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2017A Operation of Proposals in the field of Life Science/Protein Crystal Analysis

This call has been closed.

From 2015A, a flexible operation method has been adopted for research proposals in the field of Life Science (L1)/Protein Crystal Analysis with the use of SPring-8 Public Macromolecular Crystallography Beamlines (BL41XU, BL38B1, BL32XU, and BL26B1/B2). Read the following guidelines before preparing your application.

[IMPORTANT]
From 2017A, SACLA (X-ray Free Electron Laser facility) is added to J-PARC MLF and the K computer as a Complementary Use facility with SPring-8. Click here to see the details.

Contents
1. Points of New Operation Method
2. Background
3. Details
4. Notes on the Preparation of Application Form
5. Proposal Review
6. Notification of Review Results
7. Determination of Date of Use
8. Others
9. Contact



1. Points of New Operation Method

(1) The SPring-8 Proposal Review Committee (PRC) will determine only the acceptance or rejection of the proposal and the order of priority.
(2) The research period for the proposal is one year.
(3) A questionnaire on the beamtime allocation (the number of shifts, date of use, desired beamline) will be completed by project leaders four times a year (around March, May, August, and October). On the basis of the order of priority, the beamtime will be allocated through discussion by the Beamtime Allocation Meeting. When high-quality protein crystals have been obtained, you should answer the questionnaire.
(4) Applicants are not allowed to designate the beamline. Applicants who have not obtained any measurable protein crystal should describe their activity for crystallization on the application form, although the possession of such a crystal is not required at the time of application.
(5) The minimum beamtime allocation unit is 1 shift for BL38B1 and BL26B1/B2, 1.5 shifts for BL32XU, and 0.5 shift for BL41XU.

2. Background

Protein Crystal Analysis is a research field with intense international competition; hence, promptness is essential for studies in this field. Therefore, researchers of Protein Crystal Analysis are required to analyze protein crystals immediately after they are obtained. Conventionally, SPring-8 has reserved the beamtime for the Life Science (L1) subdivision during each research term and called for the application for beamtime allocation accordingly to meet the requirements of users who wish to perform timely measurements. However, a more flexible user system has been demanded for all types of proposals. With this as a background, a highly flexible user system will be adopted for research proposals in the field of Life Science/Protein Crystal Analysis with the use of SPring-8 Macromolecular Crystallography Beamlines (BL41XU, BL38B1, BL32XU, and BL26B1/B2). The new operation started from 2015A. In accordance with this, the operation of reserved beamtime non-proprietary proposals terminated at the end of 2014B.

3. Details

3.1 Beamlines Available to Users
The following five Macromolecular Crystallography Beamlines (PX-BLs) are available to users.
[Two undulator beamlines]
  •BL41XU Structural Biology I (Public)
  •BL32XU RIKEN Targeted Proteins
[Three bending-magnet beamlines]
  •BL38B1 Structural Biology III (Public)
  •BL26B1 RIKEN Structural Genomics I
  •BL26B2 RIKEN Structural Genomics II
For the percentage of beamtime available to users for each of beamlines, refer to "3. Beamlines and Beamtime Available to Users" in the "Call for 2017A General Proposals (excl. industrial application)."

3.2 Research Fields and Types of Proposals
The new operation method will be applied to the following research proposals to be reviewed in the field of Life Science/Protein Crystal Analysis (the L1 field) with the use of PX-BLs.
(1) General Proposals (Non-Proprietary Research)
(2) Budding Researchers Support Proposals

3.3 Research Period
The beamtime will be allocated for a year from 2017A to 2017B [April 2017 – February 2018 (tentative)]. The beamtime schedule is arranged upon the questionnaire on the date of use to be carried out four times a year (around March, May, August, and October).

For General Proposals (proprietary research) and Non-Proprietary Grant-Aided Proposals with the use of PX-BLs, the research period will be half a year, as before. This time, the beamtime is allocated during 2017A [April to July 2017 (tentative)]. A questionnaire on the date of use will be carried out twice in each research term to determine the date of use for the above proposals, which are higher in priority than the proposals described in 3.2. For Long-Term Proposals, a similar questionnaire will be completed during each research term to allocate the beamtime. Long-Term Proposals are also prioritized over the proposals described in 3.2. For proposals in the other fields and Priority Research Proposals with the use of PX-BLs, the beamtime will be allocated in 2017A (the date of use will be determined before the start of the research period, as before).

3.4 Research Proposals with Use of PX-BLs

Research Proposals with Use of PX-BLs

1. General Proposals (Non-Proprietary Research) and Budding Researchers Support Proposals
[L1 field]
The operation method will be greatly changed for proposals in the field of Life Science/Protein Crystal Analysis.  For details, refer to the guidelines on this website. If you have any questions about the operation, contact "9. (1) Information Desk for Protein Crystal Analysis."
[Fields other than L1]
There is no change in the operation method.

2. Priority Research Proposals (New Industrial Area Proposals, and Social Interest Proposals)
[All fields]
There is no change in the operation method even for the L1 field.

(Note) In the case when your proposal is rejected as a priority research proposal but accepted as a General Proposal:
[L1 field]
The new operation method (priority designation, one-year research period, etc.) will be applied to the proposal as that in the field of Life Science/Protein Crystal Analysis. For details, refer to the guidelines on this website. If you have any questions about the operation, contact "9. (1) Information Desk for Protein Crystal Analysis."
[Fields other than L1]
There is no change in the operation method.

3. Non-Proprietary Grant-Aided Proposals and
4. General Proposals (Proprietary Research)

[All fields]
The allocated shifts and the date of use will be determined by the Beamtime Allocation Meeting. There is no change in the online application procedure.
• Information on the number of allocated shifts, which is the maximum allowable number of available shifts, will be sent together with the review results. When high-quality crystals are not obtained during the research term and the allocated shifts remain unused, the unused shifts will be canceled and fees will be reduced.
*Note that the unused shifts cannot be transferred to the next research term.
• The questionnaire on the date of use has been completed once before the start of each research term, but it has been completed twice per research term from 2015A.

5. Long-Term Proposals
[L1 field]
The allocated shifts and the date of use will be determined by the Beamtime Allocation Meeting. There is no change in the procedure of online application.
• Information on the number of allocated shifts, which is the maximum allowable number of available shifts, will be sent together with the review results and also during each research term after the acceptance of the proposal. When high-quality crystals are not obtained during the research term and the allocated shifts remain unused because of the lack of measurable crystals, the shifts will be canceled and the user fee will be reduced.
   *Note that the unused shifts cannot be transferred to the next research term.
• The questionnaire on the date of use has been completed once before the start of each research term, but it has been completed twice per research term from 2015A.
[Fields other than L1]
There is no change in the operation method.

4. Notes on the Preparation of Application Form

Applicants are required to submit proposals using the web-based proposal submission system, similarly to the usual submission of proposals. Take note of the following points in the preparation of the application form. For the usual procedure of proposal application, read through the "Call for 2017A SPring-8 Research Proposals - Overview -."

<<Note 1>>
Select the type of proposal and be sure to check "Macromolecular Crystallography Experiment."

◆User Information Website (UI site): http://user.spring8.or.jp/?lang=en
Top Page > Log in to My Page > Application/Reporting > Proposal/Use Plan Submission > New

  • Step 1 (Type of research): Check "Non-Proprietary Research."
  • Step 2 (Type of proposal): Select "General Proposal."*
  • Check "Macromolecular Crystallography Experiment."
*If you are a student, select "Budding Researchers Support Proposal."

<<Note 2>>
The information required in the application form for proposals in the field of Life Science/Protein Crystal Analysis is different from that for proposals in other fields. Please download a MS Word template, General and Budding Researchers Support Proposals (Protein Crystal Analysis, non-proprietary), provide all required information according to the instructions provided in the template, and copy and paste into the online application form.

[Review Field] (Unchangeable)
The group is [L] Life Science and the subgroup is [L1] Macromolecular crystallography, which are displayed as default settings.
[Choice of Beamline]
"PX-BL" is displayed as default settings. Applicants are not allowed to designate the beamline. Describe in detail your request for the beamline in the "Reason for your choice of Beamline" box.
[Reason for your choice of Beamline]
State the reason why the beamline(s) is required for your measurement.
[How you calculated the overall beamtime requested]

As a reference, provide the number of shifts required to use the first-choice beamline (selected from among PX-BLs) for half a year, and describe how the number of required shifts was calculated.
[Multiple applications]
Applicants cannot submit the same application as a Priority Proposal (New Industrial Area Proposals, and Social Interest Proposals) as well as General Proposals in other fields. If your proposal is rejected as a priority proposal, it will be automatically reviewed as a General Proposal. If the proposal is accepted as a General Proposal in the L1 field with the use of PX-BLs, the new operation method (priority designation, one-year research period, etc.) will be applied to the proposal.
[Comprehensive application]
Although applicants are allowed to submit a proposal for multiple proteins, these proteins must be related to a single biological study. Crystallography of unrelated proteins should not be submitted as a single proposal.

5. Proposal Review

The scientific and technological significance, the necessity of SPring-8 as a research tool, as well as the scientific feasibility, safety of the experiment, and ethics are comprehensively reviewed, as well as General Proposals and Budding Researchers Support Proposals in other fields. Note that all proposals will be tentatively accepted excluding (a) those which are judged by the Review Committee that description provided in a proposal application are extremely insufficient, (b) those having serious problems in the feasibility or safety of experiments, or (c) those which are judged by the Review Committee to be multiple applications, but only the order of priority will be determined.

6. Notification of Review Results

Applicants will be notified of the review results in writing late February 2017. The notice only informs the order of priority. The allocated shifts and the beamline to be used will be determined with the date of use after the completion of the quarterly questionnaire on beamtime allocation, as stated in "7. Determination of Date of Use."

7. Determination of Date of Use

A questionnaire on the shift allocation and desired beamline will be completed via email for the project leaders of accepted proposals four times a year (around March, May, August, and October). The periods covered by each questionnaire are planned as follows.

Questionnaire
completion
period
Around March Around May Around August Around October
Available
period
April to May, 2017 June to July, 2017 2017B Operation Schedule: TBD

JASRI will send an email to the project leaders in each questionnaire completion period. Answer the questions regarding the number of shifts, beamline, etc. When the total number of shifts requested by users exceed the total number of shifts actually available to users, the number of shifts and beamline will be adjusted by the Beamtime Allocation Meeting on the basis of the order of priority, as described in the notice. JASRI will notify the project leaders of the number of shifts, beamline, and the date of measurement by email when it is determined.

[Note]
When the total number of shifts requested by users exceed the total number of shifts actually available to users, the beamtime will be allocated on the basis of the order of priority; therefore, proposals with low priority may not be given any shifts. The Beamtime Allocation Meeting will take utmost care that all accepted proposals are allocated shifts. Please understand that it may not be possible for applicants to perform their measurement using the beamline within the research period (one year). Even in this case, the research period will not be extended; a new proposal should be submitted.

8. Others

(1) Fees
Instructions related to the fees are the same as those for General Proposals and Budding Researchers Support Proposals in other fields. For details, refer to those guidelines.

(2) Publication of Research Results
Instructions related to the publications of research results are the same as those for General Proposals and Budding Researchers Support Proposals in other fields. Please note: although 2 different proposal numbers will be formally given for each research terms (2017A and 2017B) to proposals approved in the field of Life Science (L1), these are considered to be one proposal. For details, see this page.

(3) Report Submission (Non-Proprietary Research Only)
Users are required to submit an Experiment Summary Report online within 60 days of the end of each half-year research term.

(4) Mail-In Service
You may conduct measurements without visiting SPring-8 by (a) using the remote measurement system, or (b) asking JASRI staff to measure on behalf of you. This is available for all types of proposals. If you wish to use this system, please make sure to consult Beamline Scientists or “9. (1) Information Desk for Protein Crystal Analysis” before submitting a proposal.

9. Contact

(1) Information Desk for Protein Crystal Analysis
Protein Crystal Analysis Division, JASRI
Chief, Naoto Yagi
E-mail: yagi@spring8.or.jp / TEL: +81-(0)791-58-0908

(2) Information Desk for Procedure of Proposal Application
SPring-8 Users Office/User Administration Division, JASRI
1-1-1 Kouto, Sayo-cho, Sayo-gun, Hyogo 679-5198, Japan
TEL: +81-(0)791-58-0961 FAX: +81-(0)791-58-0965
E-mail: sp8jasri@spring8.or.jp

Last modified 2017-01-13 14:53