Apply for Beamtime

How To Apply For Beamtime

Time on the Soft X-ray Microscope beamline is allocated based on a proposal submitted by an investigator to the ALS. To apply for and obtain time on the X-ray Microscope Beam Line 2.1 follow the multi-step process described below:

  1. Contact the NCXT to discuss your proposed experiment.
    • NCXT staff will evaluate the feasibility of, and compliance with the LBNL biosafety regulations, of the proposed work.
  2. Register as an ALS Experimental User and Affiliate of LBNL.
    • To perform experiment at the Advanced Light Source affiliation and registration within Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is required, see . Every person participating in the experiment needs to be registered as a user in the ALS Hub, see . Each User coming on site should verify before each experiment that they have valid access to LBNL and the ALS. Users planning to ship samples and work remotely are also required to register prior to mailing any specimens.
      • It may take several weeks to process a User application for beam time, so plan in advance. If your institution does not have a User Agreement with LBNL they will be required to apply for this first: see . For more information on how to register on the ALS Hub as a User or Affiliate, please contact Annie Drouin ( ) and visit .
  3. Submit a Proposal.
    • The main mechanism for applying for beamtime is the ALS General User Proposal (GUP): see and . For allocation of beamtime and proposal submission follow the instruction on the ALS website: see .
      • If you have already an approved GUP and you wish to allocate your beamtime, contact the NCXT ( at the beginning of the beamtime.
      • For exploratory projects, Investigators can apply for an ALS RAPIDD proposal (Rapid Access Proposals, Industry, and Director’s Discretion see ). It is noteworthy that this type of proposal is only valid for one run of beamtime and does not get renewed.
      • Users wishing to come back on site to repeat an experiment will have to enter the new dates in their profile on the ALS Hub . Once their profile has been updated, they can proceed with scheduling the experiment.
      • For proposals to the NCXT, you must choose the soft X-ray tomography beamline 2.1.
  4. Complete the Experiment Safety Assessment Form (ESAF) and Biohazard documentation.
    • After your experiment has been approved and scheduled, you will be required to complete the biosafety form for your samples before proceeding with shipment/bringing samples on site: see . The ESAF  must be submitted before the beginning of the experiment, otherwise the experiment will not be approved.
    • The ESAF can be submitted directly on the ALS Hub User’s profile by hitting “Submit ESAF”. For more information on how to fill out an ESAF, please contact Jian-Hua Chen ( ) or visit the website: .
        • All specimens requiring the use of a BSL-1 or BSL-2 biosafety cabinet will also need to be registered in a Work, Planning and Control (WPC) document  and approved by the EH&S department. For more information on how to comply with the biosafety regulations for LBNL, please contact Valentina Loconte ( )
  5. Shipments
    • To arrange a shipment of material or specimens, please contact your local NCXT contact (beamline scientist) and follow the instructions in the “shipping” document.
  6. Complete Training and Orientation
    • Before arriving on site complete the required training in the ALS Hub profile and the WPC document. Visit the following webpage for more information:
  7. Arriving at ALS
    • Before proceeding with the experiment, you will need to apply for a personal identification number and badge that will enable access to the NCXT and ALS facilities. Visit the webpage “Arriving on site” for detailed instructions.