Access

Who can become a SuperSTEM user?

The SuperSTEM facility serves the world-wide scientific community: U.K. and international researchers (with U.K. collaborators) alike are welcome to apply for instrument time. 
  • Short studies by any academic user, e.g. an initial set of experiments up to a few days of beam time, are entirely free of charge. After review of your scientific proposal by the SuperSTEM scientific and executive committee, you will be informed whether your project falls in this category. An example of a successful proposal can be found here.
  • Longer studies by U.K. researchers, e.g. parts of a wide-ranging proposal including a significant amount of beamtime, require an application specifically for SuperSTEM instrument time through the EPSRC on-line grant proposal system, JeSFor all EPSRC grant/fellowship applications, the cost for instrument time should be requested under the "Research Council Facilities" heading. Therefore it is not considered a direct cost and is not included in the total grant budget. Before submission of the proposal to EPSRC, its suitability for SuperSTEM beamtime must be evaluated by the SuperSTEM allocation panel: please complete the EPSRC pro-forma - note: only use this form for requesting access through a JeS proposal; for short studies, see above.
  • Researchers from international institutions without UK collaborators are encouraged to discuss the allocation of SuperSTEM time directly with us as they cannot submit proposals through the usual EPSRC channels. In such cases, contributions to the facility running costs will be estimated at the EPSRC-equivalent academic rate.
  • Industrial and proprietary research applications are welcome: please, contact us for our commercial rates.
The following paragraphs provide a step-by-step guide to becoming a SuperSTEM user.

Step 1 : Contact us

Please, submit a brief scientific proposal to :
outlining over 2-3 page:
  • Your contact information: the names of the people involved in the project, email addresses so we can be in touch, institutions/universities. 
  • Some general background information on the problem you would like to study at SuperSTEM.
  • Previous studies and preliminary work you may have carried out on this project: micrographs or preliminary analytical data, prior publications on the subject...
  • As much information as you can about your samples: how are they produced, what type of support film or mounting grid are you planning to use, how thick are the regions of interest, are there potential issues with beam damage, can they be baked/plasma cleaned, etc...? More information on sample suitability can be found in our Sample Handling Handbook.
  • Details of the specific experiments you would like to carry out at SuperSTEM, including which microscopy techniques you would like to apply (EELS spectrum imaging, EDS, diffractive imaging…). When writing this short proposal, it is often useful to answer the question: "what is, realistically, the ideal dataset I would like to acquire at SuperSTEM?".
  • Scope of the proposed work: is this a proof of principle experiment, a short study or a long term research program? How many microscope days do you estimate you might need?...
  • Impact: Please include a description of the potential impact of your research including:
    1. the EPSRC priority areas with which your proposal aligns (see for reference EPSRC themes and EPSRC research areas)
    2. is this research directly or indirectly funded by industry or has industrial involvement in some way ?
    3. if this research is part of an EPSRC Grant application then please attach your impact statement.
This document will help the SuperSTEM scientific staff and time allocation panel to evaluate your project, to plan the adequate allocation of instrument time and to assign a member of staff to your proposal, if you are not directly in contact with one of us already. For guidance, an example of a successful proposal can be found here

Step 2 : Review process

Our independent and expert time allocation committee meets every six weeks. They will assess the merit, suitability and needs of your experiments on the basis of your scientific proposal, as described in Step1. We will endeavour to get in touch with you within a few days of the allocation panel meeting to inform you of the outcome of your application. 
  • If your application is unsuccessful. You can still become a SuperSTEM userThe time allocation panel may have felt that our instruments could not suitably address your scientific proposal at this point. They will always try to provide you with detailed explanations for their decision as well as suggestions on how to refine your proposal so it can qualify for SuperSTEM time in the future. Do not hesitate to get back in touch with SuperSTEM staff to further discuss your experiments!
  • If your application is successful.  You can now plan your visit to SuperSTEM!

Downloads:

 

 website contact: dorothea@superstem.org

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Quentin Ramasse,
18 Aug 2015, 09:58
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Dorothea Muecke-Herzberg,
16 Jan 2012, 04:04