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SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

RapiData 2017 at SSRL - Data Collection and Structure Solving: A Practical Course in Macromolecular X-Ray Diffraction Measurement
April 16-21 2017

About RapiData 2017 at SSRL

Synchrotron radiation is an indispensable tool in macromolecular crystallography and most of the macromolecule structures deposited in the PDB are solved and refined with data collected at synchrotron sources. Some of the skills needed to make optimal use of state-of-the-art beamlines and data processing and analysis software are difficult to learn without intensive hand-on training.

The main goal of the course Rapid Data Collection and Structure Solving is to provide such an educational experience. The course has taken place twice at SSRL, following the closure of NSLS at Brookhaven National Laboratory, where is was held for 16 years. RapiData 2017 will use a similar format to previous editions, with equal emphasis on the ideas and concepts behind conventional methods for diffraction-data collection, and practical experience collecting and processing data.

All students are encouraged to bring their own specimens for data collection, and to bring old data for the data-reduction and structure-solving tutorials. Students are split into several groups for the hands-on training sessions. Participants without crystals will be able to practice on samples provided by the organizers and data collected on the beamlines.

On Sunday April 16th 2017 we will hold a a roughly five-hour lecture course on the fundamentals of crystallography to ensure that students without much previous experience in crystallography benefit fully from the lectures and practicals during the rest of the course. The main RapiData course will begin on Monday morning, April 17th 2017. There will be lectures during Monday and part of Tuesday. The hands on tutorials will begin on Tuesday evening, and run in parallel with data collection on Wednesday and Thursday. The course will end on Friday with a recapitulation meeting, finishing about 10 am.

For information about the speakers, lecture and course format, see the preliminary course schedule.

Speakers and tutors include:

  • Bob Sweet
  • Jim Pflugrath
  • Clyde Smith
  • Ana Gonzalez
  • Raji Edayathumangalam
  • Matt Benning
  • Enrique RudiƱo
  • Harry Powell
  • Silvia Russi
  • James Holton
  • Michel Fodje
  • Thomas Weiss
  • Aina Cohen
  • Tom Terwilliger
  • Nick Sauter
  • Andreas Foerster
  • Paul Adams
  • Li-Wei Hung
  • Andrey Lebedev
  • Ivan Shabalin

Application and registration

Application to RapiData 2017 is open to all scientists who wish to learn about the theoretical and practical aspects of macromolecular crystallography experiments at synchrotron sources. Because the course is typically oversubscribed, the organizers will select the participants from the applications based on the need and potential benefits to the applicants.

The application period will run from October to December 12th 2016. Late applications may be accepted, but priority will be given to those received by the deadline. We will start inviting sucessful applicants to register and pay for the course shortly about the application deadline.

To apply for RapiData 2017, please use this link. Successful applicants will be notified in January 2017 and will be invited to complete the registration and pay for the course. The deadline for applications is December 12th 2016.

We expect to charge a total of approximately $600 for the course. This will include a registration fee of $100 and all the food and course expenses not covered by grants and donations. Accommodation and transportation are not covered.


We encourage accepted participants to book accommodation at the Stanford Guest House, which is a 5 minute walk from the course venues. Accommodation can be reserved by phone (650) 926-2800 or by e-mail email (guesthouse@stanford.edu). A cheaper rate for course participants is available until February 14th 2016. Note that the reservations at the Guest House can be cancelled up to a few days before the start of the course with no charges.

Financial aid

There are some funds available to cover partial travel and subsistence for a limited number of participants

  • The International Union of Crystallography is funding some scholarships for Latin-American students, postdocs and junior faculty with a maximum age of 35.
  • Additional funds may be also be awarded to other participants (no restrictions) on a per need basis.

Interested participant should send a letter from their PI or supervisor to Ana Gonzalez; the letter should explain why the scholarship should be awarded and what level of funding would be required.The deadline to apply for funding is December 12th 2016.

IUCr Scientific Freedom Policy Statement

The Organizing Committee of RapiData 2017 at SLAC shall observe the basic policy of non-discrimination and affirms the right and freedom of scientists to associate in international scientific activity without regard to such factors as ethnic origin, religion, citizenship, language, political stance, gender, sex or age, in accordance with the Statutes of the International Council for Science.
At this course no barriers will exist which would prevent the participation of bona fide scientists.