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ALS Scientific Advisory Committee Charter Print

This document was revised and approved December 18, 2008.


The ALS Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) is advisory to the Berkeley Lab Director through the ALS Director. The SAC serves two primary functions:

It acts as a "board of directors" to advise the Laboratory on current and future ALS operations, allocation of facility resources, strategic planning, budget development, and other major issues; and

It reviews major proposals to establish participating research teams (PRTs) and Approved Programs (APs) and monitors their progress and performance.

As a "board of directors," the SAC has the responsibility to provide recommendations on all scientific, technical and policy issues that bear on the full and effective utilization of the ALS as a state-of-the-art national synchrotron radiation facility and on future developments required to maintain the scientific and technical productivity of the facility at the highest possible level.

The range of inquiry of the SAC specifically includes consideration of what mix of beamlines, their ancillary laboratories and equipment, and their activities represents an appropriate utilization of the ALS as a national facility. In particular, the SAC will have the responsibility to:

Review proposals for establishment of new beamlines. Criteria to be considered in the review of new beamline proposals include: uniqueness and quality of the proposed science and/or technology program, benefit to others in the scientific and technological communities, impact on other science and technology at the ALS, fiscal resources and personnel available for development of the proposed beamline. The SAC will be assisted in this review by the ALS Staff;

Review at three-year intervals the performance of PRTs once beamlines are operating. Criteria to be considered in the review of PRTs performance include the quality of the science and/or technology that has resulted from the research program, benefit to others in the scientific and technological communities in both the public and private sectors, impact on other scientific and technological fields, and the balance of representation among the major scientific and technological disciplines served by the ALS; and

Participate in cross-cutting reviews of a single discipline or group of disciplines. These reviews are to monitor the quality of the science, and the management of ALS operated beamlines on a three-year rotating schedule.

SAC advice to the Berkeley Lab Director through the ALS Director will be in the form of written reports containing recommendations on matters discussed by the committee. After receipt of the report containing SAC recommendations, the ALS Director will forward the report through the appropriate management chain to the Berkeley Lab Director (or designee), who has final authority for acceptance or rejection of the recommendations.


The SAC members are appointed by the Berkeley Lab Director. The ALS Director will recommend nominees to the Berkeley Lab Director after broad consultation with Berkeley Lab management and with the synchrotron radiation community through the ALS Users' Executive Committee. Selection criteria for membership include:

The members will be recognized for their scientific or technical accomplishments and for their management of scientific and/or industrial organizations;

The membership will be balanced to cover the major scientific and technological areas served by the ALS.

Membership on the SAC will be for a three-year term, renewable for no more than one term. To ensure continuity, terms will be staggered with, typically, three seats, including renewals, being filled each year, as appropriate.

The Chair of the ALS Proposal Study Panel and the Chair of the ALS Users’ Executive Committee shall serve as ex-officio members.

The chair of the SAC will be appointed by the ALS Director from among the sitting members. The ALS Scientific Program Head will be an ex-officio member of the SAC and will serve as its Executive Secretary.


A. Meetings

The SAC will meet as often as necessary but no less than twice a year. The deliberations of the SAC will be confidential to the extent legally possible. The ALS Director and/or designated ALS staff members may participate in the SAC deliberations except when the SAC determines a need for a private session.


B. Conflict of Interest during SAC Deliberations

A member of the SAC will not take part in deliberations or votes when:

  1. His/her name appears in a proposal under consideration;
  2. Another proposal is being considered in direct competition with one in which the member is a collaborator; and
  3. His/her participation would create or appear to create a conflict of interest.

*Formerly known as Program Advisory Committee (PAC)
(rev. 1 - February 15, 1995)

Scientific Advisory Committee