MeV-UED Proposal Review Process

Proposal Evaluation Criteria

Proposals must provide sufficient information to evaluate the impact, originality, need for the MeV-UED instrument, scientific risk, prior results, as well as technical feasibility. Proposal evaluation criteria include:

  • Scientific Impact: Does proposal address a question that, if successfully answered by the proposed experiment, will have a strong impact either on the scientific field or technological area addressed by the research?
  • Originality/New Scientific Field: If successful, does the proposal open a new field?
  • Need for the MeV-UED instrument/Experimental Plans: To what extent is MeV-UED critical for the success of this proposal? Can other techniques or facilities provide similar information about the scientific question?
  • Scientific Risk: Evaluate the probability that the proposed research will yield significant new results.
  • Prior Results: Evaluate success or progress of prior experiments.
  • Feasibility: MeV-UED scientists conduct a preliminary technical feasibility review of submitted proposals.
  • Compatibility: Does the experiment require significant modifications to any of the proposed MeV-UED instrument configurations? 

Proposal Review Process

LCLS & MeV-UED management work very closely with the LCLS Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), Proposal Review Panel (PRP), the Users' Executive Committee (UEC), and the MeV-UED Program Advisory Committee (PAC) to develop a fair and transparent external peer review process. MeV-UED proposal review and ranking is carried out in a similar fashion to the LCLS Proposal Review Panel (PRP) which includes ~ 15 international experts divided into several subpanels: soild-state/materials (SSM), single-shot/warm dense matter physics (WDM), and gas/liquid-phase chemistry/AMO (CHE).  A description of the proposal review process follows.

The proposal review process begins as soon as each call for proposals is closed, with an on-site PRP meeting at SLAC approximately two months after the proposal deadline. Concurrent with the PRP review, MeV-UED scientists conduct a technical feasibility review of submitted proposals. Proposals determined not to be feasible may be removed from further consideration before the PRP meets, and the proposal spokesperson will be informed.

Users indicate the appropriate PRP panel(s) to review their proposals when submitting proposals through the user portal. Proposals are reviewed by MeV-UED and the PRP Chairs to confirm that the distribution of proposals is appropriate for the expertise of the PRP or to reassign these proposals to more appropriate subpanels to facilitate consistency in the review and ranking process. Once the subpanel assignments are confirmed, the PRP chairs assign 2-3 reviewers for each proposal assigned to their subpanel. Additional reviews may be requested from other panels if the area of science extends beyond the primary subpanel. If the PRP lacks the necessary expertise to review any proposal, subpanel chairs may request ad hoc external peer reviewers to supplement the PRP review.

LCLS and MeV-UED management provides clear guidance to PRP members to mitigate potential conflicts of interest. See guidelines for managing potential Conflicts of Interest in the Proposal Review Panels.

In time for the PRP meeting, reviewers provide a written review for each assigned proposal summarizing their findings.

Subpanel chairs assign a 'Lead Reviewer' for each proposal, who presents the proposal during the subpanel deliberations. The panels define a prioritized list of proposals based on the criteria listed above. Prioritization between sub-panels is determined according to a pro-rata weighting based on the number of applications in each area. Within one week of the PRP meeting the subpanel chairs will provide comments on each proposal with sufficient detail to explain the basis of the panel's assessment, to help the proposal teams address any deficiencies and improve their proposals for a subsequent review cycle. 

The ranked list of proposals will be the guide for LCLS & MeV-UED management to award beam time. LCLS has the discretion to consider aspects beyond the strict ranking to make the final beam time allocation. Such consideration may include issues of programmatic and community diversity, access to new instruments, utilization of beamtime (e.g. via multiplexing and efficient use of standard configurations), funding restrictions and other aspects.


Register as a user and submit MeV-UED proposals through the User Portal