SESAME, the pioneering synchrotron facility for the Middle East and neighbouring countries, located in Jordan, has announced its first call for proposals for experiments. A third-generation light source with a broad research capacity, SESAME’s first beams are due to circulate in the autumn and its experimental programme is scheduled to start in 2017. SESAME is already host to a growing user community of some 300 scientists from across the region and is open to proposals for the best science, wherever they may come from.

SESAME will start up with two beamlines, one delivering infrared light and the other X-rays. The laboratory’s full scientific programme will span fields ranging from medicine and biology, through materials science, physics and chemistry to healthcare, the environment, agriculture and archaeology. Proposals can be submitted through the SESAME website ( and will be examined by a proposal-review committee.

“This is a very big moment for SESAME,” says SESAME director-general Khaled Toukan. “It signals the start of the research programme at the first international synchrotron research facility in our region.”