Proposal Submission

Check-In | Computer Accounts | Data Collection & Analysis | PoliciesSchedules | ShippingUser Portal


Submit new LCLS Proposals for Run 15 by 4 PM PACIFIC November 7, 2016.

 

LCLS PROPOSALS & PROPOSAL REVIEW PROCESS (PROPOSAL REVIEW PANEL)

Please note the following important information

Since Run 13, LCLS has been running in a new mode of operation, called Standard  Configuration Beam Time. Selected areas will operate for ~25% of Run 15 (possibly more if user demand is high) in a contiguous block of time during which the instrument will be in a Standard Configuration. The intent is to reduce the amount of time that is taken each run tearing down, setting up, and testing the same configurations at different times throughout the run. The reduced amount of setup and test time has resulted in significantly more users and experiments being allocated beam time. If you feel your experiment is able to operate in a Standard Configuration for one of the instruments, please indicate this in your proposal and follow the directions provided.  See further details.

SSRL Beam Time

User feedback has suggested that for some LCLS proposals, the science case can be significantly enhanced by having access to SSRL beam time in addition to proposed LCLS time. For this run 15 proposal call, LCLS will accept a limited number of proposals that make a strong scientific case for beamtime access to SSRL. These proposals should indicate how much time is requested, when the time would be needed relative to the LCLS time, as well as which SSRL beamline would be needed. If Users have questions about which SSRL beamlines would be appropriate for the proposed scientific goals, please contact Piero Pianetta (pianetta@slac.stanford.edu). Scheduling of time across facilities is complicated and availability depends strongly on which of the SSRL beamlines is requested.

For all other proposals, the procedure is the same as usual. This is described in detail on these pages.

 


Summary Information for Submitting Proposals

The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) encourages scientists from diverse fields to propose experiments utilizing the LCLS's unique capabilities for the period June, 2017–November, 2017.

Access to LCLS is open to the international community. There is no cost to submit proposals or conduct experiments at LCLS. However, users are responsible for their own travel expenses and (in rare cases) for any extraordinary consumables required by the experiment.

Register as a user and submit LCLS proposals through the User Portal.
 
Read the proposal preparation guidelines, along with information on the new standard configurations, and the proposal review process prior to writing your proposal.  
 
Users are encouraged to review the LCLS instrument descriptions and contact LCLS instrument scientists to discuss technical capabilities and proposed experiments.

Experimental stations available to users:

LCLS has demonstrated routine FEL operations over the energy range 250 eV to 11.2 keV using the fundamental, with pulse energies of at least 1-3 mJ depending on the pulse duration and photon energy.  For some configurations, the pulse energy can now be extended up to 5 mJ. In addition, the photon energy may be extendable up to 12.8 keV. If  high pulse energy or high photon energy is required, please contact the appropriate station at the emails above.

Third harmonic radiation is available up to 25 keV at about 1% of the fundamental pulse energy. The pulse length can be varied from 40 fs to 300 fs for hard X­rays, while for soft X-rays the range is extended to 500 fs. Shorter pulses, ranging down to <10 fs, with a reduced number of photons per pulse can also be provided. The maximum repetition rate of the LCLS is 120 Hz (please note that this may be reduced to 115 Hz at certain time periods).

For users who require a monochromator, seeded beams can provide 2 to 4 times more photons per pulse than SASE beams, and with similar pulse durations and shot-to-shot intensity fluctuations. The narrow seeded line, 0.4 to 1.1 eV FWHM, for 50 fs pulse duration typically contains an average pulse energy of 0.3 mJ, with occasional shots up to 1 mJ. It is accompanied by a relatively broadband SASE background of comparable total energy. Seeded beams for hard-X-ray operation are available from 5.5 keV to 9.5 keV and can be tuned up from a SASE beam in about 30 minutes.

Soft x-ray self-seeding has been successfully demonstrated across the range of 400-1000 eV. We are offering its operation during Run 15 with explicit understanding that lengthy tune up time might be needed.

The recently installed Delta Undulator has demonstrated variable polarization output including left/right circular on the order of 100 microjoules per pulse across an X-ray energy range of 530 to 1200 eV. The degree of circularly polarization can reach 95-100%. Users are expected to provide experimentally necessary polarization diagnostics and include details in their proposal. For more information please contact srd-sxd@slac.stanford.edu

LCLS is currently developing a range of two-pulse and two-color operating modes, where pairs of FEL pulses are produced with variable temporal separation, and/or up to 1% photon energy separation, in both the hard and soft X-ray regimes. We will accept proposals utilizing two-pulse and two-color operation.

For more detailed information on LCLS performance, please contact the respective instrument e-mail address listed above, and see the FAQ.

Information on Preparing your Proposal

Submit your proposal early to avoid a last-minute crisis at the proposal cutoff time. The proposal deadline is strictly enforced: 4 PM Pacific Time on November 7, 2016.

In the call for proposals, we recommend that scientists describe well-posed experiments that can be accomplished in ~12-60 hours of beam time. Proposals must include brief discussions of the expected scientific or technological impact and anticipated feasibility and probability of success of experiments. Proposals that include a clear description of the expected shift-by-shift schedule indicating the scope within each 12-hour shift have a better chance of fitting into a tightly constrained Run.

Each proposal is for one specific experiment. Proposals can be re-submitted at each call, but this will not happen automatically and a re-submission will not receive preference during the review process. There is no limit to the number of proposals that can be submitted by a scientist or team, but multiple similar proposals from the same team members may not be reviewed favorably by the Proposal Review Panel (PRP).

Proposals may be made in the context of a larger scope than can be covered in a single experiment. All proposals, even these broader proposals that address important problems, must be resubmitted each cycle in order to be peer reviewed and considered for beam time. However, in the absence of sufficient information to evaluate progress (data disseminated from previous beam time, publications, etc.), the PRP may recommend or LCLS may decide that some proposal(s) be postponed for consideration until a future review cycle.

The PRP will pay particular attention to the applicants' publication record from prior LCLS beamtimes.  Failure to publish in a timely manner will impact the chances of a successful application in a similar area.

 
To Prepare Your Proposal:

Provide a descriptive title of your proposed experiment that you would be willing to be made public if awarded beam time.

Provide an abstract that concisely (less than 1,950 characters) summarizes the proposed experiment, quantities to be measured, samples to be studied, expected scientific results and impact. The more detailed proposal text is limited to 6 pages in PDF format, not including the additional one page for the standard configuration table, or a one page progress report of previous beam time which can be uploaded separately. Proposals should include the following information (include the spokesperson's name in the upper right hand corner of each page):

  1. Experimental Team:  In a table, list the names, institution, email address of PIs and collaborators who would participate in the proposed experiment (e.g., sample prep, theory, data collection, data analysis). This section could also briefly mention directly-relevant previous work done by the team members.
     
  2. Scientific Case:  Briefly explain the background and significance of your experiment. In particular, why is LCLS required for this experiment? Itemize the specific aims and particular questions you want to answer. Focus on the specific experiment and avoid broad discussions in general terms.
     
  3. Experimental Procedure:  Provide specific information so that the feasibility of this experiment at the requested LCLS instrument can be evaluated. Tell us if you plan or have carried out supporting experiments at other facilities. Have simulations of the experiment been performed? What are the anticipated data rates? Provide a beam time plan, indicating what could be accomplished shift by shift. Describe any additional equipment you plan to bring to LCLS for the experiment (see policy on end-stations).

    We strongly recommend that you contact LCLS instrument scientist(s) before proposal submission to discuss capabilities, to identify possible problems in integrating external equipment with the LCLS facility and to determine possible solutions.
     

  4. Technical Feasibility:  Proposals must contain sufficient information for the LCLS to review the proposal for technical feasibility. This information should include:
    • Equipment
      Which elements of the proposed instrument do you require for the proposal?
      What additional equipment is needed, including laser, detector, sample delivery/environment, temperature, pressure, etc?

      How do you plan to provide/organize the additional equipment?
    • Parameters
      Describe X-ray wavelength, pulse energy, bandwidth, beam size, repetition rate, pulse duration
      If laser is required, describe laser wavelength, pulse energy, bandwidth, beam size, repetition rate, pulse duration, timing, geometry.
    • Experimental protocol
      Describe the experimental geometry.  
      Calculate the expected signal rate/background.

      Describe samples and concentrations, sample preparation and storage.
      Describe local facilities that may be required.

      As part of the proposal process, we will contact the Spokesperson for proposals that have the potential of being awarded beamtime. The Spokesperson will be asked to provide specific experimental parameters to help inform the viability and schedule. 
       

  5. Progress Report:  When submitting a new proposal, also upload a brief progress report summarizing proposals that have previously received LCLS beam time; include proposal number(s), date(s) of experiment, instrument(s) used, a brief summary of how experiment time was used and results disseminated (list major invited talks, papers published or in press, awards or special recognition). NOTE: User publications are extremely important in demonstrating the scientific impact of LCLS.

    Proposal teams must inform and acknowledge LCLS and the DOE Office of Science in presentations and publications using this template: "Use of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515."

  6. Addenda: New information that becomes available after the proposal was submitted may be submitted up to two weeks before the scheduled Proposal Review Panel (PRP). Addenda are limited to one page and must be consistent with the original scope of the proposal. LCLS management will determine if the supplemental information meets the criteria to forward such material to the PRP. Forward addenda to the LCLS User Office (lcls-user-office@slac.stanford.edu).

 

Safety related documents must be submitted during the safety management portion of the LCLS proposal submission process in the user portal. List and describe any safety concerns that may arise with samples you will examine, equipment you will use, or techniques you will perform (including any physical, chemical or biological hazards) and how these issues will be addressed.

Proposal Evaluation Criteria: Proposals must provide sufficient information to evaluate the impact, originality, need for LCLS, scientific risk, prior results, as well as technical feasibility. Proposal evaluation criteria include:

  • Scientific Impact: Does proposal address a question that, if successfully answered by the proposed experiment, will have a strong impact either on the scientific field or technological area addressed by the research?
     
  • Originality/New Scientific Field: If successful, does the proposal open a new field?
     
  • Need for LCLS/Experimental Plans: To what extent is the LCLS critical for the success of this proposal? Can other techniques or facilities provide similar information about the scientific question?
     
  • Scientific Risk: Evaluate the probability that the proposed research will yield significant new results.
     
  • Prior Results: Evaluate success or progress of prior experiments.
     
  • Feasibility: LCLS scientists conduct a preliminary technical feasibility review of submitted proposals.
     
  • Compatibility: Can the experiment be performed simultaneously with another experiment (i.e. can it be performed with monochromatic, hard X-ray beam)? Does the experiment require significant modifications to a LCLS instrument setup? We specifically encourage proposals that use monochromatic, hard X-ray beam and proposals that minimize instrument modifications.
 


LCLS Proposal Review Process

LCLS management works very closely with the LCLS Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), Proposal Review Panel (PRP) and the Users' Executive Committee (UEC) to develop a fair and transparent external peer review process. LCLS proposal review and ranking is carried out by the Proposal Review Panel (PRP), which includes ~ 80 international experts divided into several subpanels: Atomic, Molecular, Optical and Cluster Physics (AMO); Crystallographic Structure Determination of Biological Objects (BIO-C); X-ray Scattering, Spectroscopy, or Single Particle Imaging of Biological Objects (BIO-S);Chemistry and Materials-Soft Condensed Matter (CHEM/SCM); Materials-Hard Condense Matter (HCM); High Energy Density Science/Matter in Extreme Conditions (MEC); and Methods and Instrumentation (M&I). A description of the proposal review process follows.

The proposal review process begins as soon as each call for proposals is closed, with an on-site PRP meeting at SLAC approximately two months after the proposal deadline. Concurrent with the PRP review, LCLS scientists conduct a technical feasibility review of submitted proposals. Proposals determined not to be feasible may be removed from further consideration before the PRP meets, and the proposal spokesperson will be informed.

Users indicate the appropriate PRP panel(s) to review their proposals when submitting proposals through the user portal. Proposals are reviewed by LCLS and the PRP Chairs to confirm that the distribution of proposals is appropriate for the expertise of the PRP or to reassign these proposals to more appropriate subpanels to facilitate consistency in the review and ranking process. Once the subpanel assignments are confirmed, the PRP chairs assign 2-3 reviewers for each proposal assigned to their subpanel. Additional reviews may be requested from other panels if the area of science extends beyond the primary subpanel. If the PRP lacks the necessary expertise to review any proposal, subpanel chairs may request ad hoc external peer reviewers to supplement the PRP review.

LCLS management provides clear guidance to PRP members to mitigate potential conflicts of interest. A summary of this guidance can be found here.

In time for the PRP meeting, reviewers provide a written review for each assigned proposal summarizing their findings.

Subpanel chairs assign a 'Lead Reviewer' for each proposal, who presents the proposal during the subpanel deliberations. The panels define a prioritized list of proposals based on the criteria listed above. Prioritization between sub-panels is determined according to a pro-rata weighting based on the number of applications in each area.  Within one week of the PRP meeting the subpanel chairs will provide comments on each proposal with sufficient detail to explain the basis of the panel's assessment, to help the proposal teams address any deficiencies and improve their proposals for a subsequent review cycle. 

The ranked list of proposals will be the guide for LCLS management to award beam time. LCLS has the discretion to consider aspects beyond the strict ranking to make the final beam time allocation. Such consideration may include issues of programmatic and community diversity, access to new instruments, utilization of beamtime (e.g. via multiplexing and efficient use of standard configurations), funding restrictions and other aspects.

  



Protein Crystal Screening (PCS) Proposals

        Submit new Protein Crystal Screening (PCS) Proposals for Run 14
        by 4 PM PACIFIC March 21, 2016.

        Details of Call for PCS Proposals for Run 14

 

 

 


MEC OPTICAL-LASER-ONLY PROPOSALS

Check back later for MEC Optical-Laser-Only proposal submission opportunities.

 


LCLS MEC Optical-Laser-Only Proposal Preparation Guidelines

 

Check back later for details related to OPTICAL-LASER-ONLY PROPOSALS for the MEC instrument

The LCLS MEC Optical-laser-only program aims to enable users to get access to LCLS MEC laser systems, target chamber and diagnostics, but without the LCLS x-ray beam. Optical-laser -only experiments may lead to an LCLS x-ray beamtime proposal. Special consideration will be given to:

  • High Energy Density Plasma Science
  • Preliminary experiments leading to LCLS X-ray Proposal
  • Proposals linked to experiments on the Jupiter Laser Facility

The optical-laser-only beamtimes will have allocations of a maximum of two weeks per experiment. For this call addressing the period from April 2014 to December 2014, we anticipate accepting two or more proposals because of the number of x-ray experiments scheduled and expected at MEC. SLAC scientists are not eligible for this proposal call.

Proposed experiments can use either the MEC nanosecond or femtosecond laser system. The MEC nanosecond laser system provides up to 30 J of energy. The MEC femtosecond laser system is undergoing an upgrade. For this proposal call, it is anticipated that the femtosecond laser system will be capable of delivering 1 J of energy in 40 fs duration. Additional information about the MEC instrument is available. We strongly recommend that you contact one of the LCLS-MEC Scientists Hae Ja Lee ">( ), Bob Nagler (bnagler@SLAC.Stanford.EDU), Eduardo Granados (granados@SLAC.Stanford.EDU) or Phil Heimann (paheim@SLAC.Stanford.EDU) before proposal submission to discuss capabilities, to identify possible problems in integrating external equipment with the LCLS facility and to determine possible solutions.

Proposal Review: The MEC optical-laser-only proposals will be reviewed by members of the MEC sub-panel of the LCLS Proposal Review Panel. This review is separate from the regular LCLS x-ray proposals review process. The review criteria of LCLS proposals can be found here.

Proposal Submission: MEC optical-laser-only proposals follow a similar format to the regular LCLS x-ray proposals but must be submitted separately. Please log in to the user portal to submit your MEC optical-laser-only proposal. The user portal has step-by-step instructions for the proposal submission.

Proposal Format: Provide a descriptive title of your proposed experiment that you would be willing to be made public if awarded beam time. Provide a brief abstract that concisely summarizes the proposed experiment, which will be included in the proposal PDF. If it is anticipated that the optical-laser-only proposal will lead to an LCLS x-ray proposal, state this in the proposal. Optical-laser-only proposals are limited to four pages, including references, figures, and sufficient information to evaluate the scientific goal, originality, risk, prior results, as well as technical feasibility.

Include the following information in the proposal text (include the spokesperson's name in the upper right hand corner of each page). Pages should have at least 1 inch margins and not less than 10 pt font. Remember that the proposal text is limited to 4 pages in PDF format.

  • Abstract: Provide a brief abstract that concisely summarizes the proposed experiment.
  • Experimental Team: In a table, list the names, institution, email address of PIs and collaborators who would participate in the proposed experiment e.g., sample prep, theory, data collection, data analysis. This section should briefly mention directly-relevant previous work done by the team members.
  • Scientific Case: Briefly explain the background and significance of your experiment. Itemize the specific aims and particular questions you want to answer. Focus on the specific experiment and avoid broad discussions in general terms.
  • Experimental Procedure: Provide specific information so that the feasibility of this experiment at the LCLS MEC instrument can be evaluated. Tell us if you plan or have carried out related experiments at other facilities. Have simulations of the experiment been performed? What are the anticipated data rates? Provide a beam time plan, indicating what could be accomplished in the beamtime including setup. Describe any additional equipment you plan to bring to LCLS for the experiment.
  • Technical Feasibility: Proposals must contain sufficient information for the LCLS and the reviewers of the proposal to evaluate technical feasibility. This information should include:
    • Equipment
      Which elements of the MEC instrument do you require for the proposal?
      What additional equipment is needed, including laser, detector, sample delivery/environment, temperature, pressure, etc.? 
      How do you plan to provide/organize the additional equipment?
    • Parameters
      Describe the laser wavelength, pulse energy, bandwidth, beam size, repetition rate, pulse duration and geometry.
    • Experimental protocol
      Describe the experimental geometry.
      Calculate the expected signal rate/background.
      Describe samples and concentrations, sample preparation and storage.
      Describe local facilities that may be required.

* Safety related documents must be submitted during the safety management portion of the LCLS proposal submission process in the user portal. List and describe any safety concerns that may arise with samples you will examine, equipment you will use, or techniques you will perform. This includes any physical, chemical or biological hazards and how these issues will be addressed in the experiment design.