Synchrotron news – 1 February 2008

Dear all,

A belated happy new year for 2008 – a year we hope will see the New Zealand synchrotron activity increase markedly. Please help us to spread the word by encouraging those in your department whom you think would benefit from synchrotron experiments to contact us: either by emailing or completing the (revised) online form at

If you do not want to be on our mailing list, please contact us by return email.

In this issue:
1. Australian Synchrotron User Meeting
2. Beamline update
3. Proposal deadlines and scheduling for 2008
4. Funding opportunities
5. New Zealand Synchrotron Users’ Meeting, April 2008
6. Seminar tour

1. Australian Synchrotron User Meeting
I attended the Australian Synchrotron User Meeting in December 2007. It was a worthwhile visit and I was able to make contact with each of the beamline scientists as well as the Science Director, Rob Lamb, and User Office staff (Alexandra Bush and Steve Gower). They are very keen to provide support for New Zealand scientists to acquire beam time at the Australian Synchrotron.

2. Beamline update
“Protein crystallography had expert users from April-August 2007 and the first merit based users from September–December 2007. For the first round of beamtime in 2008, 30% of the available beamtime has been allocated to the Foundation Investors [which is 1 day per Foundation Investor (or 3 shifts)]. 50% of the available beamtime is for Merit based access. The total user time available is reduced due to upgrades and commissioning in January and February 2008.

The Infrared beamline, as with protein crystallography, had expert and merit based users in 2007. The amount of time awarded to Foundation investors is 4 shifts in the first round in 2008.

Powder diffraction had expert users in December 2007 and 27 days of beamtime have been allocated to selected merit based users for the first round of 2008.

Soft X-ray spectroscopy – end station arrived from Taiwan and is being installed and commissioned and expert users will help in commissioning in Round 1, 2008. 38 days of expert user time has been tentatively scheduled.

EXAFS – nothing has been scheduled due to equipment issues. (Experiments will be scheduled when we know how long it will take to resolve the equipment issues).

Microspectroscopy, Protein Crystallography 2, Imaging and Medical Therapy, and Small Angle X-ray Scattering should be ready for general users by 31 December this year.”
– from Steve Gower, Australian Synchrotron external relations manager.

3. Proposal deadlines and scheduling for 2008
Scheduling is being completed for the 2008/1 cycle (Jan-April).
The next proposal round, 2008/2, is for beamtime in May-August. The submission deadline has not been formally announced but is expected to be early April to give applicants time to prepare, following Australian (and New Zealand) national funding rounds in February.

Merit access proposals are to be submitted via the Australian Synchrotron website at
A proposal template is available at as Word documents, which you can use to prepare your proposal off-line, and then copy and paste the relevant sections into the Australian Synchrotron web portal when it is available. You are most welcome to send drafts of your proposals to me for proofreading and suggestions.

Preferred access proposals will be handled by New Zealand Synchrotron Group. The proposal form and guidelines for completing it are available at Again, please contact me if you require assistance.

4. Funding opportunities
As a reminder, NZSG is now able to accept funding applications. These fall into four categories:
– Travel to the Australian synchrotron, or other synchrotron facilities, for experiments
– ‘Seed funding’ for project costs
– ‘Training’, which includes attendance at conferences, user meetings, summer schools and workshops
More information, and application forms, are available on the website at

5. New Zealand Synchrotron Users’ Meeting, April 2008
Planning is underway for the inaugural New Zealand Synchrotron Users’ meeting, with tentative dates 14-15 April and location at Massey University (tbc). Staff from the Australian Synchrotron will also be present to interact with. We strongly encourage all New Zealand scientists who have conducted, or are planning to conduct synchrotron experiments to present their work (details to follow) and keep these dates free. Travel funding is available.

6. Synchrotron seminar tour
The seminar tour as previously advertised on our website has been deferred due to timing constraints. However, if you would like a speaker to visit your department, and/or arrange to meet on an individual or research group basis, please contact us.


Bridget Ingham
Technical Director, New Zealand Synchrotron Support Programme