Collaboration

In order to broaden the accessibility of modern first principles theories and calculations of spectroscopy, the ETSF fosters collaboration between theorists from the ETSF and researchers from other communities, experimentalists as well as theoreticians. This collaboration facilitates:

Excitonic wave function of water molecule

Analogous with users of existing large experimental research infrastructures, such as synchrotron facilities, scientists from any other organisation, public- or private-sector, can propose projects for which, if they are accepted, scientific and technical support will be provided by ETSF researchers.

To initiate a collaboration with the ETSF, users are invited to firstly submit a consultancy proposal or contact the coordinator of the relevant beamline and secondly submit a proposal.

Call for Proposals

A collaborative research project addresses a specific scientific problem: ETSF scientists work in close collaboration with the proposer, employing computational resources and scientific software provided by the ETSF. Proposals of scientists from any public- or private- sector organisation and from any country are welcome. They may be submitted at any time. Consultancy proposals are evaluated every week. Collaborative Research proposals are evaluated twice a year (Next call deadline: 16 April 2015).

guide for proposers
It is important that you read the Guide for Proposers before submitting a proposal.

Consultancy

First contact with the ETSF: You are not yet in contact with an ETSF scientist. You would like to know if the ETSF could implement a collaborative research project or a training project at your request.
ConsultancySubmission

To submit a Consultancy proposal, you will be asked to create a website account, enter your contact details and enter your question into an on-line form (800 characters max.).
An answer will be sent you by e-mail within 10 days.

Submitting a proposal

You are already in contact with an ETSF scientist.

ConsultancySubmission

To submit such projects, you will be asked to log in, enter basic details into an on-line form, and upload a PDF document describing the proposal project itself, based on one of the templates provided above (1 or 2 pages).

Templates

For collaborative research proposals: OpenOffice; MS Word; LaTeX.

Step by step explanations may be found in the Guide for proposers.

Guide for Proposers

The ETSF call itself is open all year round. Users may submit proposals at any time. Follow the link for an outline of confidentiality issues, the evaluation criteria and process. All proposals must be submitted on-line.

Create user account

In order to submit a proposal a user account must be created on the ETSF website. After submitting the account information, an email containing the password will be send to the address provided, allowing users to access their account.

Screenshot of create an account page

When logged in, a bottom left menu appears “My Proposals”. Here, proposers can edit personal details and modify them, create a new proposal or, for Collaborative Research proposals only, edit an already existing proposal and modify it.

Submission process

The submission process differs with respect to the type of proposal. Follow the link:

Contacting the ETSF

If, having read this guidance, you have questions or are having difficulty with submitting a proposal, please contact Silvana Botti (silvana [dot] botti [at] uni-jena [dot] de).

Guide for Collaborative Research Proposals

Call announcement

Although the call itself is open all year round, evaluation of research proposals takes place biannually, in the Spring and Autumn. Information about the deadline for proposal submission is publicized as news on the ETSF website: on the Home page and on the Call for Proposals page. Deadlines are typically around March and September.

Submit Collaborative Research

Submission process and proposal structure

All proposals must be submitted on-line. Completing the submission of a proposal will require the following information:

  1. the contact details of the main proposer;
  2. resource information (preferably provided together with an ETSF scientist).
  3. the names and affiliations of any co-workers;
  4. the scientific proposal as a PDF file (templates available from the Submitting Proposals page)

Besides contact details of the proposer, the proposal is divided in three parts which will be explained in the following.

Basic information

In this part, basic details about the project are described. In particular, the ETSF wishes to list on its website successful proposals titles and when projects are completed and published, a summary of the results. For this reason, the users' permission is asked for. Moreover, information about co-funding is required. If the proposer wishes to contribute with her/his own resources, the type of co-funding (money, CPU time, etc.) and the amount in euro should be described.

Screenshot of Basic Information page

Furthermore the ETSF requires information about the resources which the proposed project will employ in order to estimate the character, the feasibility and the duration of a project. It is highly recommended that this part is discussed with an ETSF scientist beforehand. If you are not already in contact with an ETSF scientist, please submit a Consultancy proposal or contact one of the ETSF beamline coordinators. Their email addresses are available at the Beamlines page.

Information required when submitting on-line:

  • the ETSF beamline(s) which are relevant to the project;
  • the name of the ETSF scientist with whom you have primarily discussed your project;
  • the estimated duration and any required CPU hours (options are: 1-4 months, 5-8 months or 9-12 months; 0 hours, 1 000 hours, 10 000 hours or 100 000 hours);

Information on Co-workers

In this part, the proposer should provide the names and affiliations of any co-workers. This information is required for correspondence and for statistical purposes.

A co-worker is someone who works together with the proposer on the topic of the proposed project and who is interested in the project's results as well. ETSF scientists are not considered as co-workers.

Screenshot of the Co-workers page

Uploading the PDF file

In this part the planned research is described. Templates available from the Submitting Proposals page. The template is divided into several sections.

The first part, "Scientific background", should consist of a brief introduction to the proposed project and a description of the proposer's experience in the field, citing one or two recent publications. It should then describe the scientific problem to be addressed by the project and the underlying questions, explaining its importance.

The second section, "Objectives", should state the specific objectives of the proposed project and why they are worth pursuing. If possible, the objectives should be structured sequentially.

The third section, "Description", should clarify the specific scientific contributions to the project: both requested from the ETSF and provided by the proposer. The methods and software that are envisaged to be employed within the project should be specified here. It is highly recommended that this section should be written having discussed the proposed project with an ETSF scientist.

If the project is to take place in a commercial context, that is, the proposer intends to use the results of the calculations for commercial purposes, a description the project's relevance to the final product should be provided in an additional section entitled "Impact".

Any references used should be listed in the usual way at the end of the proposal.

The completed scientific proposal must not exceed 2 A4 pages (font size 12), including references, when converted for submission into a "PDF" file and uploaded on-line.

Screenshot of upload written proposals page

The proposal can be changed at any time. This includes uploading a new pdf for the scientific part. The proposal considered in the evaluation process corresponds to the version which is found at the ETSF webpage at the time of the deadline for submission.

Review and confirm information

The last step gives the proposer a chance to review all information and edit any part of the proposal in case changes are necessary.

The "human verification" tool is used to avoid automated spam submissions. Finally, when all the information is correct, click on "confirm" to submit.

After submitting, the proposer will be redirected to the "Proposal Control Panel" page, and a message will be displayed to notify the proposer that the proposal has been stored successfully: "Proposal has been successfully submitted". Your proposal is listed in the table "Your proposals". Unfinished proposals are shown in red. Proposers may edit proposals at any time before the deadline from this table and change them, including uploading a new pdf. Cancelled proposals are shown in grey. You may cancel a proposal at any time using the ‘cancel’ link. Doing so will prevent it from being considered by the ETSF. You may restore a cancelled proposal before the call deadline by clicking ‘restore’. Proposals for a call that has passed will be displayed struck out.

Contacting the ETSF

If, having read this guide, you have questions or are having difficulty with submitting a proposal, please contact Silvana Botti (silvana [dot] botti [at] uni-jena [dot] de).

Guide for Consultancy Proposals

Submit Consultancy

Users may submit consultancy proposals at any time.
All proposals must be submitted on-line.

Basic Information

Completing the submission of a consultancy proposal will require the preparation of a short text explaining the request (800 characters maximum).

Review and confirm information

The last step gives the proposer a chance to review all information and edit any part of the proposal in case changes are necessary.

The "human verification" tool is used to avoid automated spam submissions. Finally, when all the information is correct, click on "confirm" to submit.

After submitting, the proposer will be redirected to the "Proposal Control Panel" page, and a message will be displayed to notify the proposer that the proposal has been stored successfully: "Your comment has been inserted". Only collaborative research and training proposals are listed in the table "Your proposals". Don't be surprised if you do not see your consultancy proposal there!

Contacting the ETSF

If, having read this guide, you have questions or are having difficulty with submitting a proposal, please contact Silvana Botti (silvana [dot] botti [at] uni-jena [dot] de).

Criteria and Evaluation

Evaluation Criteria

The criteria for the acceptance of a proposal are:

  • scientific excellence;
  • feasibility in terms of theory capabilities (hence, it is strongly recommended that any proposal is discussed with an ETSF scientist before submission);
  • (for commercial projects only) likely impact of the project in the final research result or product.

Evaluation Process: When External Resources are Available

When external sources are available, the evaluation is undertaken by an independent process. An External Evaluation Panel, consisting of independent experts in spectroscopy - experimentalists and theoreticians, from academia and industry - ranks the proposals, according to the evaluation criteria stated above.

To help panel members to understand the implication of the proposals in terms of theory and calculations, the ETSF beamline coordinators send the panel a feasibility report for each of the proposals. The report considers theory capabilities, human and computational resources.

The ETSF Steering Committee allocates resources to as many proposals as possible following the ranking of the External Evaluation Panel, and informs proposers of the outcome of the call.

evaluation process resources diagram

Evaluation Process: When Only Local Resources are Available

When only local resources are available, it is not feasible to follow a ranking. Therefore, the evaluation is undertaken internally by the ETSF scientists.

ETSF Research Team Leaders evaluate proposals according to criteria stated above and their team's capabilities. They send an expression of interest to the ETSF call coordinator.

An Internal Panel, consisting of the ETSF call coordinator and interested ETSF scientists, assign accepted projects to one or more ETSF Research Teams within the scope of their local resources, and informs proposers of the outcome of the call.

evaluation process diagram

Confidentiality

Any ETSF researcher, administrator or system manager having access to proposals submitted to the ETSF call has signed a declaration of confidentiality. This covers the whole process of submission, evaluation and implementation.

Submission phase

Submitted proposals are accessible only to the ETSF Call coordinator and its administrators. They are required to maintain confidential and secure all proprietary information belonging to the applicants.

Evaluation phase

Experts of the external and internal panels sign a declaration of confidentiality before beginning their work. Confidentiality rules must be adhered to at all times, before, during and after the evaluation.

Working phase

Confidentiality holds also on the working phase, involving now the ETSF scientists too. If necessary, a contract will be signed with the user, dealing with confidentiality and intellectual property rights.