Call for Proposals

Twice a year, the CLS opens a Call for Proposals during which time proposals are accepted for peer-reviewed access to beamtime in the upcoming cycle. Each cycle is typically 6 months long. Successful proposals become active projects at the CLS and remain active for 2 years. During an open Call for Proposals, beamtime requests (BTRs) for active projects can also be submitted for consideration in the upcoming cycle.

How to Submit a Proposal How to Submit a BTR

The Canadian Light Source (CLS) conducts a Call for Proposals twice per year, accepting proposals for peer-reviewed access to beamtime in the upcoming cycle.
Note that due to the extended outage for our linear accelerator upgrade, only one Call for Proposals will be held in 2024.

Cycle Scheduling Period Call Open Call Close PRC Meeting (Week of) Results Announced (Week of)
40 Jan-June, 2025 July 24, 2024 Aug 21, 2024 Oct 21, 2024 Nov 4, 2024
39 Jan-Dec, 2024 July 26, 2023 Aug 23, 2023 Oct 23, 2023 Nov 13, 2023
38 July-Dec, 2023 Jan 25, 2023 Feb 22, 2023 April 24, 2023 May 8, 2023
37 Jan-June, 2023 July 27, 2022 Aug 24, 2022 Oct 24, 2022 Nov 7, 2022

Reviewer Assignments

After the Call for Proposals has closed, submissions are grouped based on the proposed techniques and facilities, and follow the appropriate review track. Each review track has a dedicated Peer Review Committee (PRC) which includes members from national and international representation knowledgeable in synchrotron-based science that perform research, manage research, or use research. The CLS Science Director appoints the Chair and members with recommendations from CLS external advisory bodies (Scientific Advisory Committee, Beamline Advisory Committee and Users' Executive Committee) and suggestions from the community at large.

The Director of Science and Science Managers meet to assign each proposal for General User access to an appropriate member of the PRC. The PRC members are then responsible to review their assigned proposals and to assign each proposal to at least two additional external reviewers based on matching criteria including subject area(s), technique(s), and spectral range.

Peer Review Committee Members:

Dr. Alessandra Gianoncelli | Elettra Synchrotron Light Source
Adam Gillespie | University of Guelph

Adam Gillespie is a faculty member at the University of Guelph's School of Environmental Sciences.  He is a soil chemist with a research focus on soil organic matter characterization, mapping and modelling. He has a strong interest in using innovative research and instrumentation to link land management with soil health and sustainable land use.

Andi Barbour | Brookhaven National Laboratory


Angelo Malachias | Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG)


Anne Bonin | Paul Scherrer Institute


Bas Vriens | Queen's University


Chongyin Yang | Dalhousie University


Chisu Kim | Hydro Quebec


Daniel Olive | Los Alamos National Laboratory

Daniel Olive is a scientist and the Surface Science Team Leader in the Nuclear Materials Science (MST-16) Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. in physics from Illinois Institute of Technology in 2012, where his research focused on the use of synchrotron radiation, primarily extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS), to characterize materials of interest to nuclear energy. This led to a postdoctoral position in the Heavy Elements Nuclear and Radiochemistry Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory studying fundamental and environmental actinide chemistry using EXAFS, followed by a Seaborg Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship at Los Alamos. Daniel’s current research is concerned with measuring and modeling radiation damage in materials, especially as it relates to self-irradiation damage in plutonium and the effects of plutonium aging.

Grant Bunker | Illinois Institute of Technology

Grant B. Bunker is Professor and Chair of Physics at Illinois Institute of Technology.  In 1977 he started working on metalloprotein XAFS in the lab of Edward A. Stern at the University of Washington. He is perhaps best known for basic work on disordered systems and multiple scattering in XANES. Grant is the younger brother of Bruce A. Bunker, who also has worked very extensively in the XAFS field with similar pedigree.  In the 90’s Grant was the founding director of the BioCAT facility at the Advanced Photon Source, subsequent to an initiative by Richard Korszun;  Tom Irving has served as director of BioCAT in recent decades.  Grant later worked with Ph.D. students (Dimakis, Khelashvili, Tannazi, Karanfil) in the late 90’s and early 2000s on DFT calculations of multiple scattering DWFs, automated/direct methods for XAFS data analysis e.g. genetic algorithms and regularization, robust determination of chemical speciation and x-ray propagation in complex media, and development of bent crystal Laue analyzers for fluorescence detection. He is president of Quercus X-ray Technologies, LLC, which makes BCLAs when possible.  GB is the author of “Introduction to XAFS (A Practical Guide to X-ray Absorption Fine Structure Spectroscopy)” 1st edition, Cambridge (2010), and is co-organizer with Carlo Segre of the mostly annual APS/IIT XAFS summer schools over the last decade.

Jeff Terry | Illinois Institute of Technology

Jeff Terry is a professor of physics at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where his main research focus is on energy systems. His group works to develop new ways of dealing with radioactive waste; understand radiation damage mechanisms in materials; and synthesize novel materials for energy storage and conversion. He also simulates the economic costs of building new energy systems, including small modular nuclear reactors. Prior to joining the faculty at Illinois Tech, he was a staff scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. There, he worked on the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), and was a member of the team that sent the first waste shipment to WIPP. He is a former scientific director of the Advanced Test Reactor National Scientific User Facility. He is currently an editor of the journal, Applied Surface Science. Terry received his doctorate in chemical physics from Stanford University in 1997 after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1990.

Lars Ehm | Stony Brook University


Ming Yi | Rice University


Naoto Yagi | SPring-8/JASRI


Peter Kopittke | University of Queensland

Peter Kopittke is Associate Professor at The University of Queensland. As a Soil Scientist, Peter is actively involved in the management and conservation of soil; one of the basic elements which sustain life. Whilst soil takes hundreds or thousands of years to form, it can be destroyed in a matter of years if not managed correctly. Whilst Peter's research spans the areas of agricultural production, water chemistry, and waste disposal, it currently focuses on (i) improving plant nutrition through efficient and environmentally friendly use of fertilisers in soils, (ii) the toxicity of trace metals to plants, and (iii) overcoming nutritional constraints through the use of foliar fertilisers.

Dr. Raul de Oliveira Freitas | Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory

Staff scientist at the Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory (LNLS), Dr. Raul Freitas is mainly involved in the fields of Synchrotron Infrared Nanospectroscopy, near-field optics and interferometry, IR beamlines optical design and Nano-optics of quantum materials. Since 2012, he is in charge of the IR spectroscopy research group at LNLS and coordinator of the IMBUIA beamline at Sirius. The researcher is interested in studies related to nanoscale vibrational properties of materials in general. Prior to enter the infrared nanospectroscopy area, he worked in the field of synchrotron X-ray diffraction applied to the study of nanostructured optoelectronic materials, which was the subject of his PhD jointly achieved at the University of Sao Paulo (USP) and at University of Guelph (UoG/Canada) and lately the subject of his Post-Doc in a collaborative project between LNLS and Hewlett Packard Labs (USA). Still as a Post-Doc, worked briefly as a visitor research in the SSL-ESRF (France). Before the academic life, the researcher worked for almost 10 years as a designer in the engineering department of an international company related to the fuels distribution business.

Shathi Akhter | Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada / Government of Canada

Dr. Akhter is a Research Scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Indian Head, SK. She is leading an agro-ecosystems health research program with a focus on non-crop areas in agricultural landscapes. In the past, diversified farming systems were the norm in Canadian agriculture; however, with increased farm size, higher inputs, and an aim to maximize crop profitability, agro-ecosystems have been simplified, resulting in highly modified landscapes compared with 50 years ago. Dr. Akhter investigates the impact of modern agricultural systems and practices on biodiversity, habitat ecology, wetlands, water quality, soil quality, and soil health. She is interested in developing farm-level management practices that support crop yield & quality and, biodiversity & other ecosystem services.
In addition, Dr. Akhter has a strong interest in the application of synchrotron techniques in agriculture and environmental research.

Sylvain Bohic | Inserm

Sylvain Bohic is a senior researcher at the French National Institute of Health & Medical Research. He is also scientific collaborator at the European synchrotron (ESRF) for nanochemical imaging development in biology and cellular analysis. He has > 15 years of experience in synchrotron elemental imaging at the cell level, he did some of pioneer work on single-cell imaging using synchrotron X-ray microprobe. His research interests and expertise are on cryo-cellular cryo-preparation and mesoscale metal imaging in biological tissues, and, in cells using synchrotron-based methods and micro/ nano spectromicroscopy techniques for quantitative elemental imaging and speciation, with a particular focus on the role of metals in neurodegenerative diseases and in the biological mechanisms of metallo-organic molecules or nanoparticles in targeting cancer cells.

Xianghui Xiao | Brookhaven National Laboratory

Proposals for macromolecular crystallography (MX) are reviewed by at least two members of the PRC for MX.

Peer Review Committee Members:

Gil Privé | University of Toronto, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
Lisa Keefe | IMCA-CAT, APS
Maksymilian Chruszcz | Michigan State University


For both the MX and the General User Review Tracks, new proposals are reviewed for technical feasibility (by CLS staff) and scientific merit (by external peer reviewers). A proposal must receive both a technical and a peer review score between 1 and 4 to be considered for allocation of beamtime. The scientific merit score a proposal receives during this process will be used in allocating beamtime for the entire two years the project is active. Active projects will not be re-evaluated when subsequent beamtime requests are submitted.

During the review process, reviewers have an opportunity to request clarifications from the applicant if required. Technical reviewers are asked to evaluate the technical feasibility of the proposed experiment, as well as the capability of the research team, based on past publications and experience. Scientific reviewers are asked to provide an integer score for the scientific merit of the proposal based on the following rubric.

Does the proposal describe what is to be studied and the importance of it? What hypothesis would be tested? How will the results impact the field? What is the likelihood of success?

1  Outstanding

The proposed research is highly original and will significantly influence the development of the field and/or have major societal benefit. The project should be a high priority to receive beamtime. The experimental and data analysis plans are very well described, and give great confidence in the ability of the team to address the scientific question, even if the cutting-edge nature of the experiment may carry with it some risk of failure.

2  Excellent

The research will influence the development of the field and/or have societal benefit, and should be awarded beamtime if available. The experimental and data analysis plans are adequately described.

3  Good

The research is worthwhile, and may be deserving of beamtime if available. There may be some weaknesses in the experimental or data analysis plans.

4  Weak

The research is of questionable value and/or the experimental and data analysis plans do not suggest confidence in the ability of the team to address the scientific question. Should be given a low priority to receive peer- reviewed beamtime.

5  Poor

The research is of little to no merit and/or the experimental and data analysis plans are either absent or give no confidence in the abilities of the team to address the scientific question. Should not be given beamtime even if available.

Once external reviews have been completed, the Peer Review Committee meets to discuss the results. Particular attention is paid to proposals showing a high standard deviation in scores. Once consensus has been reached, proposals will be ranked in order based on scores for the quality of science and suitability. Proposals with equal scores will be grouped together. These scores and recommendations with respect to shifts are then passed on to the Allocation Committee, chaired by the CLS Science Projects Manager, and composed of Beamline Scientists and Science Managers.


An Allocation Committee comprising the Director of Science (or delegate), Science Managers, and CLS beamline staff meets twice per year to determine which active projects will be allocated beamtime based on the scientific merit rankings from the Peer Review Committee. Projects resulting from the most recent round of peer review are evaluated along with any beamtime requests submitted for the upcoming cycle. The Allocation Committee determines the amount of beamtime to be allocated to each project. Projects with scores close to the cut-off score are closely analyzed, and scores for the quality and capability of the researcher may become a deciding factor. A representative of the UEC is invited to allocation meetings to monitor the allocation process.

For each beamline, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) describes the percentage of beamtime to be reserved for access groups including Purchased Access, Beamline Team members, beamline maintenance/upgrades, beamline staff experiments, and General User access. Prior to the Allocation meeting, each access group identifies how much of their allotted beamtime is required for the upcoming period. Any shifts that are not required are returned to the Director of Science to reassign at their discretion.


After beamtime allocations have been approved and users have been informed of the results for their proposals and beamtime requests, beamline staff begin scheduling the available beamtime for the upcoming cycle. This process typically involves direct communication between beamline staff and users to arrange a schedule that both maximizes available beamtime and accommodates users' individual scheduling requirements.

Given the complex nature of synchrotron facilities, when user beamtime is lost due to unforeseen circumstances, it will not automatically be rescheduled. CLS is committed to working with affected users to maintain the continuity of their experimental programs. On a user-by-user basis, discretionary time may be allocated when possible.


CLSI promotes and encourages open communication between all users of the beamlines at the CLSI facility. In the event conflicts between users, CLSI and possibly third parties arise that cannot be solved by general interventions, the following process will be followed.

Parties/individuals are encouraged to discuss any issues of concern/problems which may arise in a timely manner to resolve the problem informally. Parties/individual(s) may discuss concerns with:

  • User Services Office
  • Users' Executive Committee (UEC) chair
  • CLSI Science Director
  • CLSI Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Any parties/individuals with unresolved concerns who wish to proceed with a formal appeal process may do so. A formal Users' Appeal Process involves:

  1. Parties/individual(s) will provide written communication to the CLSI Science Director and the UEC chair outlining the concerns.
  2. The CLSI Science Director and UEC Chair will discuss and try to resolve the conflict within four weeks from receipt of the request.
  3. In the event the conflict is unresolved and pending the sensitivity of the conflict:
    • The conflict will be brought forward to the members of the UEC for discussion at their next regularly scheduled meeting for discussion and resolution. The CLSI Science Director may attend the meeting to participate in this discussion.
    • In the event the conflict is sensitive the CLSI Science Director and the UEC chair would identify a member of the local synchrotron community, who is neutral to the conflict, to assist in the process and try to resolve the conflict within four weeks.
  4. The Chair of the UEC and Science Director would report the resolution back to the parties/individuals through written communication.
  5. Failure for a resolution would go to an adhoc committee appointed by the CLSI CEO as required.

The resolution of the conflict will be reported back to the CLSI CEO.