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 3 (lowest). Peer reviewers evaluate proposals based on scientific merit 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:

OUTSTANDING (1.0-1.4): The proposed research is highly original and will significantly influence the development of the field and/or have major societal benefit. The project should be a high priority to receive beam time. The experimental and data analysis plans are very well described, even if the cutting-edge nature of the experiment may carry with it some risk of failure. Please be very clear in your comments as to why this proposal deserves the best possible score.

EXCELLENT (1.5-1.7): The research will influence the development of the field and/or have societal benefit, and should be awarded beam time if available. The experimental and data analysis plans are adequately described. Please give feedback as to what would be needed to take this proposal to the highest level.

GOOD (1.8-2.0): The research is worthwhile and may be deserving of beam time if available. There may be some weaknesses in the experimental or data analysis plans. Please give feedback as to how to improve the proposal to the point that it has a good chance of being awarded beam time.

WEAK (2.1-2.9): The research is of questionable value and/or the experimental and data analysis plans do not suggest confidence in the ability of the team to address the scientific question. Should be given a low priority to receive peer-reviewed beam time. Please give feedback as to how the weaknesses of the proposal could be addressed.

POOR/NO BEAM TIM (3.0): The research is of little to no merit and/or the experimental and data analysis plans are either absent or give no confidence in the abilities of the team to address the scientific question. Should NOT be given beam time even if available. Please be very clear in comments as to why this proposal deserves the worst possible score, and give feedback to the team regarding its major faults.

For the August 2023 proposal review cycle, we are implementing a pilot program within some panels where the panel will provie peer reviews for proposals submitted to their panel. Rather than identify external peer reviewers, panel members will serve and primary or secondary leads to review proposals. The full panel will then convene to review and rate proposals. We anticipate that this will streamline the peer review process and facilitate more consistent rating. We look forward to feedback from the panel and users on this pilot program.

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.


Zimei Bu
City College of New York CUNY
New York, NY USA
Phillip Christopher, University of California Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA  USA
Mahalingam Balasubramanian 
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge, TN USA
John Freeland
Argonne National Lab,
Advanced Photon Source
Argonne, IL USA
Jon Chorover
University of Arizona,
Soil Water & Env Sciences
Tucson, AZ USA
Kelly Chacon
Reed College
Portland, OR USA
Oliver Gutierrez Tinoco
Pacific Northwest  National Lab
Richland, WA USA
Michael Chabinyc (PRP Chair)
University of California Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA USA
Victor Henrich 
Yale University,
Applied Physics
New Haven, CT USA
Owen Duckworth
North Carolina State University,
Soil Science
Raleigh, NC USA
Tina Iverson (Co-Chair)
Vanderbilt University
Pharmacology & Biochemistry
Nashville, TN USA
Ryan Hadt (Co-Chair)
California Inst. Technology
Chemistry & Chemical Engineering
Pasadena, CA USA
Marca Doeff
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab,
Energy Technologies
Berkeley, CA USA
Sujoy Roy
Lawrence Berkely National Lab,
Scattering, Photon Science Operations
Berkeley, CA USA
Heileen Hsu-Kim
Duke University,
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Durham, NC USA
Martina Ralle (Co-Chair)
Oregon Health Sciences University
Molecular and Medical Genetics
Portland, OR  USA
Christopher Hahn
Lawrence Livermore National La,
Livermore, CA USA
Tim Fister
Argonne National Lab,
Chemical Science & Engineering
Argonne, IL USA
Anthony Van Buuren
Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Nanoscale Integration
Livermore, CA USA
Yuanzhi Tang
Georgia Institute of Technology
Earth & Atmospheric Science
Atlanta, GA  USA
Ron Stenkamp
University of Washington
Biological Structure
Seattle, WA USA
Ayman Karim
Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
Blacksburg, VA USA

Gaurav Giri
University of Virginia,
Chemical Engineering
Charlottesville, VA USA

Alexis Templeton
University of Colorado
Geological Sciences
Boulder, CO  USA
  Florian Meirer
Utrecht University
Inorganic Chemistry & Catalysis
Utrecht, The Netherlands

Stephen Minansian
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
Berkeley, CA  USA

  Maarten Nachtegaal
Paul Scherrer Institute
Villigen, Switzerland
  Jason Shearer
Trinity University Texas
San Antonio, TX  USA
  Janos Szanyi (Co-Chair)
Pacific Northwest National Lab.
Richland, WA  USA
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