Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

These FAQs are derived from the User Survey results. To ask for information, please contact us.

1. Is there any support for Transnational Access Activites (like past ELISA, BioStruct-X, CALIPSO grants) ?

With the start of the CALIPSOplus project in May 2016 financial support for Trans-national Access (TA) to accelerator-based light sources is again being offered. For selected user groups the costs for travel and subsistence can be covered in the framework of TA.
User from EU member states, associated countries and, for the first time, to some extent also user groups from Third countries are eligible candidates. The sole evaluation criterion is scientific merit.
The Trans-national Access program within CALIPSOplus includes access to a very large number of individual beamlines (several hundred in total), representing a world-level cutting edge instrumentation park and a unique research network in the world in terms of level and dimension.
In CALIPSOplus Trans-national Access is managed by the individual facilities. More information is available from the project webpage on Trans-national Access, which also includes links to the specific programs of the individual facilities.

2. What do you mean with "harmonized proposal deadlines" ? / I would like wayforlight to display all proposal deadlines at a glance

Most of survey respondents asked for "staggered deadlines", and in particular for avoiding early autumn deadlines such as September 1st. This issue will be further discussed at the Facilities level and among the Europen User Offices. Following your suggestions, a single page listing of all the upcoming proposal deadlines has just been created and it's linked on wayforlight homepage: /eng/call-for-proposals.aspx

3. I would like to see standardization and harmonization also regarding softwares to be used at beamlines and for data analysis: can you comment on that ?

The FP7 project PaNdata ODI grouped together the synchrotron and neutron community to create a fully integrated, pan-European, information infrastructure supporting the scientific process.The project ended in 2014 and the former partners are continuing their collaboration in the various fields. If funded, Horizon2020 CALIPSOplus will include a Join Research Activity named DaaS: Demonstrator of a Photon Science Analysis Service.

4. How is the evaluation procedure performed when using the Standardized Proposal Format ?

Each facility has its own, independent proposal review panel. The use of SPF has nothing to do with the evaluation process, which is run at the single facilities with their own rules.

5. Why it is not possible to use a single proposal format without the need of additional documents to be submitted at the chosen facility ?

The Standardized Proposal Format was a pilot action under the CALIPSO and is meant to help new users with a template which is accepted by all facilities. By its nature, and to be fully portable, it is a) user-independent and b) facility-independent. User identification (eased by Umbrella login) is performed at the chosen facility web system, as well as proposal completion with e.g. beamline choice and user group composition. See answers below for additional information.

6. Is it possible to use the SPF for submission to multiple facilities / to share proposals among different review panels ?

The SPF was not meant to favour multiple submission, but to offer a standardized template and framework for proposal writing. On the other hand, following suggestions by many users, the SPF 2.0 could be updated including a question about the will to share/or not proposal outcome information among different review panels. This needs to be further discussed at the Facility level.

7. Which are the risks of information leakage about proposals between different facilities ?

Nothing about proposals is stored on wayforlight and no communicaton among user offices/review panels takes place through wayforlight. The SPF is filled online and the resulting XML is stored on the users' computer. Therefore there are no "confidentiality" issues.

8. I would like wayforlight to publish job offers at the various European lightsources: is it feasible ?

We just linked the portal from wayforlight home (bottom right): in this website you can find a comprehensive list of research Jobs, together with available Services and Rights. At the following link you can find the EU Charter and Code for Researchers The Charter for Access to Research Infrastructures is available following this link

9. How does the EU unique, persistent identifier work ?

Umbrella is the pan-European federated identity system for users of the European large photon / neutron facilities. One of the services offered by Umbrella is a unique, persistent ID to login to many facilities web-based user offices with a single set of coordinates. The login is also available on wayforlight when drafting a standardized proposal.

10. It would be useful if basic information as well as beamline contacts would be all available from wayforlight: were can I find these data ?

Such pages are already available: one of the first standardization actions produced standardized datasheets for >300 european beamlines of synchrotron and FELs. You can find them following the "Find your beamline" button on wayforlight's homepage or through each standardized facility page. Moreover, the beamlines search page has been equipped with interactive filters that allow you to select only those characteristics relevant for your experiment: e.g. energy range, sample type, sample size, detector, etc. Have also a look at our video tutorial !

11. What do you mean with "Experienced User Groups" ?

The ELISA and CALIPSO projects fostered the creationg of the European Synchrotron and FEL User Organisation (ESUO). A brand new section of wayforlight dedicated to ESUO has just been published, you can reach it from the homepage: /eng/esuo.aspx. One of ESUO's missions is to coordinate and assist users of European lightsources - to this aim, there is an idea of creating experienced user groups willing to assist new users, to be further developed in the years to come. Contact your national ESUO delegates if you're interested !