We invited Foundry staff scientists, Proposal Review Board members, users, and the User Program Office staff to share their perspectives on how to write a successful Molecular Foundry user proposal.
Session topics included:
- Proposal Elements
- Review Criteria
- Sample Proposals
- Perspectives from Staff, Users, & Proposal Review Board Members
The Molecular Foundry spring 2022 call for standard proposals opened on March 1, 2022, with a submission deadline of March 31, 2022.
For questions, please contact: email@example.com
Watch the recording here (full transcript below):
Welcome everybody to our information session on writing Foundry user proposals. My name is Laurie Chong and I am the Director of External Relations for the Foundry. So joining me for this session are Emory Chan, Hope Ishii, Sumanjeet Kauer, Behzad Rad, and Ricardo Ruiz, and I will give them a more thorough introduction a bit later, but you’ll be hearing from them later. And now let’s get started. So I assume that many of you already have some familiarity with the Molecular Foundry, but just in case you don’t. The Foundry is one of five centers supported by the Department of Energy funded for nanoscale science research. We’re a knowledge based user facility that provides state of the art expertise, methods and instrumentation to users free of charge. And so you can see on the bottom of your screen is just a few examples of what we offer and the types of science that we do here. More specifically, we have seven facilities that are dedicated to different areas of research. So we have three of our floors dedicated to synthesis of different types – inorganic nanostructures, biological, and inorganic materials as well. Once you’ve made something you want to understand its properties and what it might be good for, so we have two facilities dedicated to characterization. We have the National Center for Electron Microscopy, which houses two of the most powerful electron microscopes in the world, and our imaging facility hosts an entire floor of different microscopes, laser systems, etc, for figuring out materials properties. If you’re interested in fabricating devices, we have a cleanroom space in our nanofabrication facility. And then finally, we have our theory facility, which we say ties everything together, because these folks are answering the why and the how questions about materials. So across all of these floors, we generate a great deal of scientific impact. In fiscal year 2021, with fiscal year runs from October, through the end of September of following year, we worked with 650 ish users, which is pretty significant considering the limitations presented by the pandemic, those users came from 22 states 21 countries. We had a good number come from industry, just about just under 10%, where we had 131 different types of institutions overall. And all of those numbers represent about 600 different projects which you could consider as the different proposals that came to us, resulting in 375 publications where a great number of those are high impact. And then to top it all off, the Foundry is not the only user facility at Berkeley Lab, we have other facilities, both user facilities and then other scientific divisions at Berkeley lab that can be available to users, and about 18% of our users take advantage of these resources. So researchers from around the globe no matter what your affiliation can come to make use of our resources through our user program. The hallmarks of this program is that we tried to have a fair and transparent user proposal process, specifically the review process, and we want to minimize barriers to user access, as well as being responsive to user needs and demands. And so just to give you an overview of our user program, we have two proposal calls per year. Our spring call just started just a few days ago and will go through the end of this month. This proposal is relatively short. It’s about three pages. The review is NSF style, where we have an external board of reviewers for each of our seven facilities. And so they’re looking at the proposals for scientific merit.
They rank the proposals, and given that ranking, our facility staff will then say okay, this is how much capacity we have. And so we can’t change the order of the ranking from the review board, but we can draw a line and say, okay, we have capacity for 50 more proposals in this in this facility this year, and so anyone above the line will get accepted. Once accepted, you get up to one year of access to our facility. So that’s to our staff, that’s to our equipment. But it’s also for using a desk, it’s for using our conference room space. It’s basic consumables like gloves, chemicals, etc. Once you get to the end of that year, you can apply for what’s called a follow on proposal to get additional time. The main difference here is that you have to demonstrate continued need for the foundry. As I mentioned previously, all of this is free. And that is assuming that it is intended for publication, and it’s non proprietary research. If you want to keep everything that you’re working on secret and still use the foundry, it is possible, but there is a recharge for using our facilities. Just to touch briefly on intellectual property, what it all boils down to is all IP is owned by the inventor. If you come to us with something you’ve already made, and you want to characterize it, that is yours. If you come here to try to develop a new method and you end up inventing something new, then it would be shared. Alright, so once that’s an overview of how our user program operates. To submit a proposal, you go through the following process: you’d submit your proposal, then it goes through a series of reviews, first by our administrative staff, and then by our scientific staff to make sure that the proposal is feasible. Next, it goes through a set of reviews by our external review board. First, they do preliminary review where each individual reviewer will read and and kind of assess the various proposals and then each review board meets as a group where the members of the board get together and discuss each proposal and then determine its ranking. As I mentioned just a bit ago, those rankings go to our facility directors where they they discuss what our capacity is for new proposals, and then they draw a line proposals above the line get approved. Next, it will go through another series of reviews primarily based on safety. What are the concerns we have, say if you’re going to be working with hazardous chemicals? What other safety considerations do we have to be aware of before you even come on site, and that will also include a review by our safety manager. Once all of those reviews are concluded, and your contract is set up between Berkeley Lab, the Foundry and your institution, then you can start your project come on site and, and start work. I should note that one distinction for the one year of free access is that the year doesn’t start until you actually initiate the project. There can be up to one year between when your project is accepted and when you actually start. Alright, during the proposal submission process, we do encourage people to reach out to staff. Now I do realize that our staff get a lot of email. And so it can be hard to get in touch with them. But if you’re persistent, you can get through and just ask them, hey, this thing I’m thinking about – can we talk this through? Is this something that we can do at the foundry? So you have a better idea of both how to scope your project appropriately and making sure that what you’re planning can be done at the Foundry. Alright, so through all this process, we do try to maintain a diversity of users. So this highlights submissions from fall 2021. You can see that we have a large number of proposals. Yes, many coming from UC Berkeley, but also from many other places.
This shows a distribution of the people that are reviewing those proposals. We try to also maintain a diversity here so that the people who are reviewing the proposals aren’t from the same place, like they’re not all from Berkeley Lab. We invite reviewers from all over as you can see, to try to keep this fair, and make sure that it’s an equitable process. Alright, so that’s a bit of background. Now, what are the proposal components? First, you have your project goals and significance. And there’s a point total on each of these bullets that you can see, that tells you what the weighting is when a reviewer is going to be assessing your proposal. So project goals and significance, your project plan and timeline, what resources you are asking for, and the relative experience that you have in relation to the work you’re proposing. Now, I’m assuming that everyone can read the bullets faster than I can speak them out loud, but we’ll talk about these a little bit more as we go. Alright, so the proposal criteria, from each of these main bullets. The project goals, we want to know how likely is it that your work is going to advance the field? How likely is it to produce impactful publications? From the project plan? We’re mostly concerned about scope? Can you actually do what you’re proposing within one year? Is it contributing to ongoing research at your institution? These types of things, the resources that you’re requesting, are you going to be asking for a large amount of time on a very key instrument that’s very popular? Or are you using several instruments over time, these are things to consider because some of our more popular instruments, I mean, if you’re asking for a huge chunk of time, that means that that instrument is not going to be available to other users. And so we can’t actually accept as many proposals if we’re going to accept ones that take a lot of time. And then relative expertise of the user. So how much experience do you have in this area is our our staff going to have to devote a lot of time to training you and in how to do certain techniques, and so on, these are all things that we want to consider. Alright, so now we’re going to go through proposal here. I’m going to get a Google doc link, and I have put that in the chat if you want to bring up the original proposal. And then I’m going to take you through a few annotations of one of these examples that’s available on our website. I want to point out some of the sections that are highlighted here. So under project goals and significance, like just this first wording, where it says a major challenge towards this is framing the technological impact. And then, as we move down, it’s like it’s describing transition metal dichalcogenides. And so it’s being more specific about the goal of the project. It’s describing a particular class of promising materials. And it’s adding ample citations to land credibility to what you’re working on. Here in this next paragraph, it begins with a very, very clear statement of the intended work. And as we continue, we’re framing what previous work has found and identifies a need for this specific proposal to advance the science. And then right after that, it specifies which staff are going to provide support or which staff member you aim to work with. And it’s trying to marry the resources at the Foundry with your idea – why is it that the Foundry is the place that is absolutely needed for your idea?
For example, on our imaging floor, lwe have a few TEMs that are fairly run of the mill TEMs, so why do you need to come to the foundry to use our TEM? This next comment as we scroll down in the figure, shows that the images here are clear, relevant and connected to the text. So it will actually provide support for the reviewers understanding what your goals here are. And when you discuss the need for the Foundry, this section is making a persuasive case of, again, why the Foundry is the best place for this work. Okay, as we move down to the project’s plan and timeline, you want to be sufficiently detailed and specific to make it clear that one year of access is appropriate for the proposed scope of work. Now, I mentioned that yes, you can, in the future, submit a follow on proposal, but that’s not guaranteed. First, you have to take a chunk of your idea and make sure that it’s actually doable with one within one year. And so you can see where it’s being specific, in these different paragraphs about how long you anticipate certain things to take, how long how long a certain person might be working on site at the Foundry. And then overall, that should roughly fit within one year. And then we move down to the relevant expertise segment segment, where you want to provide information if you have prior training on similar techniques. Or if there’s anyone on at the who’s a co PI or in your research group who has expertise in a certain area and can share that amongst the research team. Okay, so that that is our example proposal. If anyone has questions about that, please feel free to put them into the chat.
Okay, so what I’ve just described is the Foundry’s standard proposal. We also have a few other types of proposals, which includes sample only, instrument only and rapid access. So the first two are if you have a very specific very small scope need for a specific material or a specific instrument at the Foundry. And then rapid access is if you have an idea where you’re trying to get, say, some preliminary data for a proposal or a very, very small need, which can be submitted at any time, not just during our proposal calls. Alright, so again, that’s our overview of the user program and the proposal process. Now I’m going to ask our panelists to turn their videos on. We have Dr. Emory Chan, who’s a staff member in our Inorganic facility, Dr. Ricardo Ruiz, who’s a staff member in our Nanofabrication Facility, Dr. Behzad Rad whose staff member in our biological nanostructures facility, Professor Hope Ishii, who is a professor at the University of Hawaii and is on our NCEM Proposal Review Board. And Dr. Sumanjeet, Kauer, who is a user in our organic facility. So I’m going to ask a few questions of our panelists now. And so first, we’ll start off with our scientific staff. What do scientific and technical staff look for in a feasibility review? Emory, Behzad, Ricardo, who would like to chime in first?
Maybe I’ll chime in. So one of the really important things about feasibility is not only obviously it’s something feasible, clearly, you should check in with a staff member to make sure your idea is something that you can do at the Foundry. But mostly what we’re looking for is the amount of staff effort a proposal will take because there’s only a limited amount of time for staff to help you. So, if the proposal review board thinks it’s gonna eat up like 90% of my time, they’re going to be less likely to give that a good score. So anything you can do to reduce the staff effort, like, say, Oh, I’m very experienced in this or I have a lot of experience in nanocrystal synthesis, or, you know, I I will help to develop this capability – that really improves your score.
Ricardo, Behzad, do you have anything to add?
Sure, yeah, I want to add a couple of things, to what Emory has said, in reviewing or evaluating what a feasible idea is, we are also looking for the process flow of your experiments and making sure that our tools and materials are both available and compatible. So that’s also why it’s very important to check with a staff member while you’re writing the proposal, so that the feasibility gets incorporated naturally, right? Because most likely, the staff you consult with will be asking the right questions about what kind of materials are you going to be using or bringing to the lab, what capabilities you need, and whether all of those are available at the lab and are compatible with your specific materials. So I’m going to add to that in that same topic, right? In our case, where I am in the nanofabrication facility, but this may also apply for other facilities as well, that if your proposal includes a diagram of your process flow, that helps a lot in delivering that idea. Very good. Right, because people get there in the staff side, or in the reviewers side. By looking at a cartoon or a diagram that quickly conveys the process flow will have a good idea of what entails to complete your experiments.
Thank you, Ricardo. Behzad, did you have anything to add to Emory and Ricardo’s answers?
Putting out a perspective from the synthesis facilities we also look for is whether what we’re going to make – is it feassible within the current year timeframe. So again, to Ricardo’s point, diagrams or structures, you know, kind of having that sort of concrete goal is really important. Because we want to be able to evaluate whether it’s feasible. There are times where we can kind of you know, expectations and say that that is a bit too much or you know, these these couple of structures are possible. But again, the more specific you are about what you want to make, and how much is basically what we need to know how many projects we can do in that particular year.
Right. Thank you all. Alright, the next question for staff, what makes a good proposal from the staff perspective?
Maybe I can jump in. So one of the most important sections is this need for the Foundry section. And that’s because, you know, of course, Foundry resources are limited. And, you know, there’s unlimited demand for free. It matters that not only that your science is good, but your science is requires the Foundry, right? So if you could do your experiment at home, meaning your own lab, then there’s no need for the Foundry, no matter how good your science is. And so if push comes to shove, and your two proposals are the last ones to be considered, they’re going to take the one that really really needs the Foundry, right. So in that section, that section is not really for you to say I need UV vis and I need you know, two hours of TM, it’s more to say, like, I really need a specific instrument that isn’t available nowhere else in the world, or I need this expertise that is very specific to the Foundry and most importantly, they really love when you talk about synergies, like the your work is synergistic with efforts that are in the Foundry, or LBL or like co-localization that you want to use multiple user facilities, like I want to use both the ALS and the Foundry and I have this material that’s so like unstable that I really need to be able to run straight from the Foundry and measure it at the ALS – that kind of thing will push your proposal way above the pack than just saying, I want to have free TEM.
Ricardo, if you’re with us, if you want to chime in as well,
So, yeah, I agree with what Emory just said, The only thing I could add is a clear explanation of why Foundry is a good place for realizing your project or your idea. Given that we are a user facility that is open to the public, on a competitive basis, right, we want to be able to support you users in making a difference. So a good proposal could be also one in which you are leveraging the use of the Foundry to make something that’s unique, and that it’s also taking advantage of the synergies that Emery mentioned.
Thanks, and Behzad?
Those are great responses, and you know, I would add that, what I’ve seen is that a strong proposal is one that really sticks to a workable project in the very beginning. You know, a lot of people have green applications and other things where you have three project aims, for example. And those are just not sort of, like what’s feasible in a year timeframe. So really having to think about what is what it you can do here? Realistically, given that you have to travel, stay and work at the Molecualr Foundry on the West Coast, that is really important as well and shows that you’ve thought really well about your proposal and that you can really leverage what’s here for what’s best for your project?
Great, great. Well, next, I would like to direct a question to our review board member present Hope. What do PRB members look for in the proposal process? And then if you have any tips on how to address the review criteria, and like what common problem areas are, that would be great.
So I would encourage you all to start by looking at the review criteria, because that is exactly what we look at, when we look at the proposals. We go through those criteria. And so that’s a really important place to start. And I think a lot of the points of the staff members have already made are directed to what’s in those criteria. So that’s what your proposal is going to get judged on. Start there so you have a good understanding of what what goals you’re trying to get to as you’re writing. Let’s see, I do have a couple of tips, especially for introductions. I think it’s very common for us when we get very deep into our own area of research to really kind of forget that the rest of the world doesn’t do exactly what we do. So remember that the review panel is full of people from from a wide range of science backgrounds, and make sure that you’re speaking to a general audience, because there’s so many proposals that are coming in, there’s just not time for the review board to go and do research to understand the background of your work. So you really need to make sure you’re speaking to a general audience and try to avoid too much jargon so that the review board really gets why it’s important that you’re doing the work that you’re proposing to do. Again, also mentioned before by the staff, but it’s important to point out where you’re going to take advantage of unique capabilities of the Foundry. And this co-location and synergy with other work is a good example of how you can do that. Even if you are just doing TEM, for example, having the particular expertise of the staff member, for example is a good way to emphasize that you need this, and then don’t forget to also let let people know what you’re going to do at your home institution, because that really shows that you’re valuing the resources at the Foundry by doing your homework at home before you get there.
Let’s see. I think maybe the most important thing that will really help in proposal writing is talking to the staff – like go in there and call up or send an email, get feedback early. And you want to get that the response from them early on feasibility and whether the scope makes sense, and whether the resources you’re requesting are appropriate or going to be available. And if you basically do your homework and get started early, I think you’re going to have a really good outcome.
That was very thorough answer. Thank you. Next, I want to ask our resident user Sumanjeet – do you have any advice for or tips of what you found helpful in writing a proposal to the Foundry,
I think the other panelists did a great job, they pretty much mentioned all the points. So my personal experience is that the staff, the Molecular Foundry staff, is very knowledgeable, they’re really experts in their field. So whenever I write a proposal, I reach out to them beforehand. And you know, having conversation with them, not only will refine your idea, it will give you an idea of what facilities in the Foundry can help you in your research. So I think the staff consultation before the proposal is really important. And one other key is don’t do it in the last week where it is due, because you know, all the staff are bombarded with these emails from all the different users in the last two days before it is due. So, you know, start early, so that they can provide an answer and they’re very open. I mean, they are ready to give virtual meetings, write responses in email. But also, you know, one of my proposals last year did not get accepted. But what I got was a very good feedback. And the one of the points that the other panelists here were mentioning was the scope. The proposal got a good review, but it said the scope is too much and it’s not feasible in one year. So that made me realize that I should think about it, and then we cut down on the scope and listened to all the other feedback. And that same proposal got accepted this time in the organic facility. So I think the take home message is that please consult the staff, and it will help you refine your idea. And, if you don’t get accepted, don’t give up, look at the feedback and apply again. Thanks.
Thank you for your answer. Let’s see. Any of our panelists, do you feel like you have anything that hasn’t been said yet, that I haven’t prompted, that one of the other panelists hasn’t mentioned yet, that you think would be really valuable for a prospective user, before they write their proposal.
One of the things that it’s important for users to realize is that each of the facilities has a slightly different way they deal with proposals – they have different things they’re looking for. So just because you get advice in this session, or from one staff scientist in a facility, doesn’t mean it automatically applies to other ones. So for example, NCEM operates very differently, and they evaluate the proposals in a different perspective than, say, a synthesis facility, like the inorganic facility. We are used to really long term projects, like, where it is more exploratory, but we have to deal with, you know, the fact that these things can go on for a long time, whereas, you know, at NCEM they want to know that you have experience in TEM, they want to know exactly what you’re trained on, and what you’re going to do and how you’re going to analyze your data. So that’s why one reason why it’s really important to talk to the staff scientists or the staff members because they know who’s on the PRBs they know what they’re looking for, and it may differ from PRB to PRB.
That’s a good point. To add – definitely talk to the staff about what we think is going to be appropriate for when submitting a proposal because not only can we tell you about whether the workflows and instrumentation are functioning, we can also help with identifying which support facilities to add. And I think that sometimes that can be confusing because I’ve seen proposals where they’ve checked a lot of boxes, right? For your project, we can really help and say, you will need these two instruments that are in this facility and so please go ahead and check those boxes and request them specifically. So definitely reach out to us. Asking for advice for this project is a big plus.
Those are really great points, Emory and Behzad. Just to jump on one thing that I don’t think has been expressly said, we’ve talked a lot about accessing tools, but our staff themselves should be considered equal resources that could be sought after, through a proposal, like equally to an instrument, because they are experts in their fields. And so many of our users do come here just to consult with Emery Chan and with Ricardo and Behzad, etc. because they’re just that good at what they do. So please do keep that in mind as well. And then I also have a little note from, from Tina McCoy, who’s our user program administrator and works with all of our users. She wants to make sure that everyone understands that it’s important to have a clear timeline for the proposal that you’re submitting. So you noticed in that example that I went through, when it got to the timeline section, it actually had an estimate of like, oh, this should take roughly this much this many months and expect this to take this many months. And so it does help put kind of end caps on how big a project you’re talking about. And then finally, one thing that we haven’t really talked about very much yet is that one of the silver linings of the past two years has been the development of a lot of remote access or distance access tools. I’m putting a link in the chat now, which is to one of our articles on the Foundry website that details more of these, but things like the microscopes at NCEM, some of those tools can actually be accessed remotely. Some of these are more safety oriented – in our nanofabrication facility we have means to doing remote training through augmented reality. So you can read more about these either through our podcast Foundry from Home – each of those podcasts has a transcript if you read faster than you listen – or you can also look at the featurette videos we have on some of our different tools. And so as you’re thinking about whether or not to submit a proposal disciple or not, if if travel to the Foundry is a potential roadblock for you either because of the cost of getting to Berkeley, or because of ongoing safety concerns, please do consider asking our staff about what tools could be used remotely since the tools and features mentioned in those articles aren’t necessarily the most up to date at this point in time, because our staff are very excellent at continuing to innovate. Talk to our staff about what might be possible if it’s less possible for you to come on site. There’s a lot more that we can offer to our users who are remote than we used to be able to that’s that is certainly something that’s exciting.
Okay, let’s see, if any of the attendees have a question, please feel free to either write it in the chat or you can raise your hand and ask it live. There was one question that came through as a direct message asking primarily about the experience aspect of the proposal, which is if someone if a student and their advisor don’t have the training on the type of characterization they intend to do, do we recommend finding a co PI that has that experience on the particular instrument? Any of our staff members want to answer that question?
I can try that even though, that’s probably more of a characterization study. So if the question is will it help your proposal – If you just have someone on your proposal, probably that’s not going to be a huge factor because if it’s the graduate student that’s doing all the work and they don’t have experience, then it would still be pretty much as much work for the staff to train them. But you can say something like, I have experience in my home facility doing kind of low Rez TEM, and I just want to do more advanced TEM at NCEM that would help. Or you could say something like you are planning to go to this workshop and learn that particular skill. But, you know, ultimately, that training will factor into the staff effort. But I would say more useful would be the fact that if you have particular reasons why that to justify why you’re not trained, right, if you come from a primarily undergraduate university, then you know, they’re going to cut you a little bit more slack than if you come from, like UC Berkeley, and you have a lot of access to TEM.
Great, thank you, Emory. We just had a question come into the chat of should proposals need to focus exclusively on the fundamental science or some applied science tied necessary? No, they don’t need to focus on one or the other. And applied science is not necessary. Some of our work is well, I’ll just preface this by saying we are funded by the part of DOE that that’s called Basic Energy Sciences. So our mission fundamentally is to look at basic fundamental science. That being said, we do have a lot of people who are working on a project with a specific applied focus in mind. And so we have some of everything. Now here, I’m going to ask Branden if he wants to amend my answer at all.
No, I think you’re right, or Hi, everyone. I’m Branden Brough. I’m the Deputy Director of the Foundry. Yeah, so we are funded by the Basic Energy Sciences, which is a, you know, kind of basic science, fundamental science organization. However, as a user facility, we have a fair amount of latitude to facilitate the research of our users. And so if you’re, if you have a more applied research question, that could be informed by the basic science capabilities of our staff. I think that’s the sweet spot. But maybe I’ll kick it to Hope, but I don’t think that the reviewers are going to be docking anything that is overly applied. I think the motivation is, is this something worth doing? And is this something worth doing at the Foundry?
Yeah, in my experience, such as it is, Branden’s absolutely right. We’ve seen proposals that kind of run run the gamut. But of course, the capabilities are basic science capabilities. And so the idea is that you apply those appropriately to your problem. Actually, I just wanted to jump into the person who was talking about what to do if I’m not already an expert, is it worth proposing. This is where I would really strongly encourage you to call up staff and talk to them, because that’s where you’re going to start getting feedback. And you need to build a collaboration with a staff member who is an expert. So don’t stop if you have good science and don’t have the experience.
Great, thank you. Oh, Branden, I have another question for you. Which is, could you provide more detail about IP ownership for companies who have inventions already, but would like to understand the chemistry interactions in the Foundry facility?
So basically, whether you’re a company or not, if you have existing IP that you bring to bear for a research project at the Foundary, you are not putting it in jeopardy, I think it’s the easiest way to say. Building on what Hope was saying, there’s a huge amount of enthusiasm from our staff to talk to folks. And I think, especially for those who are coming from the more industrial side, to be able to carve out a project that is comfortable. For all sides, we want to make sure that you do not feel like you’re overly exposing your IP. And I think that we can get pretty creative in ways of scoping a scientific question that doesn’t threaten the IP, but really does inform the next steps of a company and we’re happy to have those kind of one on one conversations about the specifics.
It’s helpful, Branden. But I would like to talk more about that. Because you know, as a, you know, working in a company, our legal department is asking more about the IP ownership. I would love to join you again. This is your facility, this IP ownership is not super clear. Maybe I should send you an email to follow up.
Thank you. Yeah. And I would say, if you want to get your lawyers in a room and sit down, I think Shannon is getting her honorary, you know, bar exam passed here almost because she has to do so many contracts. And we’re happy to sit down with you guys and kind of help you navigate it. And I know that it is kind of challenging, but we’re very interested in finding a way to make it work. Thank you.
Can I jump on once more. So in the process of going through proposals, there have been a couple of cases where it was unclear whether work was going to be considered proprietary or not. So I would just encourage those who have industrial work to be very clear whether this is work that’s intended for publication in the open literature, or if it’s going to be performed as proprietary work in your proposal.
So very good point. I think that sometimes something that I see from our reviewers is that they feel like they just don’t have enough details to weigh in on something. And I think that it undermines the scientific case. And it also undermines the idea that this, this proposal has a good plan, if there’s not sufficient detail, so again, to your sage advice, reach out to the staff, and we’ll help navigate this.
Great, we have one other question from chat, which was asking about follow on proposals, but also specifically related to a proposal that had been delayed due to COVID. And so I was going to ask Tina McCoy, who’s our user program administrator to talk a little bit about what what this person should do. So Tina?
Sure. So if you have a proposal that is active now, that will be ending, then you should submit a follow on proposal in this call the call for in March 31. And that follow on proposal will go through the proposal review board review. And it will go through, you know whether it’s accepted or rejected. And you want to make sure you can get a hold of me, and I’ll help you with the dates and the dates of the project ending and whether you need to do the spring call or the fall call. So you want to want to submit a proposal in time so that you’re not having a lapse in the work.
Thank you, Tina. Okay, any, any last questions from anyone? Or any of our panelists think of anything else that you want to share with prospective proposal writers? Ok well, then, I just want to bring up this slide to show you the people that you can go to first for questions about the proposal process. So Tina is one. But also Shannon, Kristen, Donald, they all can answer questions about the proposal process.
Or if you go through our website and looking at the expertise and instrumentation section, as you can look through the different PI’s that we have and their specialties or the different tools that we have available. If you’re not sure who to talk to about something. A good first place would be to ask, Hey, Tina, like do you know of someone like who does this type of thing? Yeah, you want to go talk to Emory. And so please use our user program office staff as a resource as you go through this process. They’re out there to help. So finally, I just want to close with the fact that our purpose Proposal call is open through the end of this month, March 31. We close at 1159 Hawaiian time – you have until the end of the day Hawaii time on the 31st to submit a proposal. And then I also want to do a save the date for our annual user meeting, which is a conference that brings together all of our users to talk about Foundry Science and Foundry related science. It’s going to be a hybrid event. At least, we’re planning for a hybrid event where some of the components will be on site at Berkeley Lab and there will also be some virtual components. So please note those dates down and we hope that you’ll be able to join us then. With that, I would like to thank our panelists one more time, Emory, Behzad, Ricardo, Hope and Sumanjeet for your participation today I know your answers will be very valuable for those that were able to attend today and and those people that may be watching this as a recording later on. So thank you again for participating and yeah, thank you all for tuning in today.