Synchrotron news – 17 December 2008

In this issue:
1. Science project funding available
2. New Zealand synchrotron users on the increase
3. Important dates for 2009
4. Australian Synchrotron users’ meeting
5. Operational beamlines

1. Science project funding available

The New Zealand Synchrotron Group has $135,000 available up to 30 June 2009 through a TEC-IDF grant for Science Projects involving, or leading to, use of synchrotron facilities. These funds are awarded as a grant of up to $20,000, with half of the amount paid at the start of the project and half upon completion and receipt of a report. It is anticipated that most Projects will be of a short term nature (3-6 months).

The nature of the Project is one that will lead to either
(a)    the preparation of a sample or samples to be investigated using a synchrotron (preferably the Australian Synchrotron), or
(b)   the development of a tool or technique to enhance synchrotron analysis.

Projects that have already been awarded beamtime will have a higher priority for funding, but applications are also welcome from researchers who intend applying for beamtime in the near future.

What is covered by the grant:
–         Construction of sample holders, stages, environmental cells, chambers
–         Small equipment
–         Consumables, reference standards, substrates, chemicals, biochemical supplies*
–         Student time (e.g. summer student stipend)
–         Analysis software*

* where these are not covered by existing grants

What is not covered by the grant:
–         Overhead costs

Travel and sustenance costs associated with synchrotron beamtime are applied for separately.
An application template can be downloaded from our website ( Applications will be considered on a first-come-first-served basis.
Applicants will be asked to provide a breakdown of costs and justification for the funding sought. They will need also, for statistical purposes, to document other sources of funding that they may hold (e.g. the Foundation for Research Science and Technology, the Marsden Fund, the HRC, internal, etc.).
Applicants will be asked to list their collaborators who will be involved in the project.

Evaluation criteria include:
–         Nature of project (e.g., one-off or ongoing project)
–         User experience – users new to synchrotron techniques, post-graduate students, post-docs and/or early career researchers
–         Previous experience (with this facility, this technique, this beamline)
–         Likelihood of success/publication
–         Previous funding granted by NZSG
–         Project already approved for beamtime

2. New Zealand synchrotron users on the increase

The figures are in for NZ synchrotron applications for the 2008 calendar year:
–         A total of 15 beamtime proposals were scheduled (5 Merit, 10 Preferred)
–         A total of 27 visits to the Australian Synchrotron were funded (including 4 post-docs and 8 post-graduate students)
–         A total of 4 visits to other synchrotron facilities were funded (including 1 post-doc and 2 post-graduate students)
–         A total of 10 conference attendances were funded (including 3 post-docs and 6 post-graduate students). This included three students attending the Cheiron summer school at SPring-8 in Japan.

We now have over 120 users receiving our email updates, but are always on the lookout for more. If you know anyone who may be interested in receiving information about the Australian Synchrotron, please let us know.

3. Important dates for 2009

28 Jan – 24 Feb           Australian Synchrotron online proposal submission open for the 2009-2 round (May-Aug)

15-17 April      Tentative dates for NZSG Users’ meeting

21 May – 17 Jun          Australian Synchrotron online proposal submission open for the 2009-3 round (Sep-Dec)

4. Australian Synchrotron users’ meeting

The Australian Synchrotron users’ meeting was held from 2-5 December 2008 at the Novotel, St Kilda.

Dr Bridget Ingham gave an oral presentation on behalf of NZSG, outlining progress that has been made in the NZ user community during 2008. She also gave an overview of NZSG operations, which were commended by the AS management staff and other Foundation Investor representatives.

5. Operational beamlines at the Australian Synchrotron

The following beamlines are accepting Merit Access proposals in the 2009/1 cycle:

IR (microscope and spectrometer)
Protein crystallography (PX1 and PX2)
Powder diffraction
Soft x-ray spectroscopy
Small- and wide-angle x-ray scattering
X-ray absorption spectroscopy
X-ray fluorescence microscopy

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

Protein and small molecule crystallography proposals are submitted to the same panel for review, and successful proposals allocated to the most appropriate beamline for the experiment.


Bridget Ingham
Technical Director, New Zealand Synchrotron Support Programme