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Access for free: How to get free-of-charge access to Earth scientific research labs through EPOS-NL and EXCITE

Access to top research equipment facilitates top research. However, the research equipment needed may not always be available within individual institutes, while access to external facilities may not in all cases be affordable. This restricts the research that any individual can do and hampers scientific breakthroughs, particularly across disciplines. To overcome this limitation, two collaborative infrastructure networks were recently initiated: EPOS-NL (European Plate Observing System- Netherlands) and the EXCITE network. Both these networks pool facilities present at multiple institutes and provide free-of charge access to these, for Earth Scientists worldwide. Specifically, EPOS-NL ( provides access to geophysical labs in the Netherlands, for research within rock physics, microscopy, tomography and analogue modelling of tectonic processes. These labs can provide the means and expertise for research into the mechanical behavior and transport properties of the Earth’s crust and upper mantle. The EXCITE network ( provides trans-national access to 24 state-of-the-art microscopy and tomography facilities in Europe. As such it can help you gain insight into the processes governing the behavior of the Earth crust through microchemical analyses and 2D- to 4D imaging, and down to nanometer resolution. Access to EPOS-NL and EXCITE can be requested by applying to a bi-annual call, posted on their respective websites. This involves submitting a short (1-2 page) research proposal. Research proposals are peer-reviewed on the basis of excellence but generally have a high chance of success (~80% in previous rounds). Interested? Have a look on the EPOS-NL and EXCITE websites – and apply!


Ronald Pijnenburg1, Oliver Plümper1
1Utrecht University, Netherlands, The
GeoMinKöln 2022
Utrecht, the Netherlands