Understanding Different Proposal Types

Proposals of a General Nature

A general-style proposal is mostly used for research programs that are general in nature. Many institutions call for proposals twice a year with corresponding review or evaluation sessions. Once a general proposal is approved, they are valid for six months. It is common for institutions to allocate as much as ten percent of beamtime and up to the regulatory percentage of each beamtime to proposals of this type.   

Proposals of a Long-Term Nature

The facility afforded by long-term proposals is meant to support research activities that are likely to produce exceptional results in such fields as technology and science, set the direction for new areas and new methods of research, and/or are likely to contribute in a notable way to improving  industrial-type technologies. Most institutions call for these proposals just once a year with a corresponding review or evaluation session, with the procedure-taking place before calls for proposals of the general type. Sixteen percent of all shift time allowed for each beamtime per six-month research term is the most beamtime allowed to each proposal of this type. After the selection of proposals, it is usual for beamtime to be guaranteed for a two-year period. From an institution’s second term and onwards, there is a requirement for project managers/leaders to submit a “Beamtime Application” by a stipulated date to ask for a specific period of time within which they want to use the allocated beamtime.

There is also a requirement for project managers/leaders to deliver an annual presentation to describe their project plan and the status of their projects. Post project reviews are carried out upon completion of a long-term proposal.   

Proposals of an Urgent Nature

It is permissible to submit proposals of this type whenever one chooses even in the midst of a six-month term. Reviews of urgent proposals are undertaken on a rolling program that is intended for students or users who have a critical and/or urgent requirement. Such projects usually involve non-proprietary experimental work that is of great significance to the public.

Proposals of a Time-Designated Nature

Use of time-designated proposals is meant for those who wish to undertake proprietary type research within a specific period of time. On the web-based application form, applicants should specify the exact time period wherein they wish to undertake their experiment(s). It is important to note the usual beamtime fee applies to these types of proposals as well as a premium of fifty percent. Reviews of these proposals are undertaken on a rolling or on-going basis and this program is allocated up to five percent of total beamtime.   

Proposals in Support of Budding or Aspiring Researchers

The support program for budding or aspiring researchers is designed to encourage aspiring researchers with an original and exploratory type of proposal or theme so that they can contribute to its development. With this program, those applicants who are successful are given financial support with accommodation and internal travel. It should be noted that the program only applies to doctoral level students (i.e. those who are at doctoral level when an experiment is being conducted). PhD applicants need to get approval to apply from their course advisors, and there is a requirement on the student to include these advisors in their project teams.

Proposals of the Grant-Aided and Non-Proprietary Variety

This type of proposal is meant for applicants whose proposals have been approved after review for sizable grants for particular research projects. With this program, proposals do not have to undergo scientific-type review and the only reviews that are undertaken are to establish the technical and safety feasibility of proposed experiments, which is a requirement under certain ethics and research regulations. Proposals of this type are afforded priority up to the limit of beamtime that applies to public usage beamtime. It should be noted that there is a fee for this program and there is a requirement on applicants to disseminate the results of their research by presenting these at conferences, publishing them in refereed journals, and so on. 

Proposals Related to Priority Research

The aim of the program underpinning priority type research  is to produce results that can be published by giving higher priority to certain important areas of science. This program can be roughly divided into two categories, which are the priority field and priority user types.  

  • Priority Field Research

Fields of research that are considered priority fields are those where high-quality results and results of strategic importance are expected. It is important to note that with this type of proposal it is not possible to make more than one application at the same time for any one project.

1. Proposals for New Industrial Areas

The aim of this proposal program is to support R&D (research and development) activities in a new industrial area. If your proposal for research in a new industrial area is not approved, it will then be reviewed under the category of general proposals. 
* To qualify, one member of a project team (or the project leader) needs to be employed in a private sector company or belong to a related organization/institution.

2. Proposals for Projects of Social Interest

The social interest program is aimed at research projects where social importance and novelty are not easy to evaluate or equate to existing research fields. If you submit a proposal for a social interest project and it is not accepted, it will then be reviewed under the category of general proposals.

  • Priority User Research
Partner/User Proposals

These proposals are of a non-proprietary nature and are designed for publicly designated or selected partner/users where these groups are likely to produce exceptional results in a pioneering research field. These proposals are allocated up to sixteen percent of the beamtime allocation for beamtimes that accept partner/users. Applicants who are successful will be expected to comply with a number of predefined missions e.g. a) they must attempt to produce state-of-the-art and top-quality results and promote the expansion of their area of research using upgraded/developed beamtime allocation; b) collaborate on the upgrading and/or development of beamtime allocation; c) support users in relation to a) and b) above.

Applications for this type of proposal are invited once annually i.e. before the calls for research proposals for the second term. It is permissible to submit applications online.  

Usually, the designation time for partner/user proposals is a two-year period. This, however, can be extended to five years if or when a review or evaluation committee consider it necessary. There is a requirement for project leaders to submit a “Beamtime Application” for each six-month research period related to the proposal. 

Upon completion of the designation period, the partner/user review board will review the results of the research.

Participants on this proposal program are given financial support for accommodation, internal travel, and the cost of consumables needed to conduct experiments. 

Proposals Related to Epoch-Making Initiatives

The aim of these proposals is the creation and development of certain fields that are as yet unexplored. Such projects involve interdisciplinary and combined research over and above the bounds of traditional research fields.

Once a group is selected for this type of research project, the designated project leader or director may, at their discretion, lead the project’s activities using a number of beamtimes within the two-year effective project period.

Furthermore, it is possible to arbitrarily allocate beamtime within a permissible range per term (even though the number of beamtime shifts must be determined by review).

Proposal calls are made once per year (in the second term).

In any one proposal call period, two groups may be selected for a research project and as many as four groups can concurrently carry out experiments, irrespective of what the expected period of the proposal is.

Once the effective research period is complete (i.e. a two-year period), the results and/or achievements are assessed by way of interviews and through the submitting of documents.