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Macromolecular Crystallography

Access mechanisms to obtain beamtime on CLS’ macromolecular crystallography beamlines include:

Peer Reviewed Access

User time obtained through this mechanism is via competitive peer review two times per year emphasizing the excellence of science where there is intent to publish scientific results.  Call for Proposal Deadlines.

Proposals which are approved for safety, technical feasibility, and ethics (if applicable), and receive a score between 1 and 4, will be considered active and remain active for 2 years (four cycles).  Active proposals are not re-evaluated.  

  • Active proposals may request shifts as required anytime throughout the two year timeframe.  Options for shift requests include:
    • Mail-in requests – data collection performed by CLS beamline staff on behalf of the research team.
      • Up to three shifts per week (24 hours) are available for “Mail-In” requests. 
      • Requests are handled on a first-come, first-serve basis, with higher-scored proposals taking priority.
    • Shift requests – data collection performed by the research team coming to CLS.
      • must be received a minimum of two weeks prior to the request for scheduled beamtime and no greater than six months in advance.

Proposal Review and Ratings: All new proposals are reviewed for safety, technical feasibility, scientific merit and ethics (if required). Click here for details about the peer review evaluation criteria, rating scale, Peer Review Committee and notification of results. Each proposal is reviewed in depth and scored by at least two committee members. The final grade is assigned by the PRC taking into consideration the average of all reviewers’ scores and discussion of the proposal during the PRC teleconference meeting.

Peer Review Committee (PRC)

  • Lisa Keefe, IMCA-CAT,  APS
  • Gil Privé, University of Toronto, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
  • Zygmunt Derewenda, University of Virginia

Non-Peer Reviewed Access – Special Requests

Special Requests provide the opportunity to request beamtime if applicants have missed the General User deadline. This access mechanism allows feasibility studies that are not proprietary in nature. These studies may be eligible for a limited amount of discretionary beam time depending on the availability of the requested beamline and the type of work. The Science Director approves all special requests prior to the experiment being performed. Please discuss your research activity with Pawel Grochulski or Michel Fodje prior to submitting an application. 

Special Requests are accepted throughout the year.  All proposals must be approved prior to performing the experiment.

How to submit a CMCF proposal

1. Contact Pawel Grochulski or Michel Fodje to discuss your research.

2. Create and submit your proposal.

  • Logon to
  • If you have not previously registered you will be required to register.
  • Select the “My Proposals” tab
  • In the box in the top left, select "Macromolecular Crystallography ONLY" and begin filling in the form. Note that you can create a proposal anytime, but you may only submit a General User proposal while the Call is open.
  • If you begin creating a proposal and save it, you can return to it by going to the "My Proposals" tab and clicking "View Proposals NOW"

3. Submit a beamtime request.

  • This option is only available once your proposal has been reviewed and approved for safety, technical feasibility, merit (if applicable) and ethics (if applicable).
  • Under the "My Proposals" tab, generate a list of your proposals by clicking "View Proposals NOW". Select "Shift Request" or "Mail-In" in the "Manage" column of the appropriate proposal.

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