Filling out the application form is a prerequisite for access to the SECM4. Applications will be sent out for review, and the criteria for evaluation can be found here: https://www.secm4.org/post/how-to-review-applications. The SECM4 aims to accept as many applications as possible subject to limitations on time and resources. The most important criteria for evaluation is plausibility of the proposed cryo-EM experiments. We want to ensure reasonable expectations for the results of the SECM4 services.
The application process is streamlined and should to be overly onerous in terms of time spent filling out the form. The required fields and instructions for filling them out are below
Email: Enter the email address for the primary contact.
Project Title: Enter a title for the project. This is how your project will be tracked internally. Remember applications are for whole projects, not individual experiments.
Project Summary: This should be a high-level summary of the project. What are the samples you are studying? Why are they important? What is the significance to the field? Are there particular challenges in structure determination?
Access Track: Choose either Specimen Preparation and Screening or Data Collection and Processing. The Specimen Preparation and Screening track provides access to specimen preparation instrumentation and vitreous grid screening on a FEG. These services are performed either by the user or the SECM4 staff. The Data Collection and Processing track provides access to high-throughput data collection on a FEG with a counting direct detector performed either by the user or the SECM4 staff.
Preliminary Data: Describe what experiments have been performed on the samples that are being studied. You are required to upload supporting images in a later field. Use this field to describe the images. Are there specimen challenges that need to be overcome? What techniques have been tried previously? If you are requesting high-throughput data collection, do you have preliminary reconstruction?
Proposed Services: Use this field to describe the SECM4 services you envision using. Do you need access to particular instrumentation? Do you need training? Do you need a particular amount of data or number of sessions? Will your access be primarily local, remote, or mixture of both?
Need: Describe why you need access to SECM4 services. Describe what instrumentation you have access to locally. Is there some instrumentation that you do not have sufficient access to? Do you lack sufficient funding for access? Do you need training? Do you need access to particular cryo-EM expertise?
Additional Notes for SECM4 Staff: Use this field to provide information that will be valuable for interactions with the SECM4 staff. Include contact information for other members of the project. Include information about the sample and requirements for handling. Do you require onsite specimen workup? Are there any requirements for scheduling time? If you are requesting rapid access, use this field to justify the need for rapid access.
Preliminary Data: Upload an image with supporting preliminary data. If you are requesting the Specimen Preparation and Screening track, this might include an image of a gel, SEC peaks, TEM images, and/or class averages. If you are requesting the Data Collection and Processing track, this should include an image of a preliminary 3D reconstruction or high-resolution 2D class averages from a cryo-EM data collection session
Reviewer checkbox: By submitting an application, you agree to be a reviewer for other SECM4 applications. You will only be asked to review applications you are qualified to review.
Rapid access checkbox: Check this box to have your application considered for rapid access. The rapid access policy can be found here: https://www.secm4.org/rapid-access. To summarize, rapid access applications are only reviewed internally, but they provide only short-term access. Rapid access applications should either be of high urgency or for evaluating a particular SECM4 technology.