Do you want to write better proposals?

We have gathered information that will help you maximize your chance of getting beamtime at MAX IV. This material is based on the experiences of our beamline staff, PAC members and information from other international science facilities.


The most important thing!

And we can’t stress this enough. Always contact and discuss your proposal with the Beamline staff before submission. They are here to help if you have questions, and will much rather figure out any potential problems or misunderstandings with you beforehand than after you submitted your proposal.


The Scientific

When writing your proposal, keep in mind that referees on the review panel read and review many proposals each call, not only yours. So you need to make sure your proposal is clearly written, easy to read, and engaging. Therefor we encourage keeping proposals as short and precise as possible. Never cheat with formatting to try to get more text in, this will only be to your disadvantage as the referee will notice, and you just gave them even more to read…

  • Make sure you use the correct proposal template.
  • Clearly and concisely state the scientific question and explain why it is interesting, followed by a concrete explanation of how the planned experiment will contribute to answering the question.
  • Clearly and concisely communicate what has already been done in this topic, and how this scientific question represents either a compelling extension or an attempt to resolve an important gap or conflict in the current understanding.
  • Clearly justify why the chosen beamline is well matched to the proposed experiment, and why it would be difficult or impossible to do in a home lab or most other beamlines.
  • Provide preliminary data if there could be any doubt at all that the experiment might not work OR that the sample will not actually be available for the beamtime.
  • Describe the expected results in detail and in context of the scientific question.


The Technical

You need to make sure the technical aspect of your proposal is clearly written, enough so for our beamline staff to check it’s technical feasibility.

  • Properly explain the specifics of samples and address how you will handle potential concerns. E.g. state, size, concentrations, contamination, beam damage, etc.
  • Provide clear experimental conditions, max pressure, temperature etc.
  • Clearly describe your time estimates based of your measurement plan.
  • Don’t forget to explain your data analysis plan.


Have you checked if your chosen beamline offers Sample Feasibility tests through our Fast Access program?