Run 19 Scientific Campaign Proposals

Latest Proposal Schedule

Mode of Access Run Cycle Proposal Call Status Deadline Cycle Begins Cycle Ends
Scientific Campaign Proposal LCLS 20 Accepting Letters of Interest 28 May 2021 Jan 2022 Jun 2022
Regular User Proposal LCLS 20 Further details coming soon TBD Jan 2022 Jun 2022
Protein Crystal Screening (PCS) LCLS 19 Submitted Proposals under review 09 Feb 2021 May 2021 Dec 2021
Rapid Access (CXI, MFX) Contact for details Ongoing  
MeV-UED Regular User Proposal UED 3 Experiments Scheduled 14 Dec 2020 May 2021 Sep 2021

  Proposals are submitted through the User Portal.

Special call for LCLS Scientific Campaign proposals in the area of ‘Structural Biology - Function and Dynamics’

Letters of Interest for new LCLS Scientific Campaigns are solicited in the area of “Structural Biology – Function & Dynamics”, for experiments that will start in Run 19 (April 2021 onwards). Further details of the targeted science area for this call are provided below.

Submission of a Scientific Campaign proposal requires advanced submission approval from the LCLS Director - based on a brief Letter Of Interest (LOI).

On Tuesday August 18, 2020, LCLS will host a virtual “Town Hall” meeting for those who are interested in submitting a Letter of Interest and/or Scientific Campaign proposal.

LOIs are to be submitted at before 3rd September 2020 at 4 pm Pacific.

Submit Letter Of Interest

LCLS Scientific Campaigns are an augmentation of the Regular Proposal process to support more extensive research “programs” or campaigns, requiring a series of beamtimes over multiple years, and targeting specific areas of science where there is great potential scientific impact from some unique capabilities of LCLS. Scientific campaigns are expected to be proposed and conducted by a comprehensive research team of experts (e.g. synthesis, experiment, theory etc.). The scientific scope and impact of the research needs to be well above a Regular Proposal. See Proposal Preparation Guidelines for general guidelines, requirements and criteria for Regular User Proposals, Scientific Campaign Proposals, and other modes of access to LCLS.

Close partnership with the LCLS facility, as evidenced by strong involvement of LCLS/SLAC staff, is required for successful Scientific Campaign proposals.

Note that only a small number of campaign proposals will be able to be accepted, consistent with ~10% of the available beamtime for the collective sum of all ongoing campaigns.

Proposals that are not awarded beamtime as a multi-year “campaign” will be automatically considered by the Proposal Review Panel for allocation of a single beamtime in Run 19. For further details regarding Scientific Campaign proposals and review criteria, please see the updated proposal preparation guidelines and proposal review process.

LCLS Contact Information
Early and substantive discussions with LCLS/SLAC staff are strongly encouraged (already at the LOI stage). For this call, the primary point of contact for initial discussions is the LCLS Sample Environment & Delivery (SED) Department Head: Mark Hunter (

Scientific Campaign Target Area

This call for Scientific Campaigns is targeting the areas of structural biology where unique LCLS capabilities and expertise will lead to significant science impact. Successful proposals need to be comprehensive research programs that will deliver a qualitative advance in the field, and not just a series of experiments that could be accomplished through Regular Proposals.

Relevant scientific capabilities (not exclusive):

  • Structural and electronic dynamics that link structure with function for biologically important systems.
  • High-resolution damage-free structures in near-physiological environments. (A clear case must be made for both the scientific significance of an integrated series of static structural data, and that the information is inaccessible by other means).
  • Advances on a biological system/problem of broad importance to the field that will be enabled by new LCLS capabilities - in areas such as sample delivery, targeted stimuli, novel X-ray pulse formats, advanced data analytics, etc. (Co-development of new capabilities can be a compelling aspect of a Scientific Campaign, but the focus of the proposed research should not be on method development or demonstration experiments, but rather on answering significant science questions as recognized by the broader biology community).

Example scientific opportunities (not prescriptive):

  • Revealing the roles of structure and electronic state and dynamics of metalloenzymes in enabling specific biochemical reactions.
  • Understanding the structure and function of an extensive set of integral membrane proteins in near physiological conditions.
  • Determining how reaction centers and other photo-active enzymes mediate and accelerate photochemical reactions.
  • Illuminating the structural dynamics that underpin a range of RNA functions, from protein synthesis, to gene regulation, to catalyzing reactions.
  • Advancing structure-based drug design (SBDD) in high-impact areas, using the unique capabilities of LCLS to reveal the structure and dynamics of molecular complexes (i.e. interactions between a drug and target protein), including the use of mix-and-inject, caged compounds, and/or external stimuli techniques.

Scientific campaigns that combine the use of LCLS with other facilities (e.g. SSRL, Cryo-EM, etc) are welcomed.

Letters Of Interest Format

The Letter of Interest (2-page max., in pdf format) should follow the provided template and include a high-level description of the following:

  1. Science motivation - impact of proposed program must be significant (and widely recognizable) with high chance of success.
    Will the proposed sequence of experiments result in a qualitative advance on an important science challenge?
  2. Clear justification for a series of beamtimes with well-defined scope and objectives. Outline the milestones to be accomplished in each beamtime, and how this advances the larger goal of the Scientific Campaign.
    What scientific advance will be accomplished, how, by whom, and over what period of time?
    Could this be accomplished through a Regular Proposal or Rapid Access Proposal?
  3. Outline the unique capabilities and expertise of LCLS that are required, including close partnership with the LCLS facility as evidenced by strong involvement of LCLS/SLAC staff. Outline other essential needs for a successful Scientific Campaign, and how these needs will be met (e.g. other facilities, personnel, expertise, resources, etc.)
    Why is LCLS essential for the proposed Scientific Campaign?
    Why is this in the strategic interest (scientific and/or technical) of LCLS?
    Who will be the main LCLS (or SLAC) staff contributing to this effort?
    Are all the other essential elements for success identified and arranged?

One additional page of references may be included, in addition to the 2-page letter of interest.

Campaign Proposal Format

The Campaign Proposal document (8-page max., in pdf format) should follow the provided template and be submitted via the User Portal. Submission of a Scientific Campaign proposal requires advanced submission approval from the LCLS Director.

Timeline for Scientific Campaign submissions starting in Run 19

Proposal Type Deadline
Virtual Town Hall for Scientific Campaigns August 18, 2020, 10 am Pacific
Submission of Scientific Campaigns LOI September 3, 2020. 4 pm Pacific
Feedback to LOI proposers (provided by LCLS) September 14, 2020. 4 pm Pacific
Submission of full Scientific Campaign Proposal October 28, 2020. 4 pm Pacific

Note: The call for Regular User Proposals will be issued on September 30, 2020, with a deadline for submissions of October 28, 2020.

Run 19 experiments will be scheduled from mid-April 2021 to October 2021.