Synchrotron news – 13 June 2008

In this issue:
1. Next beamtime proposal round
2. Summer school opportunity
3. Review of NZ synchrotron users’ meeting

1. Next beamtime proposal round
The deadline for beamtime proposals for the Australian Synchrotron 2008-3 cycle is 1 July for both merit access and preferred access proposals.
Please refer to our website, for detailed information on how to prepare and submit a proposal.
Proposals for both access routes are to be submitted via the web portal at Note that in this system, preferred access is called ‘Foundation Investor’.
(Please note that New Zealand scientists are not eligible to apply through this portal for ASRP beamtime.)
Merit access proposals are to be submitted through the Australian portal (above). Proposal templates are 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. You are most welcome to send drafts of your proposals to me for proofreading and suggestions.
Preferred access proposals are to be submitted online via the Australian portal, and the completed template (available to download from our website) sent to . Preferred access is intended to favour new researchers and preliminary experiments. We recommend that you also submit your proposal for consideration in the merit access group.
Merit access proposals are peer-reviewed through the Australian Synchrotron. Preferred access proposals go through an internal review process by the NZSG Access Committee.

More specific information about the different beamlines can be found on our website:

Please contact me if you have any questions about applying for beamtime.

2. Summer school opportunity

We have been offered three places for NZ PhD students to attend the annual Cheiron Synchrotron School, held at SPring-8 in Japan, for 10 days beginning 29 September 2008. All travel funding for the successful applicants will be provided by NZSG.

The Cheiron School’s main aim is to provide useful and basic knowledge and perspectives on synchrotron radiation science and technology. The curriculum is comprehensive and will include:
1) Lectures by leading scientists and engineers in the field of synchrotron radiation science and technology: accelerator science, insertion devices, beamlines/optics, detectors, and applications including XAFS, diffraction and scattering, protein crystallography, soft x-ray spectroscopy, imaging etc.
2) Hand-on practical training using Spring-8 beamline facilities.
3) Tutorial sessions with the lecturers and researchers/engineers about practical and specific activities at synchrotron facilities.

Applicants should send the following documents by Monday 30 June:
– a brief CV
– a short letter describing how the school will benefit your PhD research
– a letter of recommendation from your supervisor

These are to be sent via email to

Please contact us for further information.

3. Review of New Zealand synchrotron users’ meeting
The meeting was held at Wharerata, Massey University, on 14-15 April to facilitate networking of the synchrotron user community in New Zealand. 49 people registered for the meeting, from a variety of different scientific fields and institutions. Invited speakers included Jim Metson (Auckland), Geoff Jameson (Massey), Bridget Ingham (NZSG/IRL), Stephen Mudie, Martin de Jonge and Steve Gower (Australian Synchrotron). Contributed presentations were given by Ben Ruck (VUW), Graeme Gainsford (IRL), Kevin Stevens (Quest Reliability), Bronwyn Lowe (Otago), and Richard Bunker (Auckland).

Some of the comments received:
“Getting a chance to meet the beamline scientists was great.”
“I left with a lot to think over for planning own synchrotron experiments. It was valuable to meet with others and listen to scientists who have used the synchrotron.”
“The possibilities associated with the speed of measurements for real time, in-situ experiments regarding the formation of nanomaterials are very exciting.”
“I got a good feeling that [NZSG] were going to be helpful in experiment design and synchrotron access to make the process smoother, especially for new users.”
“I was very impressed with the programme overall. As someone who has never used a synchrotron or the majority of the characterisation techniques discussed, I found the morning sessions most useful, particularly on the second day.”


Bridget Ingham
Technical Director, New Zealand Synchrotron Support Programme