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Beamtime on the macromolecular- and micro-crystallography beamlines at the Australian Synchrotron is accessible via Collaborative Access Program (CAP) proposals. The implementation of CAPs allows users of the MX community regular access to beamtime in order to progress their research activities.  Sharing beamtime between different laboratories allows the CAP to have the flexibility to optimally utilise beamtime allocations dependent on sample and team member availability.

Features of the CAP system

Successful CAP proposals will provide access to beamtime for a 12 month period

  • Principal Investigators (PIs) from different laboratories group together to form Collaborative Access Programs.  A PI can belong to only one CAP.  The intent of this is to group all of the beamtime requirements for a group of labs into a single block

  • There are only two modes of access for beamtime on the MX beamlines; CAPs and rapid access

  • All laboratories that access the MX beamlines are expected to belong to a CAP as it is the standard mode of access

  • A CAP can be any group of PIs (and must include their associated staff, post-docs and students), not necessarily from the same institution and not necessarily involved in the same projects

  • The minimum size expected for a CAP is two or more PIs where the combined samples and staff of the CAP are able to efficiently use six shifts (2 days) of beamtime on each MX beamline per 4 month cycle.  This is a total of 6 days on MX1 and 6 days on MX2 per 12 month period

  • Once a PI joins a CAP all of their staff, post-doctoral associates and students are also classed as members of the same CAP.  It is not permitted for lab members to belong to different CAPs as all of the laboratory's projects should be bundled together into the PIs single CAP application

  • Each successful CAP will be allocated a fixed amount of beamtime scheduled over the course of a year.  It is up to the CAP to decide which PI or group of PIs within the CAP will use which of their allocated days


Applying for a CAP

  • All applications must be submitted via the User Portal from the Portal Dashboard, select the 'Create new proposal' link.

  • Select the MX beamlines from the dropdown and then select the appropriate CAP round to create the overarching CAP proposal.  This short proposal will describe the rationale for CAP formation and will allow for the nomination of the Project Leaders that form the CAP.

  • Once the overarching CAP proposal has been created, one or more separate CAP Project proposals must be submitted against the CAP proposal by the Project Leader(s).  These proposals will describe the scientific project, the experience and scientific output of the Project Leader and their staff members and the number of shifts of beamtime requested for each project.

  • All CAP applications will be reviewed by the MX Program Advisory Committee


Overview of the CAP submission process:


Thorough instructions for navigating the CAP proposal submission process can be found here.

For further information on CAPs please see the policy document and the FAQs.

The CAP Beamtime Planning Guidelines document for CAPs led by Austrailan investigators can be downloaded here.

The CAP Beamtime Planning Guidelines document for CAPs led by New Zealand investigators can be downloaded here.