Call for SPring-8 Research Proposals – Overview –

If you are interested in using SPring-8, please read the following information carefully before applying.

1. Research Term

SPring-8 operates for 2 half-year research terms (A term and B term) each year. A term, the first half of a fiscal year, typically spans from April to August (incl. summer maintenance period); and B term, the second half, is usually from September to March (incl. winter maintenance period).

e.g. A Term 202* from April 1 to August 31, 202*
B Term 202* from September 1, 202* to March 31, 202*

At the beamlines with sixannual calls, however, A and B terms are further divided into three periods.

2. Types of Research

There are two types of research available at SPring-8: proprietary and non-proprietary research.

Proprietary Research:

Users have no obligation to publish their research results. In return, proprietary users are required to pay the fee for the beamtime used (See 7.1 Beamtime Fee). Submitted proposals are reviewed only from the viewpoint of technical feasibility, safety of experiment, sociality and ethicality.

Non-Proprietary Research:

Users are exempt from paying the beamtime fee if their research is non-proprietary. For research to be considered non-proprietary, users are required to publish their results with proper acknowledgement and register the published works with the SPring-8 Publications Database within three years from the end of the research term.

3. Types of Proposals

We offer a variety of types of proposals each with distinctive characteristics to suit your research needs as shown in the table 1 below.

Type of ProposalDescriptionsFrequency for call
General ProposalFor general research using synchrotron radiation, with obligation to publish results. Twice/six times a year
Budding Researchers Support ProposalIntended for doctoral students (at the time of experiment) with an exploratory and original research proposal or research theme (Categories of Industrial Application and Structural Biology available). Twice/six times a year
Long-Term Graduate Student ProposalProposals that provide an opportunity to secure stable and planned beamtime for doctoral students by making the proposal valid for one to three years during their doctoral program. Submitted proposals need to go through a two-stage review process of application screening and interview. Twice a year
Long-Term ProposalIntended for the proposals that are expected to produce outstanding results through the long-term and well-planned use of SPring-8. The review process consists of two steps: document screening and interview. Once approved, proposals are valid for two years.Once a year (only in the B Term)
Non-Proprietary Grant-Aided ProposalIntended for the proposals that are expected to produce outstanding results through the long-term and well-planned use of SPring-8. The review process consists of two steps: document screening and interview. Once approved, proposals are valid for two years.Twice/six times a year
Partner User ApplicationsThis proposals are conducted by the eligible researcher who have a thorough knowledge of public beamlines and measurement techniques and are expected to contribute to developing academic fields of SR science and technology. (The researcher designated as a partner user after review process will perform the experiment.) Once a year (only in the B Term)
Epoch-Making Initiatives ProposalIntended for research projects carried out by selected research groups who are expected to create and develop unexplored fields (Research group itself is called). The validity period for research group is for two years. The review process consists of two steps: document screening and interview.once a year (only in A term)
Urgent ProposalDesigned for users with an urgent and critical need to carry out non-proprietary experiments of great public significance.as needed
Proprietary General ProposalFor general research using synchrotron radiation, with no obligation to publish results and a simplified review process. A beamtime fee will be charged.Twice/six times a year
SPring-8 Measurement ServiceJASRI staff will perform measurements on behalf of users, and users simply send their samples to SPring-8.as needed
Proprietary Time-Designated Proposal (Beamtime use by shift-based or hour-based)The proposal can be applied at any time, and will be examined immediately after application submitted. The hour-based use proposal program, provides users in the early stages of their research with a convenient opportunity to use SPring-8 to confirm the usefulness or to examine measurement conditions. It can also be used to obtain additional data after the experiment.as needed

If you are considering submitting an urgent proposal, a time-designated proposal or a measurement service proposal, please contact the Beamline Scientist of the beamline of interest in advance for the availability of beamtime.

4. Project Leader Eligibility

[All types of proposals except for Budding Researchers Support Proposal]
Eligible individuals are those who can complete radiation worker registration before using synchrotron radiation at SPring-8 (not necessary for Measurement Service and PX-BL Automatic Data Collection) and be responsible for experiments carried out at SPring-8 as a leader. Please note that students are not eligible.

[Budding Researchers Support Proposal]
If you are a doctoral student (at the time of experiment) and wish to apply for beamtime (submit a proposal as a project leader), the budding researchers support proposal is your only choice (as a project team member, you can participate in any research projects). You may be a master’s or doctoral student at the time of proposal submission; but you must maintain your doctoral student status at the time of experiment. Otherwise, your proposal will be switched to a general proposal.

5. Beamlines Available to Users

All 26 SPring-8 public beamlines, CryoTEMs and 11 RIKEN beamlines are available to users. Click here for the current call for proposals for the list of beamlines available to users by type of proposal.

To check the specificarions of the beamlines, click here.

6. Beamtime Available to Users

 Maximum percentages of allocable beamtime (varies by type of proposals) are summarized in the following Table 2.

7. Fees (Tax Included)

Fees for public beamline use and user fees are summarized in the table 3 below.

7.1 Beamtime Fee

[Non-proprietary Research]

Type of feePer shift*
Beamtime feeUsers are exempt from paying the fee

Note: Users are required to publish their research in a refereed journal or equivalent (refereed proceedings, Doctoral thesis, etc.) and register the publications with the Publications Database within three years from the end of the research term for their research to be considered non-proprietary. For details, please click here.

[Proprietary Research]

Regular Use:

Type of feePer shift*
Beamtime fee480,000 yen

Time-Designated Use (including Measurement Service)

Type of feePer shift*
Beamtime fee + 50% premium720,000 yen

N.B. Beamtime Fees of CryoTEMs for Regular and Time-Designated Use are 80,000 yen/shift (8 hours) and 120,000 yen/shift (8 hours), respectively.

7.2 Program Fee for Non-Proprietary Grant-Aided Proposal

Intended for non-proprietary research projects that have been reviewed and approved for a large research grant, Non-Proprietary Grant-Aided Proposals are exempt from scientific review, and only the technical feasibility and the safety of the experiment, the degree of expectation to produce results, the necessity of SPring-8 as a research tool and ethics (e.g. exclusively for peaceful purposes) are reviewed and are available on the payment of program fee.

Type of feePer shift*
Program fee for non-proprietary grant-aided proposal131,000 yen

N.B. Program Fee of CryoTEMs for Non-Proprietary Grant-Aided Proposal is 22,000 yen/shift (8 hours).

7.3 User Fees

Beamline users, including CryoTEM users, are required to pay the fees to cover the costs of consumables actually used (user fees). User fees are composed of a fixed fee charged for wear and tear on the facility and a variable fee charged for liquid He.

Fixed Fee:

Type of feePer shift*
User fee (fixed)10,720 yen

Variable Fee:

  • A variable fee will be calculated and added in accordance with the amount of liquid helium actually used.

 Important: Although JASRI will support users by covering the user fees for certain types of proposals, there has been no financial support available for non-proprietary beamtime users from foreign organizations, including Budding Researchers Support Proposals, from 2019B term. Please refer to the call for proposals for your eligibility in receiving the support.
Click here. for more details about the user fees.

* 1 shift is 8 hours and for any proposals that are allocated by the hour, the fees are charged by the hour.

8. Application Procedures

8.1 User Registration (Not Required of Repeat Users)

To submit an application online, you need to have obtained a user account (user card ID number and password) by registering yourself. Please make sure that not only project leaders/applicants but also all project team members are registered as SPring-8 users. If you are not registered as a SPring-8 user, click here to register.

Note: Registration information is also used for contact. If your registration details change, please update your account from the UI site.
My Page (login required) > account information > Edit My Details & SPRUC Research Groups
*All users, including repeat users, are encouraged to register to SPring-8 Users Community (SPRUC) Research Group.

8.2 Application for Beamtime/Proposal Submission

Applicants (project leaders) are required to submit proposals online from the User Information website (UI site) through the web-based proposal submission system.

UI site: http://user.spring8.or.jp/en/

Log in to My Page with your user card ID number and password. Please note that only the project leaders can submit proposals.
It is possible that the web browser crashes while working on an application, so you are strongly encouraged to draft your application offline first using a MS Word template downloadable from here.
For step-by-step instructions on how to submit proposals, please click here.

9. Proposal Submission Deadlines

JASRI generally launches the call for proposals twice a year with the following deadlines. For specific dates, please refer to the call for proposals announced in around May (for B term) and November (for A term of the following year).

General Proposals, Budding Researchers Support Proposals (including Structural Biology)

TermApprox. Deadlines
A TermEarly December
B TermMid-June

(For Beamlines with sixannual calls) General Proposals, Budding Researchers Support Proposals

TermApprox. Deadlines
A Term, First periodEarly December
A Term, Second periodMid-March
A Term, Third periodMid-May
B Term, First periodMid-June
B Term, Second periodEarly September
B Term, Third periodEarly November

Non-Proprietary Grant-Aided Proposals

TermApprox. Deadlines
A TermAbout two weeks before the deadlines for general and other proposals.
B TermAbout two weeks before the deadlines for general and other proposals.

Long-Term Proposals

TermApprox. Deadlines
B Term onlyAbout 2 weeks before the deadlines for general and other proposals

Partner User Proposals

TermApprox. Deadlines
B Term onlyaround early May

Epoch-Making Initiatives Proposals

TermApprox. Deadlines
A Term onlyaround late October

Long Term Graduate Student Proposals

TermApprox. Deadlines
A TermAround late November
B TermAround late May

Urgent Proposals, Proprietary Time-Designated Proposals and Proprietary Measurement Service Proposals

TermApprox. Deadlines
All yearAs needed

10. Important Notes

  1. Radiation Worker Registration
    The Japanese Law (Ordinance on Prevention of Ionizing Radiation Hazards) requires SPring-8 users, excluding non-visiting users using Measurement Service/PX-BL Automatic Data Collection, to be registered as SPring-8 radiation workers. For details, click here.
  2. Safety Precaution
    For your safety, do not work alone. Please include your project team member in the online proposal application and make sure to work in a group of two or more.
  3. Reduction/Cancellation of Beamtime
    Please be advised that your scheduled beamtime may be reduced or cancelled in emergencies such as equipment failure and natural disaster. In such cases, users cannot claim compensation for the lost beamtime.
  4. General Insurance and Compensation
    Users shall take out appropriate personal injury and liability insurance before conducting experiments. If their project teams include students, they shall make sure that all the students take out appropriate personal injury and liability insurance. If users damage SPring-8 facilities, equipment or persons, either willfully or through gross negligence, JASRI may require them to meet all or part of the cost of repairs. JASRI shall take due account of all relevant circumstances in determining the degree of user liability.

11. Contact

ContactExt. No.E-mail address
SPring-8/SACLA Users Office/JASRI+81-791-58-0961sp8jasri@spring8.or.jp