GUP Application FAQ2019-05-17T02:43:27+00:00

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Who can apply?
Everyone is welcome to apply. The mission of NCCAT is nationwide cryoEM access and training.

When are the proposal cycles and deadlines?
There are up to 4 cycles a year. Each calendar quarter is a cycle. Applications initially will accepted and scored on a rolling basis. Future deadlines and cut offs will be posted on

How do I submit a proposal? 
Prospective users should submit a proposal through our web form.

I submitted a proposal do I receive a confirmation?
A confirmation should be sent upon receipt of your proposal.

How do I edit a proposal?
The primary user attached to the proposal may request to make changes to the proposal up to the cycle cutoff date by emailing nccathelp [at]

How do I see my score?
The primary user of scored proposals will be contacted after the UAC have normalized the scores.

What if my proposal did not receive a score? 
All proposals are reviewed, but if there is not enough information for the URC to provide a score the proposal will receive a NR.

What are the proposal cut off scores?
At the end of a cycle the awarded proposal cut off scores will be published on our website.

How do I know if I have been awarded time?
A member of the NCCAT TAC will contact the primary user with instructions.

What happens if I cannot make the offered GUP1 session time?
If you waive the opportunity for your GUP1 session, then you will be offered an alternative date. If you waive a second time, then your application will go back to the TAC scheduling pool for consideration the next earliest time. If you waive a third time, then your application will be forwarded to the next quarterly scheduling cycle for consideration.

I have been contacted, what is the pre-session meeting?
NCCAT will contact awarded users by email, phone and/or video conference to ensure the available resources are matched to the experiments laid out in the GUP. Some proposals require significant staff resources in addition to instrumentation resources. These proposals entail a greater amount of coordination.

When should I make travel arrangements?
If your proposal involves on site work you will be contacted. After a member of the NCCAT TAC has contacted you with instructions, and you have completed the necessary pre-session forms you may then make travel arrangements. When they are finalzed please reach out to your assigned TAC member to finalize your plans.

What happens if my samples or I do not arrive in time for my session?
It is a responsibility of the user to ensure their samples and person arrive on a timely manner. Failure to show or make appropriate use of instrument time will still count against the proposal and be taken into account during future assignments. In case of an emergency another registered NCCAT user that has completed all necessary pre-session steps may come.

What is the biosafety level for the samples and work done at NCCAT?
All samples shipped to NCCAT and any research material that is worked on at NCCAT must be biosafety hazard level 1 (BSL-1) compliant.

What happens if there is a maintenance issue that prevents a scheduled instrument from being available during my session?
If there is a force majeure or act of nature that prevents use of the resources at NCCAT best efforts will be made, but there is no guarantee of a makeup session. For situations where there is emergency maintenance or interruptions with sufficient prior notice the users may be contacted for re-scheduling.

How long are the sessions for instrumentation access?
Session lengths that we are currently awarding may be 1, 2 or 3 days. The length of the session is based on the URC/UAC recommendations given to us. When the NCCAT wing is complete and we have our full complement of instrumentation we plan to allow a proposal to be able to request multiple sessions.

How many micrographs I can get per day and what type of instrument is available?
Parameters greatly dictate the throughput and may mean the difference between 750 to 3000 images per day. For our standard settings we typically reach 1000-1500 images per day.

What is the end of session survey?
All users that use NCCAT resources must complete an end-of-session survey. A hold will be placed on future session assignments until the survey has been completed.
I have a manuscript/publication in preparation, how do I cite NCCAT? 
The standard NCCAT acknowledgement is as follows:
“Some of this work was performed at the National Center for CryoEM Access and Training (NCCAT) and the Simons Electron Microscopy Center located at the New York Structural Biology Center, supported by the NIH Common Fund Transformative High Resolution Cryo-Electron Microscopy program (U24 GM129539,) and by grants from the Simons Foundation (SF349247) and NY State.”

What is the data management policy?
Users are responsible for backup and archiving their own data. NCCAT mirrors the data during collection, but does not maintain a backup or archive. In addition, users must also comply with all NIH data sharing and publication policies.

For additional queries please email nccathelp [at]