What are the principal steps to submit a proposal?

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.
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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 MX beamtime.  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.

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.
How can I submit a continuation of my BAG proposal?

If you wish to continue using your BAG proposal for beamtime in the following year, you will need to log on to the EMBL user portal to resubmit your proposal and then submit a progress report via your account.

  • To resubmit your proposal, you should select the New Proposal tab in the Proposals section. Mark your proposal as a continuation of your previous one by entering the former proposal number (eg. MX-123) in the box provided.
  • To submit a BAG progress report, you will first need to complete the beamtime application form. After doing so, return to the Proposals in progress screen and click on the paperclip icon next to the text Progress Report required which will take you to the report interface. You will need to save AND then submit the report in order to be able to validate your proposal.

If your proposal is approved to continue for another year, you will be required to submit a full two-year report via your account at the end of that period.

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?
A support scheme is available for European research groups via iNEXT (http://www.inext-eu.org/).
Our project was already positively evaluated by iNEXT, how do we get time at the EMBL beamlines?

You still need to register your proposal via the SMIS system for EMBL accounting. To import your iNEXT project details into SMIS, initiate a new proposal and confirm that your proposal has been approved by iNEXT. See "iNEXT Proposal Submission Guidelines" for further information.

Our project has not been evaluated by iNEXT yet. Can we still apply for time at the EMBL beamlines?

If you plan on applying for funding from iNEXT or your proposal is currently awaiting evaluation, you should submit your proposal to EMBL Hamburg and inform the user office once it has been approved by iNEXT. If you wish, you can use the text field in the "Experience" tab (in the Beamline Application Form) to inform the user office in advance that your proposal has been submitted to iNEXT.

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.