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2023A Operation of Proposals in the Field of Structural Biology

Contents

  1. Details
  2. Notes on the Preparation of Application Form
  3. Proposal Review
  4. Notification of Review Results
  5. Others
  6. Contact

1. Details

1.1 Operation method

The following operation methods will be applied to General Proposals, Graduate Student Proposals, and Proprietary Proposals.

  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 samples should describe their activity for sample preparation on the application form, although the possession of such a sample is not required at the time of application.
  4. A questionnaire on the beamtime allocation (the number of shifts, date of use, desired beamline), termed “beamtime request survey”, will be completed by project leaders 5 times a year (around March, May, August, October, December, if applicable). The beamtime of Non-Proprietary research proposals will be allocated 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 shift is 1 shift for BL26B1/B2, 1.5 shifts for BL32XU (0.25 shift for BL32XU with automatic data collection without visit), 3 shifts for BL38B1, 0.25 shift for BL41XU and BL45XU and 3 shifts for EM01CT/EM02CT.
  6. Uses of EM01CT or EM02CT are rergarded as ancillary experiments of research proposals that are also conducted at synchrotron radiation beamlies and the operation method is different from other PX-BLs. Please refer here for details.

1.2 Beamlines Available to Users

The following six Structural Biology Beamlines and two CryoTEMs, collectively abbreviated as PX-BLs, are available to users.

  • [Three undulator beamlines]
    • BL41XU Macromolecular Crytallography I (Public)
    • BL45XU Macromolecular Crytallography II (Public)
    • BL32XU RIKEN Targeted Proteins
  • [Three bending-magnet beamlines]
    • BL26B1 RIKEN Structural Genomics I
    • BL26B2 RIKEN Structural Genomics II
    • BL38B1 RIKEN Structural Biology I (BioSAXS)
  • [Cryo-transmission electron microscopy (CryoTEM)]
    • EM01CT: CRYO ARM 300 (K3)
    • EM02CT: CRYO ARM 200 (K2)

For the percentage of beamtime available to users for each of beamlines, refer to “Table 2. Beamlines Available for 2023A Beamtime by Type of Proposal” in the “Call for SPring-8 Research Proposals – Overview –”.

1.3 Research Period

The beamtime will be allocated for a year from 2023A to 2023B [April 2023– February 2024]. The beamtime schedule is arranged upon the questionnaire on the date of use to be carried out 5 times a year (around March, May, August, October, and December).

For Non-Proprietary Priority Proposals with the use of PX-BLs (excluding One-year proposals), the research period will be half a year. This time, the beamtime is allocated during 2023A [April to August 2023]. 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 with the use of PX-BLs, the beamtime will be allocated in 2023A (the date of use will be determined before the start of the research period).

1.4 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 5 times a year (around March, May, August, October and December). 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 2023 June to August 2023 2023B Operation Schedule: TBD

JASRI will send an email to the project leaders in each questionnaire completion period, so please 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. Therefore, please understand that some proposals may not be given any shifts.

For the beamtime of Proprietary research, the maximum allocated beamtime is set for each beamline. For further details, please confirm “5. Beamtime Available to Users: 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]
Beamtime schedule for Automatic Data Collection at BL45XU will not be strictly specified but measurements are allocated to a period of a few days. For details, click below.
http://bioxtal.spring8.or.jp/en/users/Auto/PXBL_Auto_measurement_en.pdf

1.5 Research Proposals with Use of PX-BLs

  1. General Proposals and Graduate Student Proposals
    • [SB field]
      The operation method will apply for proposals in the field of Structural Biology. For details, refer to the guidelines on this website. If you have any questions about the operation, contact “6. (1) Information Desk for Structural Biology“.
    • [Fields other than SB]
      This operation method is not applicable.
  2. Proprietary Proposals
    • [“PX-BL” is selected]
      The operation method will apply for proposals in the field of Structural Biology. For details, refer to the guidelines on this website. If you have any questions about the operation, contact “6. (1) Information Desk for Structural Biology“.
    • [Individual BL is selected]
      This operation method is not applicable.
  3. Non-Proprietary Priority Proposals
    • [Individual BL is selected]
      The allocated shifts and the date of use will be determined by the Beamtime Allocation Meeting.
      • 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 samples 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, Long-Term Graduate Student Proposals
    • [SB field]
      The allocated shifts and the date of use will be determined by the Beamtime Allocation Meeting.
      • 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 samples are not obtained during the research term and the allocated shifts remain unused because of the lack of measurable samples, 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 SB]
      This operation method is not applicable.

2. 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 2023A SPring-8 Research Proposals – Overview –“.

<<Note 1>>

Select “Structural Biology” as the Group of the Review Field in the Basic Information of the application form.

User Information Website (UI site):
Top Page > My Page Login > Create and Edit Proposal Application Form > New

  •  Step 1 Select a proposal type among “General Proposal”, “Graduate Student Proposal”, and “Proprietary Proposal”.
  •  Step 2 For “General Proposal” and “Graduate Student Proposal,” select “Structural Biology” as the Group of the Review Field in the Basic Information.
  •  Step 3 For All Proposals, select “PX-BL” as Beamline in the Basic Information.

*If you are a doctoral student (at the time experiment), select “Graduate Student Proposal”.

<<Note 2>>

The information required in the application form for proposals in the field of Structural Biology is different from that for proposals in other fields. Please download a MS Word template, Non-Proprietary General Proposal, Graduate Student Proposal (Structural Biology) or Proprietary Proposal (Strucutural Biology), 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)

Select “Structural Biology” as the Group of the Review Field in the Basic Information.

[Choice of Beamline]

Please select “PX-BL“. 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. Make sure to refer to BL38B1 and CryoTEMs clearly if you plan to use them.

[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.

[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.

3. Proposal Review

3.1 Non-proprietary Research

The scientific and technological value, the degree of expectation to produce results, as well as the scientific feasibility, safety of the experiment, and ethics are comprehensively reviewed, as is the case with General Proposals and Graduate Student Proposals in other fields, and priority order will be determined.

3.2 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. The allocated shifts and the beamline to be used will be determined together with the date of use.

4. Notification of Review Results

Review results will be available on “My Page” of the UI site in early February 2023. 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 “1.4. Determination of Date of Use“.

5. Others

  1. Fees
    Instructions related to the fees are the same as those for General Proposals and Graduate Student Proposals in other fields, including CryoTEMs. 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 Graduate Student Proposals in other fields. Please note: although 2 different proposal numbers will be formally given for each research terms (2023A and 2023B) to proposals approved in the field of Structural Biology (SB), 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. PX-BL Automatic Data Collection
    The automatic data collection using ZOO system developed by RIKEN and JASRI is available. Users only need to send samples to SPring-8 to obtain data (no visit or Radiation Worker Registration required). For details, please refer to this page.

6. Contact

(1) Information Desk for Structural Biology

ContactExt. No.E-mail address
Center for Synchrotron Radiation Research
Structural Biology Division, JASRI
+81-(0)791-58-0833stbio@spring8.or.jp

(2) Information Desk for Procedure of Proposal Application

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