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SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

RapiData 2018 at SSRL - Data Collection and Structure Solving: A Practical Course in Macromolecular X-Ray Diffraction Measurement
April 22-27 2018

About RapiData 2018 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 since 2015 at SSRL, following the closure of NSLS at Brookhaven National Laboratory, where is was held for 16 years. RapiData 2018 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 22nd 2018 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 23th 2018. 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.

Confirmed speakers and tutors include:

  • Bob Sweet
  • Jim Pflugrath
  • Clyde Smith
  • Elspeth Garman
  • Ana Gonzalez
  • Raji Edayathumangalam
  • Enrique RudiƱo
  • Harry Powell
  • Silvia Russi
  • James Holton
  • Thomas Weiss
  • Aina Cohen
  • Nick Sauter
  • Andreas Foerster
  • Clemens Vonrhein
  • Claus Flensburg
  • Andrey Lebedev
  • Ivan Shabalin

Application and registration

Application to RapiData 2018 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 9th to December 22th 2017. Late applications might 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 2018, please use this link. Successful applicants will be notified in January 2018 and will be invited to complete the registration and pay for the course. The deadline for applications is December 22nd 2017.

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.

Accepted applicants can register at this link. The deadline for registration is February 20th 2017.


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). Please quote the group code RAPIDATA18 until March 7th 2018.

Financial aid

All the funds available for travel support have been allocated.

IUCr Scientific Freedom Policy Statement

The Organizing Committee of RapiData 2018 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.