Proposal Submission

We strongly recommend that you discuss the technical aspects of your proposal prior to submission by contacting one of the ePSIC staff scientists.

  1. You first need to register with the Diamond Light Source User Administration System (UAS) using the following link:

Once logged-in, a new proposal wizard can be initiated by clicking Create New Proposal on the upper left hand side. You will be asked if this is a new proposal or for continuation work or re-submission. 

For a new proposal, the relevant options for ePSIC are the following:

    1. Standard- A one-off proposal for a six month allocation period
    2. Diamond Oxford Collaboration at ePSIC – A proposal in collaboration with The University of Oxford
    3. Rapid - A justifiably urgent request for beamtime

For continuation / re-submission you will be presented with a list of proposals in the UAS to choose from. In these cases, most of the fields will be populated from the previously submitted information. Please modify where applicable. In the Science Case template please provide an update to the peer-review panel on what was achieved in the previous sessions and what is your goal in this follow-up round of experiments. If there are outputs, e.g. journal publications, conference proceedings, theses, please specify. Please also submit your experimental sessions report on the UAS.

If you are an Oxford staff member (who can act as a research council PI), submitting a proposal within the framework of the Diamond-Oxford collaboration please select the latter. Proposals within the Diamond-Oxford collaboration must contain an Oxford staff member as the Principal Investigator (PI). Please note that the Diamond-Oxford collaboration only applies to E02- JEM ARM 300CF microscope.

All other applicants please select the other options above.

Note: If you are an Oxford PI and need access to E01- JEM ARM 200CF please apply through the standard Diamond proposal route. Please contact the ePSIC Principal Electron Microscopist if you have any questions regarding the route to select when applying for beamtime.

Once you have selected the relevant option, click Next.

In the next page of the wizard, by clicking Finish, the interface for creating the proposal is opened.

This interface is shown below:

3. Add the individuals involved with the proposal, i.e. Principal Investigator (PI), Alternate Contact (AC), and Co-Investigators (CI), as described in the instructions. Note that only registered persons with the UAS can be added to a proposal. Please note that only the PI or the AC can submit the proposal. It is expected that individuals listed as PI, AC or CI will form the on-site team.

4. On the sidebar, select Science Overview. Please fill out / provide an answer for all the entries. Using the template provided, prepare the science case for your proposal. Please note that this is the core of your proposal and the feasibility and suitability of your proposed experiment(s) will be judged on the information you provide within this section. Upload the final document under UPLOAD SCIENCE CASE window. There is a limit of 2 MB for this attachment.

Sample Requirements

All proposals require evidence (normally screening data taken on other instruments) of suitable samples for aberration-corrected electron microscopy. The screening data should demonstrate that the sample thickness is suitable for high-resolution imaging / spectroscopy at the accelerating voltage requested, i.e. screening ideally to be carried out at 80 kV if the voltage requested is less than 200 kV.

5. On the sidebar, select Instruments.

On the right had side, click on Select Instruments.
If you previously selected “Standard- A one-off proposal for a six month allocation period” (step 2) you will see multiple options as shown below:

Here E01- JEM ARM 200CF or E02- JEM ARM 300CF can be added to the proposal as appropriate. Please submit one proposal for each instrument.

If you chose “Diamond Oxford Collaboration at ePSIC – A proposal in collaboration with The University of Oxford” (step 2) you will only see one option (E02- JEM ARM 300CF) as shown below:

Please also indicate number of shifts required for your experiment (For this call, a shift is 8 hours from 9AM to 5PM).

Once the relevant instrument is selected, on the right-hand side click on Answer Instrument Questions tab and respond to details in the new page (below is E02 questions page, for example).

Please select “Yes” or “No” to questions regarding access to Research Complex at Harwell and ISIS / CLF as appropriate.

6. On the left sidebar, select Funding. Please complete as necessary.

Please ensure that you include details of any existing research council or other grants that have research facility access charges associated with them. Please respond to the rest of the queries.

7. Select ERA on the sidebar.

This section addresses potential health and safety issues and must be completed. Please note that only the samples covered in the ERA are permitted on site during your visit to ePSIC.

In the Samples section, detailed specifications of samples relevant to this proposal should be provided.

Clicking on Create New Sample will open a new window as shown below:

Please provide as much detail as possible about your sample. Importantly, mark any potential sample hazards using the tick boxes provided. Depending on the level of hazards selected, you may receive correspondence from the Safety and Health group at Diamond if follow-up enquiries need to be addressed. 

Note on ERA

For vast majority of the ePSIC Users, the appropriate choice would be Chemical / Substance / Material. Selecting this option, would open a series of fields as shown in the screenshot above. Please provide as much information on the substance hazards as possible. Select the appropriate sample quantity you plan to bring on-site from the drop-down options.

Pre-prepared TEM grids are generally considered non-hazardous. If you are preparing samples at ePSIC / Diamond labs a risk assessment of the preparation routine needs to be provided in the Method section, below.

8. Please skip Equipment in the sidebar, as it is not applicable to ePSIC.

9. Select Experimental Methods, and then click on Create New Experimental Method.

This opens the window shown below:

Please provide as much detail as possible on your sample preparation method. Importantly, describe any sample preparation that needs to be performed at ePSIC, noting that we do not provide any sample preparation techniques. Indicate the risk involved in the proposed routine.

Notes on sample preparation: If necessary powder samples can be dispersed onto TEM grids in a wet lab. Please clearly indicate if this is required in your sample preparation method. Diamond’s Safety, Health and Environment team will review your preparation procedure and comment accordingly.

We are currently commissioning a JEOL FIB (JIB 4700F) dual beam microscope. If your project can benefit from this instrument and you are willing to take part in this round of commissioning please contact an ePSIC member of staff.

Note on consumables: If you require access to specialised sample grids, e.g. DENS heating chips, for your proposed experiment please contact Dr. Chris Allen directly ( to discuss details of these requirements.

Note on samples: We have restrictions in the use of radioactive or magnetic samples. Please consult with Diamond Safety Health and Environment ( and Dr. Chris Allen ( if you are planning to use these type of samples.

Lower down the same page the Instrument Method Statement can be found. This is not currently applicable to ePSIC proposals (indicate “NA” in the box and select “low” in the Overall method risk rating).

10. Once you have completed all the above steps and saved the information, you can review your proposal by selecting Current Proposal PDF on the upper left hand side (arrow below). At this stage all the tabs on the left hand side bar should appear as green, with the Submit Proposal button highlighted as green.

Once finalised, please click Submit Proposal. Please note that once the proposal has been submitted, it is not possible to amend it.

If you have any questions regarding the submission of your proposal please contact a member of the ePSIC team.