When a proposal for peer-reviewed access to SESAME’s facilities is received, SESAME initiates an evaluation process that consists of the following:

Initial Safety Assessment

SESAME’s Safety Team carries out an initial safety assessment and classifies the experiment as one of the following:

  • Not permitted - experiment cannot go ahead as it stands. In such a case, the Safety Team informs the relevant beamline scientist and SESAME User Office of this, and the latter notifies the Principal Investigator/Head of Research Group that no beam time will be allocated for reasons of safety.
  • High - experiment needs close supervision
  • Medium - experiment needs monitoring at the beginning of the experiment
  • Low - no restrictions

If the proposal is successful in obtaining beam time, the experiment is again graded after completion of a full experiment risk assessment. This process is initiated by the User Office.

Technical Feasibility

The relevant beamline scientist appraises the technical feasibility of the proposed experiment on the beamline and reports thereon to the Proposal Review Committee (PRC). A beamline scientist does not assess the scientific merit of a proposal and does not sit on the PRC.

If an experiment is found to be technically not feasible, the beamline scientist informs the User office of this, and the latter notifies the Principal Investigator/Head of Research Group that no beam time will be allocated.

Scientific Merit

Approximately 6-8 weeks after the deadline for the submission of proposals, the PRC evaluates the scientific and technological merit of all the proposals and determines their priority using the following criteria based on IUPAP’s Recommendations for the Use of Major Physics Users Facilities:

  • scientific merit (interpreted as: relevance, impact, innovation, potential of the scientific and/or technological case and/or relevance, and applied importance of instrumental development);
  • technical feasibility;
  • capability of the proponent(s); and
  • availability of the resources required.

It uses the guidelines in Annex 1 to its terms of reference for scoring the proposals.

The PRC transmits its recommendations to the Director of SESAME who takes the final decision on which proposals are to be allocated beam time.