Proposal Submission

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


This site is OBSOLETE as of 30 Oct. 2017
Please go to the new Proposals page

Proposals Schedule

Run Cycle Proposal Type Proposal Deadline Cycle Begins Cycle Ends
16 PCS Jun 26, 2017 Nov 2017 Jun 2018
16 Regular May 04, 2017 Nov 2017 Jun 2018

 

Submit new LCLS Protein Crystal Screening (PCS) Proposals for Run 16 by 4 PM PACIFIC June 26, 2017.


Protein Crystal Screening (PCS) Proposals

        Submit new Protein Crystal Screening (PCS) Proposals for Run 16
        by 4 PM PACIFIC June 26, 2017.

        Details of Call for PCS Proposals for Run 16

 

This PCS beamtime is to be awarded during LCLS Run 16, expected to be between November 2017 and June 2018.

The LCLS Protein Crystal Screening (PCS) program aims to enable increased access to LCLS beamtime for biological structure determination by making use of short, 6-hour runs to screen the quality of different sample preparations or potentially collect a full data set under good running conditions. To enable measurements within such a short time frame and maximize efficiency and the chances of success, these studies must be carried out with limited instrumentation flexibility to minimize the time impact of setup changes. Schedule constraints are unpredictable and no guarantees can be made that any of the mentioned experimental setups will be available for PCS in any given run. Please contact Mark Hunter (mhunter2@slac.stanford.edu) for additional information and guidance.

PCS at CXI

PCS experiments at CXI will be carried out using the standard CXI configuration, using the refocused X-ray beam from the 1 μm focus as a parasitic measurement to a primary experiment, depending on scheduling constraints and at the discretion of LCLS. Sample delivery will be via the gas dynamic virtual nozzle (GDVN) liquid jet system and fixed targets in vacuum. User-supplied sample delivery systems or modifications to the existing system are allowable only if they are compatible with the existing systems and can be exchanged with the other systems used for PCS beamtime within a time frame compatible with 12-hour parasitic runs and rapid turnaround between groups. Decisions on using alternative sample delivery systems are entirely at the discretion of the LCLS facility.

PCS at MFX

PCS experiments at atmospheric pressure are expected to be available. The home of such experiments is now the MFX instrument with multiple options likely to be available, including a goniometer system, allowing scanning of fixed-mounted crystals, and a liquid jet system compatible with various types of jets. These systems can also be modified in principle for use of a variety of atmospheric pressure sample delivery systems. User-supplied systems may also be available. The availability of all these systems will depend on scheduling constraints and is entirely at the discretion of LCLS.

Other Experimental Geometries or Capabilities

Time-resolved studies and spectroscopy are currently not within the scope of PCS beam time.

Proposal Review and Beamtime Award

These PCS proposals will be reviewed by the PRP BIO-C panel separately from the regular proposals. It is desirable to shorten the period between PCS proposal submission and beam time allocation to maximize flexibility and the ability to be reactive to novel samples or ideas. LCLS will aim to pre-allocate blocks of beamtime on CXI and/or MFX based on the overall demand. The expected amount of beamtime is approximately 10-12 shifts in every LCLS run. Proposals will be awarded beam time by LCLS based on the scientific recommendation of the Proposal Review Panel and other technical considerations by LCLS, including sample readiness, technical feasibility and scheduling constraints. A minimum 2 months notice will be given to the selected user groups to allow for appropriate preparation.

Overlap with Regular LCLS Proposals

There is no restriction with regards to possible overlap or redundancy with regular LCLS proposals. Submission of PCS proposals similar or related to regular LCLS proposals are encouraged and will not adversely impact the rankings of either types of proposals. Regular LCLS proposals that do not receive beamtime may be considered for PCS if deemed suitable.

Proposal Format

PCS proposals follow a similar format as regular proposals. They must be submitted separately.

PCS proposals are evaluated on the impact, originality, need for LCLS, scientific risk, prior results, as well as technical feasibility.

LCLS PCS proposals should be submitted through the User Portal.

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

The proposal text is limited to 2 pages in PDF format. Pages should have at least 1 inch margins and not less than 10 pt font. It should include the following information:

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.

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.

Experimental Procedure: If the PCS proposal is related to one or more regular LCLS proposals that have been submitted or already received beam time, state this in the proposal. 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 in less than 6 hours of beam time. Describe any additional equipment you plan to bring to LCLS for the experiment. We strongly recommend that you contact LCLS Scientist Mark Hunter (mhunter2@slac.stanford.edu) before proposal submission to discuss capabilities, to identify possible problems in integrating external equipment with LCLS instrumentation and to determine possible solutions.

Technical Feasibility: Proposals must contain sufficient information for LCLS to review the proposal for technical feasibility. This information should include:

o Equipment
Which elements of the proposed instrument do you require for the proposal?
What additional equipment is needed, including detector, sample delivery/environment, temperature, pressure, etc.?
How do you plan to provide/organize the additional equipment?

o 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 (including any physical, chemical or biological hazards) and how these issues will be addressed in the experiment design.

 


LCLS PROPOSALS

Please note the following important information

1. 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 16 (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 16 proposal call, LCLS will consider 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.

New capabilities offered for Run 16

  • Sub-Femtosecond Operation: During Run 16 we expect to be able to deliver sub-fs soft-X-ray pulses with a new XFEL configuration known as XLEAP. This will use a high-power infrared laser to compress a short fraction of the electron bunch to very high current. The setup is anticipated to be able to deliver ~0.5 fs pulses with a large coherent bandwidth, which is controllable using the space-charge boost given by the long LCLS undulator. XLEAP is predicted to be able to deliver a single sub-fs pulse or a train of pulses separated by ~ 6.8 fs

    The expected XLEAP performance is as follows. Please note however that testing of this system will occur during Run 15, and so actual performance is not yet known. The system is thus being offered “at risk”.

    • ~ 30-50 uJ per pulse
    • ~ 0.5 fs FWHM pulse duration
    • 4 to 8 eV FWHM bandwidth

    Expected setup times are on the order of 3-4 hours. Submitted proposals shouldn't rely solely on XLEAP’s performance & robust operation, but preparing experiments/proposals that would work without XLEAP, but could benefit from it when it becomes available is strongly advised. For more information, please contact Mike Minitti (minitti@slac.stanford.edu).

    • Split-and-Delay for XCS: A crystal-based split-and-delay system will be commissioned during Run 15 and is planned to be available for user experiments in Run 16. It consists of two four-bounce monochromator branches delayed relative to each other. It will be available exclusively on the XCS instrument. It will operate in a range of 7-12 keV with a delay range from roughly -5 to 350 ps at 8 keV, with varying ranges as a function of energy. Up to 1 ns delay is possible if one branch is bypassed. Contact Diling Zhu (dlzhu@slac.stanford.edu) for more detail.
    • New modes of beam operation: For up-to-date information on LCLS performance, please contact the respective instrument e-mail address listed below, and see the FAQ and the Machine Parameters table.
      A number of 2-pulse modes of operation are under constant development. See LCLS for up-to-date information. For a summary of some key options, see summary of some key options.

 

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 X-rays, 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).

Self-seeding systems are available for both hard x-ray and soft-x-ray regions. Seeded beams can provide up to 50-fold higher brightness. For hard x-rays (5.5 keV to 9.5 keV), 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. Set up time from a SASE beam is about 30 minutes. Soft x-ray self-seeding has been successfully demonstrated across the range of 400-1000 eV with a resolving power of 2000-5000. Recent work has shortened the set up time, which is now typically 2 hours. Note that a SASE pedestal of comparable total energy may be present. Contact LCLS for further details of performance.

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 offering a wide 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 encourage proposals utilizing two-pulse and two-color operation. See FAQ for further details, and the following summary table.

Preparing Your Proposal

The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) encourages scientists from diverse fields to propose experiments utilizing the LCLS's unique capabilities for the period November, 2017–June, 2018.

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 below, along with information on the new standard configurations, and the proposal review process prior to writing your proposal. Users are encouraged to contact LCLS instrument scientists to discuss technical capabilities and proposed experiments.

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 May 4, 2017.

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.

 
Required Content for 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 tables, 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 CaseBriefly 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 ProcedureProvide 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 FeasibilityProposals 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 ReportWhen 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.

  


MEC OPTICAL-LASER-ONLY PROPOSALS

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