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SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

RapiData 2020 at SSRL - Data Collection and Structure Solving: A Practical Course in Macromolecular X-Ray Diffraction Measurement
March 30-April 4 2020

About RapiData 2020 at SSRL

(Postponed - Date TBD)

Due to the uncertainity about the spread of the coronavirus in the Bay Area and elsewhere, we have decided to postpone our March 30-April 4 workshop until the epidemic has settled down. Thank you for understanding.

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 2020 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 Monday March 30th 2020 we will hold 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 Tuesday morning, March 31st 2020. There will be lectures during Tuesday and part of Wednesday. The hands on tutorials will begin on Wednesday evening, and run in parallel with data collection on Thursday and Friday. The course will end on Saturday with a recapitulation meeting, finishing about 10 am.

Application and registration

Application to RapiData 2020 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 September to November 2019. 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.

We expect to charge a total of approximately $700 for the course. This will include a registration fee of $200 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).

Financial aid

  • 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 from Stanford Bio-X may be awarded to other participants (no restrictions) on a per need basis.

IUCr Scientific Freedom Policy Statement

The Organizing Committee of RapiData 2020 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.

Statement on Gender Balance at RapiData 2020

The Rapidata 2020 Organizing Committee fully supports and promotes gender equality in accordance with the IUCr principle. Based on accumulated statistics, RapiData has consistently had gender equality amongst the attendees (50% or higher participation by women students), and has maintained a gender balance of over 40% for all participants (attendees and lecturers/tutors combined). We pride ourselves on achieving this balance and helping promote the involvement of women in crystallography at all stages of their career. We will strive to ensure gender equality among our lecturers and participants, and we will pay a special attention to the gender balance in evaluating travel award applications.