GUP1 (Krios) Application instructions

Application requirements.

Applications will be limited to one page of text and one page of supporting data and figures. Key personnel named in the application must also submit an NIH Biosketch ( To download an application guide click here.

Our primary focus is to support single particle cryoEM data collection on one of the dedicated NCCAT Titan Krios instruments with a Gatan K3 direct-electron detector. Applicants should have pre-screened cryoEM samples with pre-processing results (representative micrograph, 2D class averages, and initial reconstruction if available) from the same batch of grids to be submitted for data collection at NCCAT.

Accepted NCCAT users (and their PI’s if applicable) are required to sign a written agreement that they will comply with all NIH data sharing, reporting and publication policies. The written agreement will also outline other requirements and policies for NCCAT access so as to manage expectations as transparently as possible.

Application process

The current goal of General User Proposals (GUP1s) is for Titan Krios access to complete a defined research experiment. We have a quarterly call for applications, reviewed and ranked by a User Review Committee (URC), which is a peer review committee. During this access only one (1) to three (3) sessions will be awarded per proposal, which may be 1 – 3 days in length each. Projects requiring multiple days and many sessions will be given extra scrutiny and will have to meet a high standard for preliminary data.

Users proposals are scored in the following categories: (i) Aims & Impact; (ii) Feasibility & Data; (iii) Proposed Experiments; (iv) Goals & Expectations; (v) Expertise & Resources. The URC will score these aspects on a scale of 1-5 and also have the option to provide additional comments.

A request for access proposal will expire in three (3) cycles or when the requested amount of time recommended by peer review has been used, whichever comes first. General user projects or applications will expire in two (2) years. After that point, users will have to submit a new project to submit an additional request for access applications/proposals against.

The content of the proposal will be kept confidential by the reviewer or relevant committees. A user may specify individuals that pose a potential conflict and exclude them from the external review committee.

Categories for review

The user review committee (URC) will score with respect to five (5) different categories.
(i) Aims & Impact: The specific objectives of your project. Include the scientific and technological importance of your project.
(ii) Feasibility & Data: Information and preliminary data for the samples associated with this proposal that impact feasibility of cryo-EM studies.
(iii) Proposed Experiments: The work to be conducted at the national center during the awarded project period.
(iv) Goals & Expectations: The goals for the project.
(v) Expertise & Resources: The team’s expertise in CryoEM sample preparation, microscope operation, and data interpretation, as well as the available cryoEM and/or computational resources that your team has access to.

Note: Geographical diversity, need for access by under-served or under-represented institutions, the extent of requested support, and other options available to the users or the trainees, will be taken into account in setting priorities.

These scores will be combined and averaged for a final proposal score from 1 (excellent) to 5 (poor).

Possible scores

Scores are on a scale from 1 (excellent) to 5 (poor).

Score Title Description
1 Excellent Highly innovative research of great scientific or technological importance. Access to NCCAT is integral to the success of the work.
2 Good High quality research with the potential for making an important contribution to a specific field, scientific discipline, or technical development project. Use of NCCAT resources is important to a successful outcome of the work.
3 Satisfactory Interesting research likely to produce results or incremental technological advances. The work will benefit from access to NCCAT.
4 Needs improvement Research may not significantly impact a specific field, scientific discipline, or technological area. Proposed work would also be able to be completed in other facilities including the home institution of the user.
5 Poor / Unsatisfactory Not well-planned or not feasible. The need for use of a national center is not clear.
NR No Review Insufficient information to base a review.
Note: Scored proposals that have not been assigned time will automatically be forwarded to the next cycle with an improvement of 0.2. Proposals will be forwarded for a maximum of two (2) times for a maximum improvement of 0.4.