If you are interested in applying for beamtime at the ALS, the first step is to determine which ALS beamlines are suitable for your experiment. To do this, you can review the beamline techniques and parameters in the ALS Beamline Directory and contact the appropriate beamline scientist, or you can contact the User Services Group Leader.
Once you’ve identified an appropriate beamline, the next step is to submit a proposal. Beamline proposals are peer reviewed, and beamtime is scheduled for successful proposals. To learn more about the different types of ALS proposals, scoring criteria, and proposal writing guidelines, see the information below.
When you are ready to submit your proposal, log in to the ALSHub user portal. (You will need to create an account if you are a new user.)
Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation and a shelter-in-place order for the Bay Area, the ALS is closed to most users until further notice. Please refer to the User Guide home page for more information.
Users doing research related to the novel coronavirus can submit RAPIDD proposals to request beamtime. Please see the RAPIDD proposal page for details.
Types of Proposals
General User Proposals (GUPs)
Submitting a General User Proposal is the most common way for users to access a beamline. The process accommodates users who want to establish an ongoing program of work at the ALS or who want to carry out a single experiment requiring more beamtime than is available though the RAPIDD system. Proposals may be submitted every six months and can remain active for up to two years.
January–June operating cycle: 1st Wednesday in September
July–December operating cycle: 1st Wednesday in March
Proposals are accepted until 11:59 pm, Pacific Time Zone on the Wednesdays above.
Rapid Access Proposals, Industry, and Director’s Discretion (RAPIDD)
The RAPIDD proposal process accommodates users requiring limited but rapid access to ALS beamtime. It includes rapid access for general science and structural biology users, industry users, and those wishing to be considered for director’s discretionary beamtime. Proposals may be submitted at any time.
Approved Program (AP) Proposals
An Approved Program (AP) enables an investigator or a group of investigators to receive an assured percentage of beamtime for a period of several years to carry out an extended program of research. AP users partner with ALS staff on their research programs and in the development of 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.
Proposal deadlines: January 15 and July 15
Participating Research Teams
Participating Research Teams are groups of researchers from one or more institutions that construct and operate beamlines and have primary responsibility for experiment endstation equipment.
Proposal Writing Guidelines and Scoring Criteria
Prospective users may review guidance on how to prepare proposals and how they are scored here.
Joint Access to the Molecular Foundry
Users can request joint access to facilities at the Molecular Foundry, a nanoscience user facility at Berkeley Lab, to support their ALS activities. Available resources include sample preparation and complementary characterization techniques. Users should review these guidelines before submitting a proposal.