Call for 2021A Research Groups for SPring-8 Epoch-Making Initiatives Projects Closed

As a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, SPring-8/SACLA has suspended under access to the site since April 11,2020, except for a proposal related to COVID-19. Therefore, the 2020A term has been extended by March 2021 and allocated Beamtimes in 2020A which were postponed due to COVID-19 can be rescheduled on starting experiment dates in October 2020.
As a result, it is assumed that it will be difficult to secure a sufficient beam time, proposal calls for the research group of “SPring-8 Epoch-Making Initiative Project” that is being recruited in the 2020B period will be changed to 2021A.
The next proposal calls research groups in the “SPring-8 Epoch-Making Initiative Project” will be started from the 2021A term. Due to the transition from 2020B to 2021A period, the deadline for applications will be changed to October 22,2020.

You are invited to propose Epoch-Making Initiatives Projects, which is a category newly established in FY2015. Detailed information is provided in the following. Such calls to research groups are made only once a year (only in the A term).

4.Procedure from Application to Review
5.Review Criteria
6.Notification of Final Review results(Acceptance or Rejection)
7.Report Submission
8.Publication of Research Results



The purpose of this call is to create and develop unexplored fields in combined and interdisciplinary research beyond the boundaries of traditional fields and to broaden the basis for using SPring-8 in these fields. We encourage the production of qualitative and quantitative research results using SPring-8.


To achieve these goals, we are calling for research groups that will carry out research in unexplored fields using SPring-8. When a research group is selected, the project director will be entitled to lead, at his/her discretion, the Epoch-Making Initiatives Proposals, which will be executed by project leaders, using multiple beamlines within the effective period (two years). Moreover, the beamtime can be arbitrarily allocated within the allowable range for each term (although the number of shifts for beamtime will be determined after review).
The structure of a research group targeted in this call is as follows.

Note: Once the research group is selected, the project director and project leaders are determined and cannot be changed (their numbers cannot be increased or decreased). However, the project team members can be changed and their number can be increased or decreased within the research period [see Section 3(1)].

The applicant should be the project director. The numbers of project leaders and project team members are not limited. The research group should carry out its research activities on the basis of the research plan submitted in the application. The project director should supervise the entire research plan of the group for the Epoch-Making Initiatives Proposals. The project leaders should oversee their individual projects as project leaders under the project director. The applicant research groups will be screened by the Epoch-Making Initiatives Proposals Review Committee (hereafter, the Review Committee), which consists of academic and industrial experts. The Review Committee will select research groups that are considered to be outstanding, in accordance with the goals (review criteria) of Epoch-Making Initiatives Projects. The screening process consists of two steps: “document screening and interviews.” The research groups whose proposal passes the document screening will be interviewed at SPring-8. Note that up to two research groups may be selected in each call period. For details, refer to “9. Others.
After passing the document screening, the project leaders should register their individual related research proposal online by the designated date in keeping with the research plan submitted upon application as an Epoch-Making Initiatives Proposal. For details, refer to “4. Procedure from Application to Review.” From the next A term, these proposals should be registered similarly as Epoch-Making Initiatives Proposals for each beamline through the User Information website (UI site) before the start of each term. The Review Committee will review the content of the registered Epoch-Making Initiatives Proposals and then determine the beamlines to be used and the number of shifts allocated.


(1)Research Period
The beamtime will be allocated for two years from 2021A to 2022B. However, this may be extended up to four years only when the Review Committee deems it necessary.
(2) Available Beamlines and Beamtime
The beamlines targeted in this call and the percentage of beamtime per beamline are summarized in the table below. If multiple Epoch-Making Initiatives Proposals are accepted at the same beamline, the sum of shifts for all proposals can be allocated up to the percentage of beamtime in the table. (The beamlines and the number of shifts allocated will be determined after review and adjustment by the Review Committee and may not correspond completely to an applicant’s request.)
Please note that the beamtime available at RIKEN beamlines are less than those at public beamlines.

Public Beamlines

 Beamlines  Expected Available
BL01B1 XAFS 8%
BL02B1 Single Crystal Structure Analysis 8%
BL02B2 Powder Diffraction 8%
BL04B1 High Temperature and High Pressure Research 8%
BL04B2 High Energy X-ray Diffraction 8%
BL08W High Energy Inelastic Scattering 8%
BL09XU Nuclear Resonant Scattering 8%
BL10XU High Pressure Research 8%
BL13XU Surface and Interface Structures 8%
BL20B2 Medical and Imaging I 8%
BL20XU Medical and Imaging II 8%
BL25SU Soft X-ray Spectroscopy of Solid 8%
BL27SU Soft X-ray Photochemistry 8%
BL28B2 White Beam X-ray Diffraction 8%
BL35XU High Resolution lnelastic Scattering 8%
BL37XU Trace Element Analysis 8%
BL39XU Magnetic Materials 8%
BL40B2 Structural Biology II 8%
BL40XU High Flux 8%
BL41XU Structural Biology I 8%
BL43IR Infrared Materials Science 8%
BL45XU Structural Biology III 8%

RIKEN Beamlines

Beamlines Expected Available Beamtime
BL05XU RIKEN Diagnosis Beamline I 2%
BL17SU RIKEN Coherent Soft X-ray Spectroscopy 2%
BL19LXU RIKEN SR Physics 2%
BL26B1 RIKEN Structural Genomics I 8%
BL26B2 RIKEN Structural Genomics II 2%
BL29XU RIKEN Coherent X-ray Optics 2%
BL32XU RIKEN Targeted Proteins 2%
BL44B2 RIKEN Materials Science 1%*

*Minimum number of beamtime available to users is 3 shifts.

4.Procedure from Application to Review

(1) Application (by Project Director)
① The project director should contact the Users Office ( via email.
② The Users Office will send the project director the form for SPring-8 Epoch-Making Initiatives Research Plan (electronic file) via email as an attachment. Email messages will be sent only on weekdays (9:00 to 17:00 JST). Therefore, be sure to contact the Users Office well in advance.
③ Read the Instructions on How to Fill out the Form for Epoch-Making Initiatives Research Plan and enter the required items in the form. If you have any questions, contact the Users Office (see “10. Contact”).
④ After filling out the form, the project director should submit it to the Users Office ( via email by the submission deadline indicated below.
⑤ The Users Office will check the form (for input omissions and other problems) and send an email notification to the project director acknowledging the receipt of the form. If the project director does not receive any reply from the Users Office within 2–3 working days, contact the Users Office (see “10. Contact”) as some problem, such as transmission or reception error, may have arisen.

[Deadline for submission]

10:00 (JST), Thursday, October 22, 2020
(submission should be completed before the deadline)

You are strongly encouraged to complete and submit your application well in advance of the deadline.

(2) Document Screening (First Step)
⑥ After the deadline for submission, the Review Committee will screen the applicant research groups on the basis of their submitted Epoch-Making Initiatives Research Plan.
⑦ The Users Office will inform the applicant (project director) of the result of the document screening via email. The project director whose proposal passes the document screening will be informed of the timing of the interview and should complete the online registration of individual Epoch-Making Initiatives Proposals.
In the interview, the project director must make a presentation of the research plan, so the materials for the presentation must be prepared in advance of the interview.

Notification of result of document screening,
Around Monday,November 9,2020

– (The following procedures apply only if the proposal passes the document screening.)-

(3) Online Registration of Epoch-Making Initiatives Proposals (by Project Leaders)
⑧ Each project leader should complete the registration of his/her Epoch-Making Initiatives Proposal through the UI site by the deadline indicated in the following. Applicants are advised to be prepared in advance because there are only few days from the notification of the result of the document screening to the deadline for the online registration.

Deadline for online registration, 10:00 (JST), Tuesday, November 17, 2020
(submission should be completed before the deadline)

[Procedure for Online Registration]
The registration should be carried out through the UI site. For details on the items required for input, refer to the Proposal Application Templates.
UI site:
Top page > Login to My Page > Proposal Application/Use Plan > New
STEP1: Check Non-Proprietary Research
STEP2: Click the START button for Epoch-Making Initiatives Proposals
For the procedure for entering data on the subsequent pages, refer to the Proposal Application Templates.

(4) Interview (Second Step)
⑨ The interview consists of the presentation and question-and-answer sessions. The project director should make an oral presentation.The materials used in the presentation should be submitted to the Users Office ( as a PPT or PDF file before the interview date.

Interview Date:Tuesday,December 1,2020

*The project director will be informed of the details of the time and location via email (step ⑦).

As a rule, the project director should attend the interview. The project leaders may be allowed to attend the interview, if considered necessary. Keep in mind that the interview date cannot be changed.

5.Review Criteria

The review criteria are as follows.
(1) Scientific and technical relevance
The proposed research should be cutting edge and its science and technology field should have the potential to contribute to the development of a new research field.
(2) Necessity of SPring-8 as a research tool
(3) Technical feasibility, safety, and morality (peaceful purposes) of experiments
(4) Conformity to the purposes of Epoch-Making Initiatives Project
The following four requirements must be satisfied.
• The creation of a new research field is expected
• The structure of the applicant research group is novel
• The sustainable development of research is expected
• The research plan is effective in terms of labor and cost, and the management system for ensuring the effectiveness is appropriate

6.Notification of Final Review Results (Acceptance or Rejection)

The project directors will be notified of final review results in writing February, 2021.

7.Report Submission

The project leaders are required to submit an Experiment Summary Report online within 60 days of their Epoch-Making Initiatives Proposal in each term. Submitted reports are made publicly available online two weeks after the report submission deadline for the last experiment of the term (60 days after the end of each half-year research term + two weeks). For details, click here.

8.Publication of research Results

○ Poster presentation at the SPring-8 Symposium. (Expected date: Summer 2022 and 2023)
○ Submission of post project report to the online magazine published by the JASRI (Upon completion of the 2-year project)
○ Registration of publications from your research results in the form of a refereed journal (incl. refereed proceedings and dissertation), a SPring-8/SACLA Research Report refereed by JASRI, or a technical journal approved by JASRI, to the Publications Database within three years from the end of the research term. In the publications, please clearly state that the results were obtained through the use of the SPring-8 specifying the relevant experiment title and number. (On an as-needed basis)

To register, go to
UI site > Log in to My Page > Application/Reporting > After Experiment > Publications Entry

For instructions on how to register, click here.

Note All Epoch-Making Initiatives Proposals carried out by a selected research group within the effective period (two years) will be treated as a series of proposals despite the fact that multiple proposals exist. In such cases, the three-year deadline is counted from the end of the first research term.


(1) Maximum Number of Acceptable Research Groups
Up to two research groups will be selected at one call period so that flexible activities of each research group can be appropriately ensured within the limited available beamtime.
(2) Maximum Number of Concurrently Working Research Groups
For the same reason as (1), up to four research groups may perform experiments concurrently, regardless of the period in which the proposal was expected.
(3) Assessment
After the effective period (two years), the achievements of the research group will be assessed (by document submissions and interviews).


SPring-8 Users Office, JASRI
1-1-1 Kouto, Sayo-cho, Sayo-gun
Hyogo 679-5198 Japan
Fax: +81-(0)791-58-0965

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