documentation certifying their biological, radiological, etc. safety, if applicable.

Regardless of the documentation on the biological and/or the radiological safety of the samples that may be required for their dispatch, all the necessary requirements to work with this type of sample should be clearly listed and, if applicable, certification of biological and/or radiological safety will be required.


- Following access to CENIEH

Following access to the installations, a survey on satisfaction will be sent by email for users to express their opinion of the experience.

After access, they should return the access report with information on the experiments that have been carried out and that are totally finalized. These reports should be returned within three months following the completion of the stay. In the case of long-term access, an annual activity report on the work carried out and the work remaining to be done should be finalized. These reports should be returned within three months following the end of the annual period.

We recall that all publications that use data obtained from the laboratories of the ICTS or the use of their installations should be appropriately referenced.

In all cases, reports and articles that are published will be sent to the CENIEH library at within the established timeframes or at the time of their publication.


Guidelines for authoring and acknowledgements:

As it is a matter of criteria, some guidelines are indicated, to include the corresponding acknowledgements for both technical and scientific staff at CENIEH, in publications:

  • If close collaboration has taken place and the scientific-technical personnel have participated in the development of the experiments and have acted as co-investigators they should be included as co-authors.
  • The inclusion in the list of authors of the contacts offered for the development of the competitive project should be acknowledged, in cases where they may have added value to the work completed at the CENIEH installations, whether because of the support on offer, the contribution of technical solutions, or because of their contribution to data analysis and interpretation.
  • If the contribution offered by the ICTS staff is not sufficient to be included in the list of authors, and falls within the commitments acquired by CENIEH through access to its installations, the Centre should receive the corresponding mention under materials and methods and/or the acknowledgements, if applicable (in all publications).

Open Calls for Access Requests

Title Ref. Laboratory Submission period Call Information Result Report
Archaeomagnetism AR1501 Archaeomagnetism 01/11/2015 - 31/12/2016
Microcomputed Tomography MC1501 Microcomputed Tomography 01/11/2015 - 30/11/2015
Collection, sample preparation and gamma spectrometry for Luminescence dating LU1501 Luminescence 01/12/2015 - 31/01/2016
ICP-OES applications with sample introduction system for laser ablation (LA-ICP-OES) SU1501 Uranium series 01/12/2015 - 31/01/2016
Isotopic calibration and metrology techniques with high resolution mass spectrometry SU1502 Uranium series 01/12/2015 - 31/01/2016

Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana

Paseo Sierra Atapuerca 3

09002 Burgos - Spain

Telf: +34 947040800 / Fax:+34 947040810