Proposal Review Panel

Submitting a proposal is the first step to access beam time at SSRL. Proposals are peer reviewed and rated by the SSRL Proposal Review Panel (PRP) on a scale from 1 (highest) to 5 (lowest). Peer reviewers evaluate proposals based on scientific merit, particularly the intellectual impact of the work on the field and the value of using synchrotron radiation to accomplish the proposed work. To ensure consistency in the review process, reviewers use the following rating criteria:

1.0-1.9 Excellent:  A well-chosen problem or important research that has a good chance of producing a major contribution to fundamental knowledge or an important technological development.  Should be given highest priority for beam time. (The most compelling proposals with the greatest likelihood of a high profile publication should be rated 1.0-1.4. A rating of 1.5 or better is generally needed to access the most oversubscribed beam lines at SSRL.)

2.0-2.9 Very Good:  A worthwhile problem or research that may lead to advances in fundamental knowledge or technology. Should receive beam time if at all possible.

3.0-3.9 Good:  A reasonable problem, but less than forefront. Beam time should be considered only after the above two categories have received time.

4.0-4.9 Fair:  Significant deficiencies appear in the proposal. Successful completion of the research is doubtful. Should probably not receive time.

5.0 Poor:  Poorly written proposal or major scientific issues that should not receive beam time.

The PRP also considers the amount of total beam time requested and recommends beam time allocations. Successful proposals are eligble to request and may be awarded beam time on SSRL beam lines, with priority given to the highest rated proposals and those which demonstrate efficient and productive use of beam time within their beam time allocation. We have three proposal calls per year with one on-site PRP meeting at SSRL annually. Access Policy

The work of the PRP is accomplished with five subpanels:

  • BIO - The biology panel reviews proposals for imaging, x-ray spectroscopic studies, small-angle x-ray scattering experiments, and crystallography of biologically important samples, including bioinorganic systems.
  • CHEMCAT - The chemistry and catalysis panel reviews proposals for all aspects of chemistry and catalysis. The catalytic science covers heterogeneous, homogeneous and electro-catalysis from model systems to fully formulated catalysts, while the chemical science covers all areas of fundamental and applied chemistry. The techniques include x-ray absorption, x-ray emission, and ambient pressure photoemission spectroscopies, small angle and wide-angle x-ray scattering, imaging, and transmission x-ray microscopy. Often these studies are conducted in-situ and operando.
  • EES:  The earth and environmental science panel reviews proposals for imaging, spectroscopy, diffraction, and scattering studies of samples from field and laboratory settings relevant to environmental, geological, and soil processes, including those influenced by biological activity. Such samples are often characterized by their high degree of spatial, chemical, or structural heterogeneity and their study may require integration of multiple techniques. Investigations of art, archeological samples, and related culture materials are also reviewed by the EES panel (formerly the MEIS panel).
  • MAT1 - The materials-1 panel reviews proposals for hard x-ray materials science, including soft materials, materials for energy generation and storage, structural studies, complex fluids, synthetic polymers, batteries, and organic electronics. Techniques include diffraction, scattering, small-angle x-ray scattering, microscopy or tomography, and any of the x-ray absorption or emission spectroscopies.  Often these studies are conducted in-situ and operando.
  • MAT2 - The materials-2 panel reviews proposals for solid state physics and materials science, including electronic structure of solids, surfaces and interfaces, using UV and soft x-ray sources at SSRL. Examples include angle-resolved and core-level photoelectron spectroscopies, x-ray absorption and x-ray magnetic dichroism, in-situ x-ray absorption, x-ray emission and photoemission.


Tina Iverson
Vanderbilt University,
Pharmacology & Biochemistry
Nashville, TN, USA

Pierre Kennepohl (Chair)
University of British Columbia,
Vancouver, Canada  

Michael Chabinyc
(Chair 11/2018)
UC Santa Barbara,
Santa Barbara, CA, USA
John Freeland (Chair 11/2018)
Argonne National Lab,
Advanced Photon Source
Argonne, IL, USA
Jeff Catalano
Washington University,
Earth & Planetary Sciences
St. Louis, MO, USA
Kelly  Lee
University of Washington,
Medicinal Chemistry
Seattle, WA, USA
Florian Meirer
Utrecht University,
Inorganic Chemistry & Catalysis
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Tim Fister (Chair 8/2018)
Argonne National Lab,
Chemical Science & Engineering
Argonne, IL, USA
Victor Henrich (Chair 8/2018)
Yale University,
Applied Physics
New Haven, CT, USA
Jon Chorover (Chair 11/2018)
University of Arizona,
Soil Water & Env Sciences
Tucson, AZ, USA
Lawrence Que, Jr.
University of Minnesota,
Department of Chemistry
Minneapolis, MN, USA
Janos Szanyi
Pacific Northwest National Lab,
Richland, WA, USA
Ben Ocko
Brookhaven National Lab,
National Synchrotron Light Source II
Upton, NY,  USA
Anthony Van Buuren
Lawrence Livermore National Lab,
Nanoscale Integration
Science & Technology
Livermore, CA, USA
Owen Duckworth
North Carolina State University,
Soil Science
Raleigh, NC, USA
Martina Ralle
Oregon Health Sciences University,
Molecular and Medical Genetics
Portland, OR,  USA
Junko Yano
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab,
Berkeley, CA, USA
Dilworth (Dula) Parkinson
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab,
Advanced Light Source
Berkeley, CA,  USA
Dean Hesterberg
(Chair 8/2018)
North Carolina State University,
Soil Science
Raleigh, NC, USA
Ron Stenkamp (Chair)
University of Washington,
Biological Structure
Seattle, WA, USA
Enrique Gomez
Pennsylvania State University
Chemical Engineering
Materials Research Institute
University Park, PA
Ingrid Pickering
University of Saskatchewan,
Molecular Environmental Science
Saskatoon, Canada
    Mahalingam Balasubramanian 
Argonne National Laboratory
Argonne, IL


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