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Approved Program Proposals (AP) Print


An Approved Program (AP) enables an investigator, or a group of investigators, to receive a set percentage of beam time to partner with ALS staff both to carry out an extended research program and to develop new tools and/or new research protocols that will be made available to the general user population.  APs are arranged for a period of up to three years.


AP Proposal Submission Deadlines

January 15
July 15


AP Proposal Submission Guidelines

Step 1: Contact the ALS

At least one month before the proposal deadline, email the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to provide advance notification that you will be submitting an AP application. You should include a one-page white paper that briefly describes the planned AP proposal, the ALS resources and beamlines that will be used, and how the AP will collaborate with ALS staff to achieve its goals. You may take this opportunity to suggest potential referees for your proposal.

Step 2: Submit a Proposal

Read the Proposal Writing Guidelines and Scoring Criteria.

Log in to ALSHub and follow the links to submit an AP. Please ensure that all publications resulting from previous work at the ALS are added to our Publications Database before completing the AP form, so that they will be appended to your proposal. You will be asked to attach a PDF file of the scientific case. The scientific case may not exceed 10 pages in length, written in 12-point font or larger, and it should include the following sections:

  • Title of the proposal
  • Abstract
  • Justification for AP status, including resources to be contributed, the plan for collaboration with ALS staff, and the amount of beam time requested on the ALS beamline(s)
  • Narrative description of the collaborative tool development and/or research program to be pursued and new capabilities to be developed and made available to the user community once they are commissioned
  • Previous scientific accomplishments, particularly in prior AP agreements
  • Synchrotron track record
  • Synchrotron-related publications


Review of AP proposals

Proposals will be sent out for external review and will also be evaluated by the Proposal Study Panels (PSP), which will provide its evaluation to the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). The SAC then forwards its recommendations to the ALS Division Director.

A letter will be sent to the PIs of successful proposals specifying the percentage of beam time and the period of the AP. The AP will terminate at the end of the prescribed period, but an additional period can be requested with another full AP proposal. Proposals that are not accepted as an AP may be considered as General User proposals and assigned a score by the PSP for consideration of beam-time allocation along with other General User proposals.


Criteria and Policy for Granting an Approved Program

The following criteria for granting an AP were established by the SAC:

  • The quality of the proposed research must be judged to be well above that of a typical General User proposal.
  • The importance of the resources, including personnel and equipment, that the AP will bring to achieve its goals.
  • The value of the proposed collaboration between the AP and ALS staff.

AP status is not an entitlement based solely on the historical success of a group, but rather is intended to create a direct partnership with the ALS staff, and to support its strategic mission of performing world-class science. As only a limited number of APs can be accommodated on a particular beamline, it is anticipated that relatively few proposals will be approved.

In general, members of an AP are not entitled to submit additional General User proposals for beam time on the beamline where they have AP time.


See information on other types of proposals.