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How to Get Beam Time

Being a user facility for scientific research access to the state-of-the-art instrumentation at SSRL is free of charge for academic users (for proprietary research please see the guide lines at the SSRL web page). To get experimental beam time at BL4-2 academic users are asked to write a proposal, describing the scientific question adressed and the planned experiment. These proposal will then be rated by experts in the field according to their scientific merit. Depending on that rating and overall beam time demand we will schedule your beamtime.

There are two different types of proposals at BL4-2:

  • Standard proposals have deadlines for submission three times per year (5/1, 8/1 and 11/1). They are typically 3-5 pages long and, if accepted, you will be eligible for requesting beam time three times a year for a period of two years.
  • Rapid access proposals are shortened posposals that can be submitted anytime and are designed for small projects that need up to a day of beamtime (3 shifts).
Additional information on the proposal process and beam time allocation can be found here:

Here are the steps for submitting a new proposal for BL4-2:

1) Go to the SLAC ‘User portal’ web-page:

If you don’t have an account create one by clicking on the ‘Register’ button. If you already have an account you can log in by clicking on the ‘Log in’ button.

step 1

2) Click on the ‘SSRL’ tab on the ‘Welcome’ page.

steps 2&3

3) From the ‘Proposals’ drop down menu select ‘Submit SSRL XRAY or VUV Proposal’.

4) On the following page you can select the proposal type:
- X-ray/VUV Standard Proposal
- Rapid Access Biological Small Angle Scattering (SAXS)

step 4

Once you click on ‘Continue to Proposal Information’ you will start the submission process. The process has 3 pages and you can save a draft any time and continue later.

5) On the following page (1 of 3) you will enter proposal information and upload the pdf file with your proposal. Please try to provide as many details as you can about the proposed experiment. This is the only page which is different for standard and rapid access proposals.

If you have selected the standard proposal:
Important thing is to select ‘Bio’ in in ‘Research Area Review Panel(s)’ and ‘4-2, Bio SAXS’ in ’Experimental Stations’ section.

part 5 a

If you have selected the rapid access proposal:
Important thing is to select 4-2, Bio SAXS’ in ‘Experimental Stations’ section.

part 5 b

6) On the next page (2 of 3) you will enter the necessary safety information. Please provide any additional information about your sample(s) and upload corresponding MSDS file(s) if possible.

7) On the last page (3 of 3) you will able to review your proposal and submit it