What are the principal steps to submit a proposal?

Before starting the proposal, please be aware that the scientist submitting the proposal (main proposer) must hold a PhD and each co-proposer needs to have created an account.
After you have logged in, the proposal submission is divided in three stages:

  1. Filling in the Beamtime Application Form. This is all web-based and you need to supply information in separate tabs: General Information / Societal Theme / Beamlines Request / Proposers / Laboratory Support Facility / Sample Environment / Sample Description / Experience and Publications.
  2. Filling in the Experiment Method Form. You reach the web page with this form via the link in the right hand column of the "Proposals in Progress" table. Your proposal will appear in the table after you have successfully saved the Beamline Application Form. The Experiment Method form is available as a Word template and all sections must be completed: Aims / Method / Results expected / References. Tables and figures can be added if required. The completed form should then be uploaded in PDF format.
  3. The Sample Information and Safety Sheet can also be reached from the right hand column of the “Proposals in progress” table. For each sample, you will need to enter the following: Description of the sample / Handling and Equipment / Experiment Data.
How do I know if the proposal was successfully submitted?

You must VALIDATE the proposal while working in the tab “Proposals in progress”. The list of proposals to be validated appears under the section titled “These proposals have not been completed and/or submitted”. Validation of a proposal includes a check for completeness and assignment of a tracking number. You will receive confirmation and the number by email. If you have successfully validated your proposal but have not received the confirmation, please contact us at smis@embl-hamburg.de

What are “Proposals with Final Number”?
After you have validated the proposal and prior to the evaluation process, the beamline responsible will check the technical feasibility and finalise the proposal. At this stage, the proposal is allocated a final number (MX NN or SAXS NN). Please note that finalising the proposals is performed by the EMBL staff – no action from you is required.
Can I use my existing EMBL Hamburg username, password, proposal numbers and texts for submitting proposals?
If you are a current SMIS user (i.e. you have submitted a proposal to EMBL after 2012), you may use the existing credentials, numbers and use previous proposals as templates (duplicate) in the “Proposals with Final Number/Previous proposals” section. For the pre-2012 proposals filed in the old system (not SMIS) this is unfortunately not possible. Please register as a new user.
Is it possible to group different project proposals (possibly from different groups and for different methods) in a 'BAG'?

We now offer the possibility to submit a BAG (Block Allocation Group) proposal for beam time.  BAG proposals allow groups of users (eg. local, regional or national research consortia) to submit their projects in one proposal and share the resulting beam time. Beam time awarded to BAG proposals will normally be allocated in regular blocks across the year in order to optimise and accelerate access to beam time.

Investigators are strongly encouraged to file joint BAG proposals with other colleagues. Moreover, individual groups with three or more projects should consider submitting them as a BAG proposal.

To submit a BAG proposal, please complete the online beam time application form on the EMBL user portal. Before submission, you will need to complete the BAG Description, with a list of the projects which will be worked on by each Principle Investigator within the BAG, and the sample sheets, listing the samples related to the different projects.

My 'Draft Proposal' has disappeared. How can I recover it?

You can restore your draft version by clicking on a proposal type (MX or SAXS) as if you were initiating a new proposal. A pop-up window will then advise you that a draft version is stored and by clicking "Restore Draft" button, the form will be re-filled with your draft data.

Is there funding available for accessing EMBL beamlines in Hamburg?

EMBL Hamburg is a partner in the iNEXT-Discovery project, funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union. To apply for funding, please submit a proposal on the iNEXT-Discovery website. For further details (costs covered, local restrictions, etc.), please visit iNEXT-Discovery Funding.

We did not manage to submit a proposal before the last deadline. Are proposals accepted during the year?

Rolling proposals are accepted throughout the year (the evaluation usually takes about two to three months). The acceptance and scheduling of beamtime will depend on the score and on the availability of the user slots.

In SAXS, is it possible to measure both regular samples with the robot and also the samples using the online FPLC system?

Yes, this is possible. Switching between the robotic and the FPLC operation takes about ten minutes.

How does the "mail-in" service for SAXS work?

Due to overbooking of the beamline, faster access may be achieved via the mail-in option.

For SAXS proposals, you may select the mail-in option for your project. After the beamtime for mail-in access has been allocated, the samples and matching buffers should be mailed to EMBL Hamburg with appropriate instructions for the sample handling and measurements.

Mail-in projects may be service-only (you receive the data) or collaborative projects with one of our staff (you receive the data, analysis, interpretation and modelling).

Are mail-in SAXS FPLC/HPLC experiments possible?

The mail-in SAXS option is mostly for standard batch measurements with fully-prepared samples which require minimum handling. However, a limited number of constructs can also be sent to P12 for in-line SEC/IEC-SAXS. The proposed FPLC/HPLC-SAXS experiments must be discussed in detail with the responsible scientist and sufficient quantities of the sample and elution buffer(s) must be provided. Both service-only (you receive the SAXS data and limited spectroscopic information) and collaborative projects (you receive the data, analysis, interpretation and modelling) are possible. However, if additional biophysical characterization is required (SEC/IE-SAXS combined with MALLS/DLS, etc) or you elect additional access to the SPC infrastructures (mass-spec, CD, FTIR, etc), the project will be considered collaborative.