GUP1 Application Instructions2020-03-30T19:18:40+00:00

GUP1 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.

This initial cycle will support single particle cryoEM data collection on one of our existing Titan Krios instruments using a Gatan K2 direct-electron detector or dedicated NCCAT Titan Krios instruments using 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 initial round of proposals will be for General User Proposals (GUP1s) for Titan Krios access. We have a quarterly call for applications, reviewed and ranked by a User Review Committee (URC), which is a peer review committee. During this development phase only one (1) session will be awarded per proposal, which may be 1 – 2 days in length. 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) scientific impact; (ii) scientific feasibility; (iii) technical feasibility; (iv) NCCAT resources requested (Krios days); (v) geographical demographics. 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 additional request for access applications/proposals against.

The content of 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) scientific impact: Scientific and technological importance.
(ii) scientific feasibility: Fit as a cryoEM project.
(iii) technical feasibility: Ability to be completed within a defined amount or resources/time.
(iv) NCCAT resources requested (including number of Krios sessions): Appropriate amount of NCCAT resources requested for the proposal.
(v) geographical demographics or need: Resources available at home institution and geographical proximity to similar resources requested.

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.