EMSL 2013 Call for User Proposals
EMSL's 2013 Call for Proposals is closed. Award decisions will be made by August 31, 2013 and approved proposals will be granted access to EMSL resources beginning October 1, 2013.
In addition to EMSL's Call for Science Theme proposals, EMSL and the Joint Genome Institute (DOE-JGI) are launching their first-ever joint call to facilitate the integration of their capabilities. This joint Call for Exploratory Collaborations is open until April 8, and solicits pilot projects that integrate the resources of both EMSL and DOE-JGI in topics related to biofuels production and carbon cycling. Proposals submitted against this Call will follow a proposal format and review process separate from Science Theme proposals.
EMSL's 2013 Call for Proposals is now open for high-impact user research proposals focused on selected topics in environmental molecular science. These proposals will be valid for two years provided the annual summary and extension request demonstrate sufficient progress toward the stated goals. A select number of proposal authors may be invited to submit project plans to extend the work for a third year.
Through the proposal and review process, EMSL allocates access to research instruments, staff, and facility services. Access to instruments is provided at no cost to users for research that is in the public domain and intended for publication in the open literature, but users are responsible for funding their own team's labor and travel expenses.
Users are advised to carefully follow the Proposal Guidance for Fiscal Year 2013 when developing proposals. Proposals will be evaluated on a total of five review criteria, following the Proposal Review process, and those that do not adhere to the guidance will not be considered.
Proposal Call Highlights
This call focuses on cutting-edge research activities that will advance scientific understanding in the specific topics listed below. Proposals that describe molecular-scale research that transforms our understanding of key phenomena of any of these specific topics, by coupling experiments with synthetic or natural materials/systems with modeling, simulation, or theory, are preferred.
Proposals that significantly advance scientific innovation through integration of multiple EMSL instruments or via highly productive collaborative teams with different expertise (multi-institution, multi-disciplinary) are encouraged. Prospective users are strongly encouraged to contact the relevant Science Theme Lead or Capability Lead to discuss proposal ideas and possible research collaborations with EMSL and PNNL staff. Prospective users interested in coupling experimental and computational approaches should contact the Molecular Science Computing Lead.
In addition, new capabilities offer prospective users the possibility of new and unique experiments. Information about these capabilities, which include a variety of in-situ probes for NMR; advanced electron microscopy in quiet space; high-powered and/or high-resolution mass spectrometers; a new Radiochemistry Annex; and nonlinear optics (sum frequency generation) are available on the capabilities web page.
Focused Topics by Science Theme
- Molecular and high performance computational analyses for genotype to phenotype associations in natural or engineered plant, fungal and microbial systems, especially those of relevance to the production of biofuels and other chemicals, and environmental processes of relevance to DOE.
- Identification and characterization of expressed proteins/enzymes of plants, fungi and microbes relevant to the production of biofuels and other chemicals; carbon, nutrient, and elemental cycling in soils and the subsurface, and other environmental processes.
- Analysis and identification of metabolites produced by plants, fungi and microbes to resolve key gaps in metabolic pathways or evaluate new or engineered biosynthetic pathways.
- Characterization of biological polymers (e.g. lignin, cellulose, hemicelluloses, chitin, others) of relevance to biofuel or biofuel precursor production from plant biomass.
- Characterization of transmembrane processes impacting genotype to phenotype translations, especially those related to the production of biofuels and other chemicals, or to environmental processes of relevance to DOE.
- Processes that impact soil carbon stability including geochemistry, microbial and fungal decomposition and respiration, and root-microbe-fungal interactions. Proposals that focus on processes poorly represented in current terrestrial carbon cycle models are particularly encouraged.
- Pore and intermediate scale flow and reactive transport studies with geochemical or biogeochemical relevance to soil, vadose zone and saturated subsurface environments. Proposals that clearly link experimental and modeling-simulation efforts are preferred.
- Interplay between biological and geochemical processes that impact the fate and transport of nutrients and/or environmental contaminants in belowground and subsurface environments. Proposals that clearly link experimental and modeling-simulation efforts are preferred.
- Geochemistry of environmental and radiological contaminants on mineral interfaces and waste forms. Proposals that clearly link experimental and computation-modeling-simulation efforts are preferred.
- Atmospheric aerosol formation and property development studies to demonstrate the relevance of a molecular level understanding of the formation and evolution of atmospheric aerosols to understanding and predicting climate behavior and air quality. Proposals that utilize both modeling and experimental approaches are preferred.
- Studies that enable the development of molecular level understanding and predictive models of critical interface properties related to energy production and storage. Proposals directed toward understanding the electrode-electrolyte interface and factors related to advancing the design and performance of current or next generation batteries are particularly encouraged.
- Combined methods (including linking modeling with experiment), novel approaches, and/or in situ studies that help advance the fundamental understanding of chemical processes at complex interfaces associated with advanced materials for energy or materials/biological interfaces (e.g. materials interactions with biological or ecosystems, or those related to the formation of bio-products).
Although preference will be given to proposals related to the specific topics above, outstanding proposals that do not fit within the Call's themes will be considered. Users are reminded that General proposals can be submitted at any time to be reviewed on established cycles (three per year). However, only limited resources are available for General proposals. Questions regarding EMSL's user program or specifics related to this Call may be directed to the contacts listed below.
For information regarding EMSL's proposal process or Science Themes, contact:
For integration of theory and experiment inquiries – Bill Shelton