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2019A Operation of Proposals in the field of Life Science/Protein Crystal Analysis

 Note  Please ensure to refer to the List of Beamline Summaries before preparing application because there may be possible changes in available experimental equipment at Beamlines due to replacements, removals and other reasons. In addition, prior consultation with Beamline scientist is essential for some Beamlines.

From 2019A, BL45XU is newly available as a public beamline and added to Macromolecular Crystallography Beamlines (PX-BLs), while BL38B1 becomes RIKEN Beamline and no longer available as PX-BLs. Accordingly, about 2 months of beamtime at BL45XU (111 shifts) is not available for users from the beginning of 2019A due to commissioning. Moreover, operation method for research proposals in the field of Life Science (L1) /Protein Crystal Analysis has also been partially changed. Read the following guidelines before preparing your application.

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) BL45XU is newly available to users but BL38B1 is no longer available for proposals in this operation method.

(2) Beamtime for proprietary research proposals will become available in this operation method.

(3) The minimum beamtime allocation unit is 0.25 shift for BL41XU and BL45XU.

2. Background

To respond to requests from users for timely measurement for non-proprietary research proposals in the field of Life Science/Protein Crystal Analysis, SPring-8 has adopted a flexible operation method. From 2019A, this operation method will also be adopted for proprietary research proposals. The use of the undulator beamline has been frequently requested by users, and thus, the beamline (BL45XU) will become a public beamline. The minimum beamtime allocation unit is 0.25 shift for BL45XU. No proposals for using BL38B1 in this field will be called for from 2019A.

3. Details

3.1 Operation method
The following operation methods will be applied to both General Proposals (Non-Proprietary) and General Proposals (Proprietary). Budding Researchers Support Proposals are the same as those for General Proposals (Non-Proprietary research).

(1) The SPring-8 Proposal Review Committee (PRC) will determine only the acceptance or rejection of the proposal and the order of priority (only Non-Proprietary research proposals).

(2) The research period for the proposal is one year.

(3) 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.

(4) A questionnaire on the beamtime allocation (the number of shifts, date of use, desired beamline) will be completed by project leaders 4 to 5 times a year (around March, May, August, October (and December, if applicable)). The Non-Proprietary research proposals will be allocated the beamtime based on priority through discussion by the Beamtime Allocation Meeting. For proprietary research proposals, a questionnaire on the desired beamtime allocation for each term will be carried out before the start of each term (your request for beamtime allocation can be changed by responding to later questionnaires).

(5) The minimum beamtime allocation unit is 1 shift for BL26B1/B2, 1.5 shifts for BL32XU, and 0.25 shift for BL41XU and BL45XU.

3.2 Beamlines Available to Users
The following five Macromolecular Crystallography Beamlines (PX-BLs) are available to users.

[Three undulator beamlines]
・BL41XU Structural Biology I (Public)
・BL45XU Structural Biology III (Public)
・BL32XU RIKEN Targeted Proteins

[Two bending-magnet beamlines]
・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 2019A General Proposals (excl. industrial application)."

3.3 Research Period
The beamtime will be allocated for a year from 2019A to 2019B [April 2019 – February 2020 (tentative)]. The beamtime schedule is arranged upon the questionnaire on the date of use to be carried out 4 to 5 times a year (around March, May, August, October (and December, if applicable)).

For 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 2019A [April 2019 to July 2019 (tentative)]. A questionnaire on the date of use will be carried out 2 to 3 times in each research term to determine the date of use. For Long-Term Proposals, a similar questionnaire will be completed during each research term to allocate the beamtime. For proposals in the other fields and Priority Research Proposals with the use of PX-BLs, the beamtime will be allocated in 2019A (the date of use will be determined before the start of the research period, as before).

3.4 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 4 to 5 times a year (around March, May, August, October (and December, if applicable)). The periods covered by each questionnaire are planned as follows.

Questionnaire
completion period

Around March

Around May

Around August

Around October

(Around December)

Available period

April to May 2019

June to July 2019

2019B 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 for the Non-Proprietary research proposals will be adjusted by the Beamtime Allocation Meeting on the basis of the order of priority, and the number of shifts and beamline for Proprietary research proposals will be adjusted by JASRI on the basis of the comprehensive manner. For the beamtime of Proprietary research, the maximum allocated beamtime is set for each beamline. For further details, please confirm "6. Beamtime Available to Users (http://www.spring8.or.jp/en/users/proposals/call_for/summary#6): Call for SPring-8 Research Proposals - Overview –". JASRI will notify the project leaders of the number of shifts, beamline, and the date of measurement by email when it is determined. In addition, when there are unallocated shifts after the shift allocation based on a questionnaire, JASRI may give additional questionnaire on the shift allocation. In that case, JASRI will inform it by an email.

[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 or the comprehensive manner; therefore, some proposals may not be given any shifts.

3.5 Research Proposals with Use of PX-BLs

Research Proposals with Use of PX-BLs

1. General Proposals (Non-Proprietary Research / Proprietary Research) and Budding Researchers Support Proposals
[L1 field]
The operation method will apply 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 (Priority Field)
(Cross-SR Facility Use Proposals for Industrial Application, and Industrial Application Proposals Using Advanced Technology)

There is no change in the operation method.

3. Non-Proprietary Grant-Aided Proposals
[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.

4. 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.
[Fields other than L1]
There is no change in the operation method.

Epoch-Making Initiatives proposals and Partner User Proposals
[All fields]
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 2019A 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" or "Proprietary Research".
  • Step 2 (Type of proposal): Select "General Proposal."*
  • Check "Macromolecular Crystallography Experiment."
*If you are a student (at the time experiment), 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) or General proposals (Protein Crystal Analysis, proprietary) , provide all required information according to the instructions provided in the template, and copy and paste into the online application form.

[Review Field] (Only Non-Proprietary Research Proposals)
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 this term and next term, and describe how the number of required shifts was calculated.

[Multiple applications]
Applicants cannot submit the same application as a Priority Proposal (Cross-SR Facility Proposals for Industrial Application, and Industrial Application Proposals Using Advanced Technology) 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 for Industrial Application.

[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

5.1 Non-proprietary Research
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 is the case with General Proposals and Budding Researchers Support Proposals in other fields.

5.2 Proprietary Research
Technical feasibility, safety of the experiment, and ethics of proposals are reviewed.

Note:
Both Non-Proprietary and Proprietary research 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 priority order will be determined for Non-Proprietary research proposals.

6. Notification of Review Results

Applicants will be notified of the review results in writing late February 2019. 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 questionnaire on beamtime allocation, as stated in "3.4. Determination of Date of Use."

7. 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 (2019A and 2019B) 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 Experiment Summary Reports online within each 60 days of the end of research term A and B. However, this shall not apply to the case that users do not conduct experiment during the 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. Since there may be constrains by proposal types or beamlines, 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 or a questionnaire on the beamtime allocation.

9. Contact

(1) Information Desk for Protein Crystal Analysis
Protein Crystal Analysis Division, JASRI
Chief, Takashi Kumasaka
E-mail: kumasaka@spring8.or.jp / TEL: +81-(0)791-58-0833

(2) Information Desk for Procedure of Proposal Application
SPring-8 Users Office, 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

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