Next call for proposals
The AP31 call for proposals is now closed. Any standard proposal added to UAS now will be considered for AP32 (October 2022-March 2023).
Working conditions at Diamond are continuously subject to review and potential change. It is foreseen that with easing of pandemic conditions in the UK, Diamond may be able to open to additional numbers of users in the future, and so for this next call we are assuming we will be back to normal operations.
For submissions of proposals please see here: Apply for beamtime.
User Operations under COVID-19 conditions
Increasing user numbers accessing Diamond on site
Diamond has resumed our 6-day running week. User visits are now allowed, but we still recommend experiments to be undertaken remotely or by mail-in when practical.
The maximum number of users per visit remains at 4 subject to agreement with the PBS as some beamlines are still limited to 2 users. There are now no limits on the number of users in the synchrotron building at any one time. However, individual room occupancy limits (including any Diamond staff) remain in place, as do mask wearing protocols.
Where available, data rooms may be used to accommodate social distancing and occupancy limit requirements.
See below for descriptions of the working levels at Diamond.
Please ensure your visit is submitted at least 2 weeks prior to your arrival date to ensure that your site entry is organised.
Non-UK users will need to follow the Government guidance and be aware that you may have to quarantine which may make your visit impractical.
Testing for COVID-19 is possible at Diamond, see here for further information.
It is still possible to run remotely with samples connected with work associated with combating COVID-19 either through an already approved BAG or through the rapid access submission.
Diamond is accepting rapid proposals for COVID-19 related research – see below for details.
Beamline working conditions
Diamond is currently operating to keep staff and users safe.
The working levels we have defined are different from the UK government levels - they are defined in this way:
Level 3 (experiments run by staff on behalf of users. Limited staff presence to run experiments. No users on site. Strict social distancing and working protocols.)
From June 2021 - now at Level 2: This means: Limited user presence on site, maximum 2 users at the beamline at any time. Limited staff presence. Strict social distancing and working protocols. Possibly beam available into the weekend. Staff will not be expected to be on site in the evenings or at the weekend.
Level 1: Experiments which require operation at Level 1 (normal user operation) are unlikely to be scheduled, and Principal Investigators are encouraged to re-apply with a simplified experiment when the next call opens.
When a new call for proposals is made, experiments will be assessed for their feasibility at the expected operating Level.
We are running the schedule of sessions over a normal 6-day week from June 2021 with some users being able to visit Diamond to conduct their experiments.
Please respect these points when writing your proposal:
- Consider whether your experiment is feasible if no users can come to Diamond (Level 3).
- We may be at Level 2, with only two users per experiment permitted on site at any one time, but shift working will be considered, with a total of 4 users working in teams of 2 people.
- With limited user numbers per experiment, 24 hour operation may not be possible, due to the risk of user and staff fatigue.
- Social distancing and COVID-19 working protocols increase the length of time required to perform tasks.
- Ensure that you will have samples ready for scheduling at short notice. It will not be possible to accommodate user preferences for "good" and "bad" dates.
- Beamline staff cannot take responsibility for setting up or operating sample environments owned by users.
- Complicated, ambitious experimental equipment setups are not encouraged until we are confident that Level 1, normal user operation is possible.
- As always, please discuss the feasibility of your proposal with beamline staff before submission.
- Submit your proposals to UAS
The protocols Diamond works to can be found here.
ARRANGEMENTS FOR USERS from the EU and world-wide
Diamond continues to welcome all users to submit proposals and participate in experiments here. Users are welcome to come to Diamond for their research from anywhere in the world.
Funding for visits will continue as it did pre-Brexit, with users from EU organisations potentially being eligible for funding as stated in the Diamond expenses procedure, found here.
Visa guidance for Users
If you are a non-UK user you may need a visa to visit the UK.
If you are from the EU, the current rules state that you are allowed to travel to the UK for 6 months or less without needing a visa so you can continue to visit Diamond under the same arrangements as before Brexit.
A letter is available should you wish to support your visit, please contact the User Office for more information.
If you are non-UK/EU, you may need a visa to visit the UK – please check here to see if you will need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa.
A Standard Visitor visa allows you to undertake certain business activities such as attending a meeting or conference or to gather information for your employment overseas. You cannot do paid or unpaid work for Diamond (including work placements and internships). A Standard Visitor visa allows you to stay for a maximum of 6 months per visit. For further information please see the official guidance here.
Diamond also supports research submitted as part of EU grants. For more information on support for European access to research in the life sciences, please see here.
MX proposals - responsive mode
For MX related proposals please follow the link here to the mode of access to MX beamlines pointing to our “responsive mode”
Rapid Access Call for Proposals: SARS-CoV-2
Diamond would like to ensure that it is doing everything possible to support researchers in their efforts to discover more about the COVID-19 virus and bring us closer to an effective vaccine or treatment.
With this in mind, we are offering priority rapid access for groups who require instrument time for projects directly related to SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins. Based on the number and nature of requests for priority rapid access, Diamond will make every effort to satisfy research priorities.
Submit a proposal for COVID-19 related research using the rapid access proposal route.
Please use this rapid access form for proposals relating to the life sciences, such as eBIC, B21 and MX.
Or contact the team here: COVID19ACCESS@diamond.ac.uk
UK national information relating to COVID-19
Diamond is aligning its approach to this outbreak with PHE Advice (Public Health England’s advisory website) and UK Gov. Travel Advice - These pages are updated regularly and you are advised to check the latest UK government statements through these sites.
If you believe you are at increased risk for any other reason, please see: https://111.nhs.uk/) to discuss personal risk and then adhere to their advice.
Diamond seeks to foster a culture of working that is reflected in five values (Respect, Excellence, Collaboration, Integrity and Innovation). These values help everyone who comes here to work or use Diamond's facilities to have a common framework of understanding how we relate to each other and what we aspire to.
This benefits everyone:
• Everyone is valued, trusted and respected regardless of their gender, location, age, ethnicity, beliefs, role, grade, religion or other personal attributes - treated with respect
• Diamond will be a great place to work
• Clarity on how to behave well and what you can expect from others
• Identify and plan development to meet the challenges of your current role and future roles