Proposal Review Panel

Submitting a proposal is the first step to access beam time at SSRL. Proposals are peer reviewed and rated by the SSRL Proposal Review Panel (PRP) on a scale from 1 (highest) to 5 (lowest). Peer reviewers evaluate proposals based on scientific merit, particularly the intellectual impact of the work on the field and the value of using synchrotron radiation to accomplish the proposed work. To ensure consistency in the review process, reviewers use the following rating criteria:

1.0-1.9 Excellent:  A well-chosen problem or important research that has a good chance of producing a major contribution to fundamental knowledge or an important technological development.  Should be given highest priority for beam time. (The most compelling proposals with the greatest likelihood of a high profile publication should be rated 1.0-1.4. A rating of 1.5 or better is generally needed to access the most oversubscribed beam lines at SSRL.)

2.0-2.9 Very Good:  A worthwhile problem or research that may lead to advances in fundamental knowledge or technology. Should receive beam time if at all possible.

3.0-3.9 Good:  A reasonable problem, but less than forefront. Beam time should be considered only after the above two categories have received time.

4.0-4.9 Fair:  Significant deficiencies appear in the proposal. Successful completion of the research is doubtful. Should probably not receive time.

5.0 Poor:  Poorly written proposal or major scientific issues that should not receive beam time.

The PRP also considers the amount of total beam time requested and recommends beam time allocations. Successful proposals are eligble to request and may be awarded beam time on SSRL beam lines, with priority given to the highest rated proposals and those which demonstrate efficient and productive use of beam time within their beam time allocation. We have three proposal calls per year with one on-site PRP meeting at SSRL annually. Access Policy

The work of the PRP is accomplished with four subpanels:

  • BIO - The biology panel reviews proposals for imaging, X-ray spectroscopic studies, small-angle scattering experiments, and crystallography of biologically important samples.
  • MAT1 - The materials-1 panel reviews proposals for soft materials, materials for energy, catalysis, and structural studies. Examples include using diffraction or tomography techniques or any of the x-ray absorption or emission spectroscopies to study complex fluids, biological or synthetic polymers, batteries, organic electronics, or inorganic or organometallic catalysts.
  • MAT2 - The materials-2 panel reviews proposals for solid state physics and materials science, including electronic structure of solids, surfaces and interfaces, using UV and soft x-ray sources at SSRL. Examples include angle-resolved and core-level photoelectron spectroscopies, x-ray absorption and x-ray magnetic dichroism, in-situ x-ray absorption, x-ray emission and photoemission.
  • MEIS -The molecular environmental and interface science panel reviews proposals for imaging, spectroscopy, diffraction and scattering studies of natural samples and those that are designed to be environmentally and geologically relevant. Such samples are often characterized by their high degree of spatial, chemical and structural heterogeneity across a wide range of chemical concentrations. The MEIS panel considers materials of biogeochemical origin or transformation and investigations of microbiologic soil chemistry and geochemistry.


Tina Iverson (BIO)
Vanderbilt University
Pharmacology & Biochemistry
Nashville, TN, USA
Michael Chabinyc (MAT1)
UC Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA, USA
John Freeland (MAT2)
Advanced Photon Source
Argonne, IL, USA
Jeff Catalano (MEIS)
Washington University
Earth & Planetary Sciences
St. Louis, MO, USA
Kelly  Lee (BIO)
University of Washington
Medicinal Chemistry
Seattle, WA, USA
Peter Chupas (MAT1)
Photon Sciences
Argonne, IL, USA
Victor Henrich (MAT2 Chair)
Yale University
Applied Physics
New Haven, CT, USA
Jon Chorover (MEIS)
University of Arizona
Soil Water & Env Sciences
Tucson, AZ, USA
Lawrence Que, Jr. (BIO)
University of Minnesota
Department of Chemistry
Minneapolis, MN, USA
Tim Fister (MAT1 Chair)
Chemical Science & Engineering
Argonne, IL, USA
Anthony Van Buuren (MAT2)
Nanoscale Integration
Science & Technology
Livermore, CA, USA
Owen Duckworth (MEIS)
North Carolina State University
Soil Science
Raleigh, NC, USA
Martina Ralle (BIO)
Oregon Health Sciences University
Molecular and Medical Genetics
Portland, OR,  USA
Ben Ocko (MAT1)
National Synchrotron Light Source II
Upton, NY,  USA
Dean Hesterberg (MEIS)
North Carolina State University
Soil Science
Raleigh, NC, USA
Ron Stenkamp (BIO Chair)
University of Washington
Biological Structure
Seattle, WA, USA
Dilworth (Dula) Parkinson (MAT1)
Advanced Light Source
Berkeley, CA,  USA
Ingrid Pickering (MEIS Chair)
University of Saskatchewan
Molecular Environmental Science
Saskatoon, Canada


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