Call for 2021A Proposals at SACLA


September 30, 2020

The Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI) is pleased to announce a call for 2021A proposals for research to be carried out at SACLA. Please refer to the following guidelines and instructions to apply.

Important Notices

[Updates]

  • Influence of the COVID-19 pandemic

    • Constraints associated with COVID-19 are expected in conducting users’ experiments to ensure the health and safety of visitors and SACLA staff. To reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection, users are requested to minimize the number of on-site participants for carrying out their experiments. For example, the use of online meeting tools is strongly recommended for discussion with collaborators off-site.
       
    • Please describe alternative plans in Term 18 (preparation status for proposed research) of the application form in case all or considerable number of the project team members are not able to visit SACLA for the beamtime. This information is only for beamtime scheduling.
       
    • Some of the unapproved proposals may be additionally approved to fulfill cancelled beamtimes. If the proposal is a candidate for the additional approval, it will be noticed in the Notification of Review Results.
  • Co-applications with the SACLA Feasibility Study Program
    SACLA Feasibility Study Program will start from 2021A to provide an opportunity to experience the use of SACLA on a trial basis. Please refer to the following link for the details.
    http://sacla.xfel.jp/?page_id=14108&lang=en
     
    The SACLA Research Proposals and the Feasibility Study Program can be applied simultaneously. If you apply both with the same contents, you do not need to submit the application form of the Feasibility Study Program. Instead, please put a check mark to the corresponding item in Term 5 (Co-Application with Feasibility Study Proposals) of the application form of the Research Proposals. In this case, the submitted proposal is reviewed as the Feasibility Study Programs only when your Research Proposal is rejected.
     

[Reminders]

  • High-power nanosecond laser system
    Osaka University had deployed a high-power nanosecond laser system (HERMES) at SACLA. An experimental system is available at BL3 EH5 for advanced pump-and-probe experiments with the XFEL and the high-power nanosecond laser.
    Applicants/project leaders who apply for the above experimental system are required to consent to the following matters before submitting their proposals.
    (1) Any proposal using the above experimental system is also regarded as a proposal for Collaborative Research of Institute of Laser Engineering (ILE), Osaka University.
    (2) JASRI provides information given in a proposal to ILE if the proposal is approved.
    (3) Applicants/project leaders shall state in presentations and publications that the results were obtained by using both the SACLA XFEL and the high-power nanosecond laser system of ILE, Osaka University.
    Applicants/project leaders should contact the XFEL Utilization Division (mail to: sacla-bl.jasri@spring8.or.jp) in advance of the proposal submission for the information of the experimental system and its capabilities.
     
  • SACLA High Performance Computer (HPC)
    Most of the SACLA users need the SACLA HPC to analyze experimental data taken with standard detectors of SACLA. Please specify the name and the email address of the person whom the facility staff should contact about the SACLA HPC, in the “Facility instruments to be used” section of the proposal. The contact person can be either the applicant or a project team member of the proposal.
     
  • Self-seeded XFEL
    A reflection self-seeding system is available at BL3. A bandwidth of self-seeded XFEL can be much narrower than that of SASE XFEL, while an average pulse energy is comparable. A typical setup time for seeded XFEL is 1 shift, which will be included in a user’s beamtime. Please also note that it takes more time to change wavelength of seeded XFEL than in the standard SASE case. Those who plan to use self-seeded XFEL should contact the XFEL Utilization Division (sacla-bl.jasri@spring8.or.jp) in advance of the proposal submission to obtain the detailed information of the operation conditions.
     
  • Feasibility-Check Beamtime (FCBT)
    We may accept a request of a feasibility-check beamtime (FCBT, max 0.5 shifts) for sample screening before the main experiment. Please note that the feasibility-check can be performed under the following conditions during FCBT for the time being:
    – Beamline & experimental hutch: BL2 EH3
    – Experimental system: DAPHNIS (J. Synchrotron Rad. 22, 532-537, 2015)
    – Standard photon energy: 7 keV or 10 keV (pink beam)
    – X-ray spot size: 1-2 um (with the 1-um focusing system at EH3).
    Those who require the feasibility-check beamtime should put a check mark to the corresponding item in Term 5 (Co-Application with Feasibility Study Proposals) of the application form of the SACLA Research Proposals.
     
  • New instruments
    The following instruments are available for user experiments. Each instrument will be operated under limited conditions for the time being. Those who plan to use the instruments must contact the XFEL Utilization Division (sacla-bl.jasri@spring8.or.jp) in advance of the proposal submission to obtain the detailed information of the operation conditions.

    • Nano-beam coherent diffraction imaging (CDI) system (MAXIC-S)
      The MAXIC-S has been developed in collaboration with the Prof. Yoshinori Nishino’s group of Hokkaido University as a CDI experimental system using 100-nm focused XFEL beam. This system is available at BL2 EH3/4b.
    • Split-and-Delay Optics (SDO)
      An SDO system has been developed in collaboration with the Prof. Kazuto Yamauchi’s group of Osaka University. The SDO system produces double monochromatic XFEL pulses with a time separation up to 100 ps. This system is installed in the optics hutch of BL3 to be available at all the experimental hutches of BL3.
    • High-Power Femtosecond Laser System at BL2 EH6
      A high-power femtosecond laser system with the maximum power of 500 TW will be operated under limited conditions for the time being. Approved beamtime might be allocated on a “single-shift-in-a-day” basis (described below) depending on the laser operation situation even if it is not requested in the proposal.
  • Beamtime on a Single-shift-in-a-day Basis at BL2
    We start a trial of beamtime allocation on a single-shift-a-day basis (one shift is 12 hours from 10 am – 10 pm or 10 pm – 10 am) only when there are appropriate scientific/technical reasons. Those who require such beamtime allocation should describe the reasons in the “Details of requested shifts” section.
    Please note that the day-shift or night-shift cannot be specified in the proposal. Another group may conduct experiment in the other shift on the same day. In such case, machine tuning time may be necessary in every shift. The request may not be fulfilled to maximize the effective use of SACLA beamtime opportunity.

1.Types of Proposals

Call for 2021A Proposals at SACLA

  • General Proposals (Non-Proprietary Research)*1
  • General Proposals (Proprietary Research)*2

*1 For non-proprietary research:

  • Project leaders are obliged to publish their results (e.g., in refereed journals).
  • Please see the following link for details on the Complementary Use of SPring-8, J-PARC MLF or HPCI including the K computer / the supercomputer Fugaku (public computational resource of High Performance Computing Infrastructure including the K computer / the supercomputer Fugaku; the same shall apply hereinafter): http://sacla.xfel.jp/?p=14103&lang=en

*2 For proprietary research:

  • Project leaders are not required to publish their research results but are required to pay fees for beamtime.
  • Project leaders, for the time being, should be affiliated with a corporate enterprise located and registered in Japan.

Once approved for beamtime, proposals are valid for only 2021A.

For Proprietary Time-Designated Proposals that have been called for throughout the year, please see the following link for details: http://sacla.xfel.jp/?page_id=10937&lang=en.

2.Applicant Eligibility

1) Non-Proprietary General Proposals
There are few restrictions on the eligibility of applicants for non-proprietary research:

  • Students are ineligible (however, students can participate as project team members in any research project).
  • If you are affiliated with an institution outside Japan, please have at least one local contact person that is affiliated with a Japanese institution participate in your experiment. If you cannot find one, please contact the Users Office.

2) Proprietary General Proposals
Applicants/project leaders, for the time being, should be affiliated with a corporate enterprise located and registered in Japan.

3. Beamlines and Equipment Available to Users

The following beamlines are available: BL3(XFEL1), BL2(XFEL2), and BL1(SXFEL). For details, please see the Beamline Technical Information for SACLA HP at the following link: http://xfel.riken.jp/eng/users/index.html.

4. Research Period

The research period extends from March 2021 through July 2021* (excluding scheduled maintenance periods).
During this period, the facility will operate around the clock with user beamtime allocated for successful proposals.
For SACLA beamlines, the beamtime for non-proprietary research is basically allocated by 12-hour shifts (the FCBT may be allocated for up to six-hours). Beamtime for proprietary research is allocated in two-hour units.
*Subject to change, due to budgetary constraints.

5. Fees

  1. Beamtime Fees
    [Non-proprietary Research] Users are exempt from paying beamtime fees.
    [Proprietary Research] 1,098,000 yen/2 hours (consumption tax included)
  2. User Fees*
    All users are required to pay user fees to cover the costs of beamline consumables used. User fees include a fixed fee for wear and tear on the facility and a Usage-Based Fee.
    ◇Fixed Fee
    [Non-proprietary Research] 16,080 yen/shift (12 hours)
    [Proprietary Research] 2,680 yen/2 hours
    ◇Usage-Based Fee (liquid helium)**:
    Calculated based on the amount used: 4,455 yen/liter
Type of Proposal Research Type Beamtime Fee* User Fees*
Fixed Fee Usage-Based Fee (liquid helium)**
General Proposal Non-Proprietary Users exempt from this fee. 16,080 yen/shift (12 hours) 4,455 yen/liter
Proprietary 1,098,000 yen/2 hours 2,680 yen/2 hours

* Consumption tax included.
** Please understand that there is a possibility that we cannot provide stable supply of Helium due to the recent situation regarding global helium supply, and please note that the price is subject to change.

6. Proposal Application and Required Procedures

Applicants/project leaders are required to submit proposals via the SACLA User Information website (SACLA UI site).

  1. User Registration
    To submit an application, user accounts (i.e., user ID and password) for SPring-8/SACLA are required for all participants of the experiments. For registration, please visit the website: http://sacla.xfel.jp/?p=28&lang=en. Before starting the application process, project leaders must ensure that all project team members have completed user registrations.
  2. Application Method
    Applicants/project leaders are required to submit proposals online via the SACLA UI site using the web-based proposal submission system.
    Please see the following link for details on submitting proposals online: http://sacla.xfel.jp/?p=2139&lang=en.
  3. To avoid losing your work in the event of a browser crash or unexpected logout, you are strongly encouraged to first create a draft of your application offline using the MS Word templates provided.

    Proposal Application Templates
      General Proposal (Non-Proprietary)
      General Proposal (Proprietary)

     

  4. Confirmation E-mail
    Upon successful submission, you will receive a confirmation email with an attached copy of the Agreement (Rules for Users) in PDF format. If you do not receive the confirmation email, please log in to the system to confirm that your proposal was submitted successfully.
  5. Other
    • [Lifetime of Proposal]
      Approved proposals are valid only for the forthcoming user operation research term (2021A). Make sure that the proposed research can be completed within that period; beamtime cannot be approved for comprehensive research that cannot be finished within the timeframe of a single research term.
    • [Project Leader]
      The project leader is the person who will assume overall responsibility throughout the duration of the experiments at SACLA.

7. Online Proposal Submission Deadline

Friday October 30, 2020, 10:00 am Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)

To avoid last minute technical problems and possible network congestion, you are strongly encouraged to complete and submit your application well in advance of the deadline.
If you have trouble completing/submitting your application online, please contact the SPring-8/SACLA Users Office prior to the deadline.
If you are applying for proprietary research, you must submit a “Proprietary Use Agreement for Public Beamline*” and a “Proprietary Use Pledge for SACLA Public Beamline.”
Please download the agreements from the UI site, have them signed, and send them to the SACLA Users Office by post no later than Friday, November 6, 2020.
* Signed by the person who is responsible for the payment.

8. Review Criteria and Notification of Review Results

1. Review Criteria

  1. Non-proprietary research
    Non-proprietary research should be fully peer-reviewed in terms of scientific and technical relevance, the necessity of using SACLA as a research tool, ethics, technical feasibility, and the safety of the experiment on the basis of criteria 1-5.
     
  2. Proprietary research
    Proprietary research should be reviewed in terms of ethics, technical feasibility, and the safety of the experiment on the basis of criteria 3–5.

    [SACLA Review Criteria for Research Proposals]

    Research proposals of a wide range of scientific disciplines shall be fully peer-reviewed and then selected under the criteria outlined below.
    Proposal selection should be based on the Science and Technology Basic Plan and other related national policies while balancing international cooperation and competitiveness. Furthermore, proposals contributing to training researchers should also be noted.

    1. Scientific and technical relevance (One of the following criteria must be fulfilled.):
      1.1 The proposed research is of cutting-edge scientific and technological value (i.e., innovative and pioneering) or expected to contribute to opening up new possibilities for SACLA and must meet either the following criteria:
      a) Expected to make a significant scientific contribution.
      b) Expected to contribute to increasing industrial use.
      1.2 The proposed research has social significance or will contribute to the social economy.
    2. Necessity of using SACLA as a research tool.
    3. Conformity with the Science and Technology Basic Law and social norms: the implementation of the research proposal is appropriate in light of the Law and socially accepted ideas e.g., the implementation of the proposed research and the use of research results are for exclusively peaceful purposes.
    4. Technical feasibility.
    5. Safety of the experiment.

    Proprietary proposals shall be reviewed under the criteria 3 through 5 above.

2. Notification of Review Results
Applicants will be notified of the review results (i.e., the outcome of your application) via email and User Information My Page in mid-January 2021.

3. Additional approval for fulfilling canceled beamtimes
The candidates for the additional approval will be selected from the unapproved proposals that meet the safety and technical review criteria. The total shifts for the candidates are up to about half the total shifts of unapproved proposals at each beamline. A proposal to fulfill a canceled beamtime is selected from the candidates based on the following criteria.
(1) Overall score in the review by the SACLA Proposal Review Committee (SACLA PRC)
(2) Feasibility of the experiments at the canceled beamtime, e.g.;
  – Availability of collaborators who can visit SACLA.
  – Availability of the instruments for the experiments.
(3) Whether the experiment can be conducted on the canceled schedule
(4) Diversity of user experiments (e.g., basically, groups that already have beamtimes in 2021A will not be additionally approved.)

9. Experiment Summary Report (Non-Proprietary Research Only)

To ensure transparency of the non-proprietary research program, users are required to submit an Experiment Summary Report* within 60 days following their experiment.

*Experiment Summary Report
Length: up to one A4 page
Language: English or Japanese
Required Information: purpose, experimental method, experimental data, samples, and summary of the results.

Two weeks following the report submission deadline for the last experiment of the term (60 days after the end of each half-year research term + two weeks), submitted experiment summary reports will be incorporated into the experiment summary report database with search capabilities and made available on the UI site. Please see the following link for details: http://sacla.xfel.jp/?p=105&lang=en#ch01.

10. Dissemination of Research Results (Non-Proprietary Research Only)

Research results obtained through the use of SACLA must be disseminated within three years from the end of the half-year research term in at least one of the following three formats:

  1. Refereed journal papers, including refereed proceedings and doctoral thesis (Proposal No. must be specified).
    [in the event that proposal research did not result in publication]
  2. SPring-8/SACLA Research Report
  3. Technical journal articles

Please see the following link for details: http://sacla.xfel.jp/?p=107&lang=en.
As stated above, in case of using the combination system of XFEL and high-power nanosecond laser system of Osaka University, users shall state in the publications that the results were obtained by using both SACLA and the high-power nanosecond laser system of Osaka University.
If you are affiliated with a corporate enterprise located and registered in Japan, you may request to switch the research type of your approved general proposal from “non-proprietary” to “proprietary” within 60 days after the completion of the experiment or the end of the fiscal year (the end of March), whichever comes first.

11. Important Notes

  1. Radiation Worker Registration
    Based on Japanese law (i.e., the Ordinance on Prevention of Ionizing Radiation Hazards), all SACLA users are required to register as SPring-8/SACLA radiation workers. Please see the following link for details: http://sacla.xfel.jp/?page_id=287&lang=en#ch05-1.
  2. Safety Precautions
    For your safety, do not work alone. Please work in a group of two or more.
  3. Cancellation of Beamtime
    Please be advised that your scheduled beamtime may be cancelled in emergencies such as equipment failure, natural disaster, pandemic, etc. 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 users damage SPring-8/SACLA 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.

12. Contact/Consultation

  • General Inquiries
    SPring-8/SACLA Users Office
    Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (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
    email: sacla.jasri@spring8.or.jp
  • Consultation for Technical Issues
    XFEL Utilization Division
    Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI)
    1-1-1 Kouto, Sayo-cho, Sayo-gun
    Hyogo 679-5198 Japan
    email: sacla-bl.jasri@spring8.or.jp

13. Links

  1. Basic Policies regarding Proposal Selection for Public Beamlines
  2. Information Management Principles for Usage Promotion Services at the Specific Synchrotron Radiation Facilities

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