Users from European organisations continue to be welcome to submit proposals to Diamond. The same funding policy and procedure for expenses remains in place for any visit to Diamond as was in place before Brexit.
Block Allocation Groups or BAGs are a mode of access whereby a group of users are awarded Diamond access which spans a 2 year period of four six-month allocation periods (APs), but can continue for longer.
BAGs have proved to be a remarkably effective access route for groups of users who require regular access to Diamond instruments and wherever consortia of users can work together. A common situation would be where complete and useful datasets can be collected in minutes, but where facilities have to award whole shifts (8 hours) or days. Administration of BAGs takes place in the Diamond User Administration System (UAS).
BAGs can enable measurements to be made in a more timely and efficient manner. Awarding a BAG allows users to organise themselves and set their own priorities. Successful BAGs grow out of strong collaborations, sometimes between a number of different organisations.
Diamond is keen for BAGs to be formed wherever it can be shown to be appropriate. Indeed, where a consortium of users has a consistent track record of successful exploitation of Diamond, a BAG may be viewed as the default access mechanism.
BAG proposals should be considered the normal mode of access for MX and eBIC proposals.
All BAG proposals should be submitted online in UAS.
For a guide on how to review the BAG stages see here.
BAG Roles and Responsibilities
Each BAG has one lead Principal Investigator (PI). This is the person who has overall responsibility for the BAG. The PI will be an experienced senior scientist who directs research projects.
Ultimately the PI is responsible for:
The role of AC is reserved to experienced acdemic representatives from a collaborating institution or to a scientist/post-doc who has a delegated role to administer the BAG. A BAG can have a number of Alternate Contacts (ACs) who have permissions in UAS to carry out all the administrative tasks on behalf of a PI. They are included in all communication sent by the UAS to the BAG along with the PI.
An AC may also be a supporting PI (not a defined role in the UAS) on the BAG, who will be required to contribute to reporting results from the BAG’s experiments.
Anyone who is part of the proposal but is not the PI or an AC will be registered as a Co-Investigator (Co-I). Since a BAG can rapidly get very large the list of Co-Is should be limited to only academic scientists and post-doctoral scientists directly involved in the BAG.
A PI can add a person to the proposal and assign them the 'ERA admin' role. The enables the person to edit and submit ERA items (Samples, Equipment, and Experimental Methods) and view the proposal, but they cannot edit other proposal information or access scientific data (unless granted access by being added to specific sessions).
External collaborators and students can participate in the experimental sessions at Diamond as part of the BAG.
As we are still working off the issues around BAG progression we provide the BAG submission guidance here.
Please consult this document and align the stages of the BAG with your BAG progress in UAS - this will show you what to submit for AP33.
During a BAG reports are submitted for every allocation period proposal stage, every 6 months, and at 18 months a report of submitted for work done for the that period (continuing BAGs). The Peer Review Panels go through large numbers of proposals during their review and reports need to be succinct and provide concise information on what was achieved during the experimental period being reported on.
Participation in other Proposals
It is not usual for a member of a BAG to be on another proposal. Where the nature of the measurements is such that the two proposals are readily distinguishable this is permitted. If a member of a BAG submits a proposal for a measurement type that is already covered by the BAG a clear justification is required to explain why this work cannot be carried out under the BAG proposal.
Accepting New BAG Members
It is expected that, if an institution has regular access to a specific measurement type through a BAG, that BAG will welcome new members from their institute or institutions in close geographical regions.
Possible changes to BAG constitution
If a BAG is becoming too large, please propose a sensible division (i.e. one BAG per faculty) to Diamond and we will assist in forming two BAGs where one used to exist.
If a number of BAGs undertake similar research and are of a certain size and/or constitution the Peer Review Panel/Diamond may consider and advise on whether a merger is necessary.
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