Access to ULTRA, OCTOPUS and EPSRC Laser Loan Pool
LSF call for Access 2015-2016
Applications are now invited for direct access and approved programme access to the
ULTRA and OCTOPUS facilities of the CLF in the Research Complex at Harwell (Lasers for
Science Facility) during Period 2 of 2015 (November 2015 to April 2016).
The deadline for applications is Friday 10th July 2015.
For this call applications are invited for the following modes of access (October 2015 - April
Direct Access and Approved Programmes: Ultra and Octopus
New Programmes: Octopus only (no new programmes for Ultra)
Direct Access: EU users
(Note that later this month there will be a call for proposals from researchers wishing to
receive on a permanent basis lasers previously available for loan through the EPSRC Laser
Loan Pool. Details will be available soon on the website.)
Please carefully read all the information below before submitting an application in particular
those for your chosen mode of access. All applications are made through the CLF online proposal system (link opens in a new window). Please note the arrangements for submission of interim
New and Previous Users: it is strongly recommended that you first contact an appropriate
LSF staff member ("lab-manager") informally to discuss appropriateness and requirements
before applying, even if you have previously submitted a proposal. For new users this is a
requirement. For ULTRA initial contact is Mike Towrie and for
OCTOPUS Marisa Martin-Fernandez.
Applicants to Octopus please note: As the facility is now operating with more than one
user group simultaneously, all applicants must include in their proposal a detailed
breakdown of which Octopus microscopes they require, and the amount of time required on
each. This is needed in order to avoid scheduling problems and to ensure that sufficient
resources are made available to support user groups. Proposals may be returned if this
information is not provided. The Lab manager will provide guidance for you on this.
Reports from a previous User Time: You are strongly recommended to submit a report for
the FAP to access progress etc., failure to do so may lead to the FAP deferring your
proposal. If you have only just had a user period you can submit an informal one by email -
to the FAP coordinator Chris Stubbs absolute
deadline by August
The CLF User Office request formal reports for all Direct Access and ongoing Programmes
when due - if you have submitted such a report which pertains to your new application for
user time please send a copy to the FAP coordinator Chris Stubbs absolute
deadline by August 15th.
Please make sure you have an acknowledgement that your report has been received from
Chris Stubbs (absolute
deadline by 15th August
Direct Access: For work requiring a limited amount of access (maximum of 3 weeks) in a
single 6-month allocation period.
Direct Access applications require a 2 page scientific case
(including Figures, References etc). Research Council grant funding is not a requirement for
Direct Access. We encourage the submission of proposals aimed at collecting preliminary
data to support future grant applications. Where this is the intention, it should be clearly
stated in the proposal. Direct Access proposals from applicants who already have
Programme Access awarded as principal or co-investigator will only be considered if they
are for an entirely different project; this should be clearly demonstrated in the proposal.
As grant funding may be an important criterion for assessment of proposals, please ensure
that relevant grant funding is clearly identified in your application.
New Programmes (Octopus only): In addition to a 6 page proposal (including Figures,
References etc.) which you should submit first online, you will then have access (also online)
to submit a request for user time for the first upcoming 6-month period which should be in
the same format as a Direct Access application.
Approved Programmes: Users requesting time in this period as part of a previously
approved Programme should provide a short continuation application case (up to 3 A4
pages including figures and references) including a summary (1 A4 page) of progress to
date (where time has already been used) and a detailed set of objectives for this period
referring to their original proposal with any changes to the original Programme clearly
highlighted (2 A4 pages).
For further information please contact Prof Chris Stubbs (FAP Coordinator) or Dr David Clarke (Division
The criteria on which applications are assessed are shown in detail below. In addition,
please note the following:
We endeavour to provide access to all proposals supported by Research Council
grants. However, because of limited capacity we are unable to guarantee access to
all grant-funded proposals. Where the panel feels that a grant-supported application
has not provided adequate information on its proposed use of CLF facilities, we may
ask for clarification and resubmission of the proposal in the following round before
access can be awarded.
Applications that involve access to both the CLF and other facilities at Harwell (e.g.
Diamond Light Source) are encouraged. For applications of this type, the scientific
advantages of a joint facility approach should be clearly explained in the proposal,
as well as any technical issues, e.g. current status of applications to the partner
facility, beamtime awarded, etc. Note that for access to other Harwell Campus
facilities (Diamond, ISIS etc.) separate applications need to be made to the other
Applications for Direct Access where the PI or Co-Is already have Programme
access to the CLF should include an explanation as to why the Direct Access
application is an entirely different project, for which it would not be appropriate to use
existing Programme time.
Proposals involving collaboration with someone who is not a CoI on the proposal
require a letter of support from that person. This letter should be emailed to the CLF
User Office after submission of the proposal, with the number of the proposal clearly
identified in the email subject line.
For Approved Programme applications, applicants are requested to state clearly in
their application the period of access on which they are reporting.
Criteria for assessment of proposals
Applications will be assessed within the following criteria:
Category 1. Absolute pre-requisite, without which an application will not be recommended
• Scientific excellence: specific objectives of the project.
• International competitiveness.
• Strategic value within the STFC/CLF programme.
• For Programme Access, funding from BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC, STFC,
or Wellcome Trust.
Category 2. Supporting evidence which increases the confidence in a successful outcome:
• Productivity of Investigator.
• Productivity of grant supported staff (where relevant).
• Quality of leadership/management.
• Suitability of Institution/Group.
Category 3. Important additional criteria which will be used to prioritise proposals when they
cannot be separated under Categories 1 and 2:
Each facility access proposal will normally be assessed by at least two referees. Referees
and panel members are required to disclose conflicts of interest, personal or institutional,
where this arises in relation to a proposal they have been asked to assess. Applicants who
lobby or canvass members of the peer review panels or their officers about their research
proposal will be disqualified.
• Potential for economic and societal impact.
• Alignment with RCUK priority areas (e.g. demonstrated through allocation of
strategically aligned grant funding).
• Originating from fellow residents of the Research Complex at Harwell.
• Combined access with Diamond or other major facilities at Harwell.
• Association with facility developments aligned with STFC strategy.
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