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.
EU funding for proposals
We are active members of iNEXT for EU Users (see guidance on what acknowledgements needs to be included in publications here). We have additional advice for members of the EU Structural Biology community here.
All proposals to Diamond need to be submitted through the UAS. The process of preparing a proposal is split in to a number of sections each of which is outlined below.
Under COVID-19 conditions please be aware that conditions and working protocols affect what can be done. Important information on the conditions at the beamlines can be found here.
If any support is required in using the UAS interface, please contact the User Office.
Create a proposal
The first step to prepare a proposal is to select 'Create New Proposal' on the UAS home page. This will launch the 'Beamtime Request Wizard'.
The first step of the wizard is to consider whether the proposal is related to any existing proposals. If this is your first Diamond proposal, or it is for a completely unique experiment, select 'No'. If you have previously submitted a similar experiment or this work follows naturally from another proposals select 'Yes'.
If you select yes, you will be provided with a list of all the proposals on which you have been a named investigator to enable you to select the proposal this work is linked to.
There are several advantages to linking related work, not least that the new proposal will be automatically populated with the content from the old proposal, potentially reducing the amount of data entry required to complete the new proposal.
If you are resubmitting a proposal please make this explicit. When you come to create a new proposal you need to select the tick-box 'This is for Continuation or re-submission'. The Peer Review Panel will be looking for any descriptions of how you addressed the comments and recommendations they will have made to your original proposal.
You will then be asked to select the access route for your proposal. Normally this will be:
See the separate descriptions for each, depending on your choice. Other access routes are available - if you require one of these you will normally know which - for example if you are responding to a call for commissioning proposals you would choose Commissioning.
After you select an access route, click 'Finish' and the proposal will be made and give a five digit identifier.
This is the section which will include the background science and proposed experiment.
The proposal needs a concise title (255 characters maximum) and an abstract (900 characters maximum). The abstract should be aimed at those with a scientific background butwho is not necessarily an expert in the specific field of the proposal.
Diamond is required to record whether the proposal has an application in the nuclear industry.
Every proposal requires a science case. Word Document templates are provided with the relevant section headings and some prompts for what should be included in each section. Please contact the user office if there is any doubt over which template to use.
Finally, each proposal is required to declare between one and three science areas that apply to the research. This is used for reporting the balance of work carried out at Diamond.
All investigators on a proposal are required to be registered in UAS. This will ease setting up experiments should the proposal be successful. Each proposal must have one Principal Investigator. Other investigators can be classified as Alternate Contacts or Co-Investigators.
An Alternate Contact will receive all communications from Diamond about a proposal and has the same permissions as the Principal Investigator to submit the paperwork required by Diamond.
Should the proposal be accepted, all the Investigators named on the proposal will be able to access data collected within that proposal.
This is the section to select the required instrument(s) and number of shifts needed for the proposal.
Selecting an Instrument
Instruments can be selected by clicking the 'Select Instruments' button. The instruments listed will be all the instruments available in the access route selected. Once the instrument is selected the number of shifts must be entered. Diamond operates a 3 shift day so normally the requested number of shifts is a multiple of 3.
In addition a set of instrument questions are activated. These questions provide the Principal Beamline Scientist or Microscope Scientists with the more technical information about how the instrument will be used. Should the proposal be successful, this is also used to aid with efficient scheduling. Always speak with the relevant Diamond scientists if anything is unclear.
Multiple Instrument Access
When requesting more than one instrument it is necessary to provide requested shifts for each and a justification for multiple instrument access. Please only request more than one instrument where there is a strong case for linking them, otherwise submit multiple proposals. It is possible to request B16 (only) as an alternative beamline; simply select both B16 AND the other instrument and state clearly that B16 is an alternative beamline within your justification.
Multiple Facility Access
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:
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.
In this area of the UAS it is necessary to provide details of UK research grants that will be supporting the science covered by the proposal.
Diamond report the proportion of science that is carried out with the involvement of industrial support. This support has been split into two categories:
In the proposal it is necessary to state any other facilities to which this proposal - or similar proposals - have been submitted.
The ERA - or Experimental Risk Assessment - as several parts and enables the Diamond Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) group to assess the safety of the proposed work.
The samples tab is to declare the samples that will come to Diamond and any hazards associated with them.
The equipment tab is to declare any equipment from the User lab that will be used at Diamond.
The experimental methods tab is to declare the experimental processes that will be carried out at Diamond. This would include methods required to prepare the sample and how the instrument will be used.
If the proposal is accepted, the proposal ERA will be validated and given a risk rating by the SHE group. It is advisable to include everything you might consider bringing on the ERA since it will then be validated and graded ready for the session at Diamond.
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