Submitting a proposal for TOMCAT
General proposal submission information
General guidelines and information on how to submit a proposal for beamtime at the Swiss Light Source can be found in the SLS Proposal Information. Consult this page first before reading the TOMCAT-specific guidelines below.
The SLS proposal evaluation procedure is described here.
The schedule and deadlines for the next proposal calls for TOMCAT can be found on the SLS proposal calls website.
TOMCAT-specific proposal guidelines
To prepare a strong proposal for your beamtime application at TOMCAT, please make sure to follow these specific guidelines:
Consult the TOMCAT webpage when planning experiments to get a good idea of the technical capabilities that we can offer.
Contact beamline staff
Especially if you are a new user or are proposing something new that either you or we have never tried before, we strongly recommend that you contact beamline staff well in advance before the proposal deadline to discuss experimental details and the feasibility of your planned approach. We are very open and happy to discuss your project and to provide input for your proposal.
Users planning complex experiments with custom in situ environments or equipment, as well as anyone working with potentially dangerous setups (lasers, high voltage, high pressures, etc.) or samples with special ethical considerations (live animals, human tissue samples, etc.) should contact TOMCAT staff also to discuss the implications of the planned experiments on the proposal process.
Required information in the proposal
Please include the following information in the section describing the experimental details of your experiments. This will help beamline staff to assess the technical feasibility of the experiments and allow us to give you constructive feedback if problems and challenges are likely to occur:
- Material to be investigated: Sample sizes, chemical composition and density, etc.
- Size of the region of interest (if different from the sample size)
- Size of the smallest features to be investigated
- For evolving samples, information on the time scales involved
- The number of samples to be investigated during the beamtime. Particularly for biological questions, explain clearly the minimum number of samples required to achieve statistically relevant results.
- The number of scans required per sample
Justification for the use of synchrotron beamtime
Provide a clear description why it is necessary to use synchrotron beamtime at the TOMCAT beamline for this proposal. Explain why other similar or complementary methods (for example, lab-based CT scans, SEM or TEM measurements, histology, etc.) are not adequate to tackle the problem, and why TOMCAT is your preferred choice of imaging beamline.
Estimation of required beamtime
Justify the amount of beamtime you are asking for. Check with the beamline staff, if you are unsure of typical scan times. Unless you are planning a very complex setup, if the experiment is well prepared, it usually does not take an entire shift to set up the beamline for your measurements.
Data analysis plans
Include some brief information in the proposal on how you plan to analyse the data and transform the measurements acquired at TOMCAT into publishable information. A solid plan and the required expertise (either in your own team or through collaborations) to make maximum use of the acquired data are important for ensuring a high impact of your project.