Frequently Asked Questions

  • When Are the Call Deadlines?

    Diamond has two main Calls for Proposals each year.  The deadline for these calls is 1700hrs on the first Wednesday in April and October.

  • When do the Peer Review Panels Meet?

    Diamond holds the Peer Review Panel meetings during the fourth week in May and third week in November.

  • What Access Routes Are Available?

    Diamond accepts Standard, BAG and Long Term proposals during each call for proposals. In addition most Diamond instruments offer Rapid Access. These routes all require that the user intends to publish the results obtained. 

    Diamond also offers Proprietary Access for users who do not wish to publish the results they obtain.

  • How do I Submit a Proposal?

    All proposals are submitted through UAS.

    Users are encouraged to contact the relevant instrument scientists prior to submission of their proposal.

    UAS will guide you throught the steps of preparing a proposal. Firstly a wizard tool helps to connect your proposal to any other Diamond proposals as relevant and then to select the appropriate access route. The proposal is then created with several sections for you to complete:

    • Science Overview: please provide the details of the experiment that is proposed, including the completion of a science case document.
    • Investigators: please include the invesitgators likely to come to Diamond. All listed individuals will be able to see all data collected within the proposal. Please note: the Principal Investigaor must have an ORCID iD and cannot be a PhD student or Post Doctoral Scientist.
    • Funding: please provide information abou the grant funding which supports your reseach, as well as indicating whether you have industrial support or interest in your research and whether you have applied to other facilities for similar experiments.
    • Experimental Risk Assessment (ERA): please indicate the samepls and equipment you will bring to Diamond and the methods you plan to use.

    On submission of a proposal, the PI will be required to agree to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy at Diamond on behalf of all the Investigators.


  • Am I Eligible to Submit a Proposal?

    The Principal Investigator on a Diamond proposal must have an ORCID iD recorded in UAS. Additionally PhD students, Support Scientists and Post Doctoral Researchers are not able to be the Principal Investigator on a proposal. The only exception to this is Diamond Post Doctoral Researchers.

  • Can I make an Application from an EU Institute?

    Diamond welcomes users from institutes in the UK, EU and throughout the world. Please note that there are differences in the financial support that Diamond can provide depending where you are travelling from. For details of the support available please see our policy on eligibility in the first instance.


    • Any publications that arise from research supported by iNEXT must include the following in the acknowledgements:

    “This work has been supported by iNEXT, grant number 653706, funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Commission”


    • Diamond benefits from funding from CalipsoPLUS. Any publications that arise from research funded by CalipsoPLUS must include the following in the acknowledgements:

    "The research leading to this result has been supported by the project CALIPSOplus under the Grant Agreement 730872 from the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation HORIZON 2020."

  • Can I Submit a Joint Proposal for Diamond and ISIS?

    Diamond encourages science which exploits all of the facilities available on the Harwell Campus. Recognising that ISIS and Diamond are the two facilities with the largest overlapping user communities, we wish to make a simple access procedure which allows proposals to be reviewed once by a single review panel where both facilities are required for particular science.

    Proposals which require access to Diamond and ISIS should be sent to the facility and review panel which has the most appropriate expertise to judge the quality of the proposal. The choice of facility should be made considering the following factors:

    1. Is most of the access required on one instrument? Is so, then you should send the proposal to the facility where most access is needed.
    2. Is the demand or competition for one of the instruments considerably greater than all others? If this is the case then the proposal should be sent to the panel where the competition is highest.

    If after consideration of these questions there is uncertainty about which facility is most appropriate then please contact one of the following:


    Before submitting a multiple facility proposal please consult with Diamond and ISIS staff so that the best choice of review panel is made. The need for guaranteed access to both facilities must be justified explicitly within the science case. When a proposal is submitted please email;Philip and Andy to notify us. We will look after the rest of the process!

  • How Much Instrument Time is Available?

    Each year the Diamond machine provides operational beam for five 'runs'. These are separated by five shutdowns to enable machine maintenance and upgrades.

    During runs Diamond will offer beamtime 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. Tuesdays are dedicated to machine studies and maintenance. Electron microscopes aim to operate for 230 days per year, broadly correlating with the Diamond runs.

    Each Diamond instrument aims to offer 80% of the available time to Users, with 10% held back for instrumment commissioning and 10% for Diamond staff research.

    Industrial access will make up a maximum of 10% of the available time at Diamond, limited to a maximum of 30% of the time on any one instrument.

  • How are Proposals Reviewed?

    All proposals submitted to Diamond for non-proprietary access are peer-reviewed in a two-step process.


    Technical Feasibility: The proposal is assesed by the relevant Principal Beamline Scientist or Senior Microscope Scientist to determine whether the proposed science can be carried out on the requested instrument.

    Scientific Merit: Where the proposal is a Standard, Long Term or BAG proposal an external peer review panel meet to assess and rank the proposals by scientific merit. The peer review panels make their recommendations to the Directors who approve the final decision. Where the proposal is for Rapid Access the relevant Principal Beamline Scientist or Senior Microscope Scientist will review the scientific merit. For all commissioning calls or calls for friendly users, the relevant Diamond Director, instrument scientist and an external advisor review the proposals.

  • When Will I Find Out the Result?

    Diamond aim to publish the results of a call for proposals within 12 weeks of the call deadline. Results are sent by email to the Principal Investigator and any Alternate Contacts.