Table of Contents

How to become an SSRL user

There are several mechanisms to become an SSRL user, mutually compatible:

  • Submitting a proposal. Proposals can be submitted for single experiments, for a program (i.e. different research problems or projects scientifically linked or related to each other) or for rapid access (''hot'' new projects).

  • Setting up Participating Research Team (PRT access)

  • Scientific collaborations with SSRL staff

Additional information about proposal submission including links to the appropriate forms and contact information to become a PRT or set up a collaboration with staff can be found here

Writing a proposal

A successful proposal has three components:

  1. Important structural targets, and/or a novel and useful experiment
  2. Sound justification of the need for synchrotron time
  3. Experience and previous results (can you carry out the experiment)

Make your proposal strong by balancing all three components; make a reasonable estimate of time and determine the appropriate beamlines that could be used for your experiment; contact any support staff member beforehand for advice if you have any questions. Looking at other successful proposals can be helpful.

Examples of justifications for synchrotron time include:

  • Data collection at energies (wavelengths) not available in the home lab. Required for MAD/SAD experiments.

  • Increased intensity to push the resolution limit. What resolution do you have, why do you need to extend it further? What question cannot be answered at the current resolution?

  • The ability to resolve longer unit cells. What can the system at home resolve, what can you expect to resolve at the synchrotron? Look into the beamline characteristics, do a quick calculation.

  • Fast automated screening and characterizing many samples using the SAM robot and automated sample analysis. What percentage of crystals provide good diffraction, how many need to be screening to find one suitable for data collection? How long would it take to do screening at home?

Beamtime requests

Spokespersons with active proposals are notified via email to submit a request. New requests are required three times a year and are due two months in advance each scheduling period.

Beamtine request forms are available from the URAWI database URAWI database

The forms provide options to request collaboration with staff, use of the sample mounting robot and remote data collection. Note: First time users are currently requested to collect data at the beamline once or to attend a training workshop at the SSRL before they perform the experiment remotely.

If you need an SSRL SMB Unix account (e.g. you have never collected data at the SSRL Macromolecular Crystallography beamlines before or you started a new group) please follow the instructions to request one.

If you have an active proposal and need beamtime urgently, please contact Lisa Dunn; there may be short notice openings because of cancellations or other reasons.

Other requirements

For information on additional administrative requirements once beam time has been assigned, lease consult the SMB ''Forms'' menu.