Information for new users of the ALS infrared beamlines
How do I become a user?
Briefly, users request beamtime at the Advanced Light Source by submitting proposals that undergo a peer-review process. This process happens twice a year with deadlines typically in January and July. After the proposals are received, they are reviewed by ALS personnel for technical feasibility and safety, sent out for external review, and finally scored by the Proposal Study Panel (PSP). The scores are then used to allocate beamtime. The ALS does not charge for beam time if the user's research is nonproprietary (results are published in open literature).
Proposal review process
When are proposals due?
General users are granted beamtime at the ALS through a peer-review proposal process, which occurs twice a year. Typically, proposals are due in mid-January for beamtime awarded in July - December and in the beginning of September for beamtime awarded in January - June of the following year. The next proposal deadline is listed on the right, and more information can be obtained on the ALS website.
Is there a fee to use the ALS?
The ALS does not charge users for beamtime if their research is non-proprietary. For research to be considered non-proprietary, the research results must be published in the open literature. All users are responsible for the day-to-day costs of research (e.g., supplies, phone calls, and technical support) and must send a copy of all publications resulting from data obtained at the ALS.Proprietary research can also be performed at the ALS, but users will be charged a fee based on cost recovery for ALS usage. In return, the user may choose to take title to any inventions made during the proprietary research program and treat as proprietary all technical data generated during the program.
What samples can I bring to the ALS?
In order to provide a safe working environment for all users at the ALS, user samples must be reviewed and authorized before the experiment can proceed. Particular scrutiny is placed on Biological, Radioactive, Hazardous, and Electrical Materials, and Lasers.
All users working on the ALS experiment floor (Building 6) MUST complete documentation describing their experiment and identifying the hazards and controls. The documentation must be reviewed and authorized before the experiment can proceed. The primary document required by the ALS is the Experiment Safety Sheet (ESS).
If you have completed a General User Proposal, your ESS will be on file. If you received beam time by any other means, please follow the instructions below to complete an ESS.
The steps for authorization of your experiment are described below.
Prior to Your Arrival at the ALS
If you did not submit a General User Proposal, you must submit an ESS one month prior to arrival at the ALS.
2. Biological, Radioactive, Hazardous, and Electrical Materials, and Lasers
If your experiment involves the use of any of the above materials—no matter how small the quantities are or how innocuous the sample may be—additional authorization may be required. Please submit your ESS early and clearly identify your materials. Our staff will assess the hazards and contact you about any necessary supplementary documentation.
4. Experiment Coordinator will contact you
When will I be notified if I have been awarded beamtime?
Responses to proposals are typically given approximately three months after the submission date.
All proposals are reviewed by the Proposal Study Panel and scored on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the highest score. Beamtime is allocated in order of the relative rankings of other proposals for a given beamline. If there is more requested beamtime than available, a cutoff score is assigned for which no beamtime is allocated.
ALS User Proposals