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RAPIDD Gives ALS Users a Faster Path to Beam Time Print
Monday, 28 October 2013 08:31

ALS users are invited to check out our web pages detailing our new RAPIDD proposal process. This combined process for Rapid Access Proposals, Industry, and Director's Discretion beam time accommodates users who require limited but rapid access to the ALS. Proposals may be submitted at any time.

RAPIDD complements the existing six-month General User Proposal process, which remains the access mechanism of choice for users who require significant beam time for an extended program of research, or for those wanting to perform complex experiments involving setup or reorganization of equipment at a beamline.

The ALS structural biology community has been using RAPIDD for a year, with 160 proposals receiving beam time in that period. As of July 2013, RAPIDD access was extended to beamlines 7.3.3 (SAXS/WAXS), 8.3.2 (microtomography) and 11.3.1 (small molecule crystallography) and to users from industrial groups.

Turnaround for rapid access requests, from proposal submission to beam time, is expected to be just a few weeks. Proposals are peer-reviewed by at least two reviewers. Proposals are added to a waiting list for the relevant beamline. Proposals are scheduled for beam time by beamline staff according to score and proposal submission date. Users should be prepared for beam time scheduling at short notice. Please note that allocation of beam time will depend on the number of proposals submitted, and so rapid access cannot be guaranteed. Currently, 5 to 10 percent of beam time is reserved for rapid access on relevant beamlines, and this will be monitored and adjusted to ensure a balance between the needs of users applying through RAPIDD and the six-month process.

A very limited amount of beam time is reserved on some beamlines to accommodate urgent requests, exciting new ideas, or special circumstances. This time is designated as "Director Discretionary time" and is allocated by the ALS Division Director for Science. Potential users who want to request Director’s Discretionary beam time are now expected to submit their request using RAPIDD, and advised to contact the appropriate beamline scientist or the ALS division deputy for science, Steve Kevan, directly. It is expected that the same user group will not submit repeated Director’s Discretionary proposals.

Development of RAPIDD is an ongoing process and ALS is actively seeking user feedback. The aim is to provide a flexible mechanism for users to formally request access to ALS, ensuring simple and urgent experiments are scheduled in a timely manner. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it