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Submit a Proposal

First annual call for proposals for the NSF ZEUS facility

Proposals must be submitted through the online submission system that will open on December 2nd 2022 and will close at 5pm EST on 16th January 2023.

Information about the expected capabilities of the ZEUS facility for the 2023-2024 cycle are posted on the Target Area Capabilities page. It is expected that 24 weeks or approximately six 4-week experiments, two experiments in each of the three target areas, will be scheduled in this first cycle. A typical beamtime award is expected to be 4 weeks, but you may make the case for shorter or longer access. Future calls will have additional capabilities and 30 weeks of access. Please contact Louise Willingale at wlouise@umich.edu for any technical feasibility questions regarding your experimental configuration.

Eligibility criteria

The ZEUS facility welcomes proposals from the whole scientific community. International researchers are welcome to submit proposals for the ZEUS facility.

The Principal Investigator or PI is the individual responsible for overseeing the preparation, experimental execution, administration, ensuring the resources are available to run the experiment, and reporting of the experimental project. See additional notes below about interfacing with the facility, and the support offered by the ZEUS staff.

Proposal selection

Proposals will be selected by an independent, external review panel. The criteria for selection will include scientific excellence and impact, feasibility, and uniqueness to the ZEUS facility (i.e. could the experiment be performed elsewhere?), resources to perform the experiment, as well as balancing the range of topics and broadening impacts for awarded time. Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) principles, diversity of institutions, and diversity of science will be considered in the experimental selection process. A list of the successful experiments naming the PI and the title of the experiment will be made publically available once scheduling is complete.

Proposal preparation guidelines

The online submission system will collect general information on the PI, experimental team, experimental requirements. The scientific case must also be submitted through the online system.

Scientific Case:

The scientific case should be prepared and submitted as a pdf document. It should be a maximum of 6 pages (letter or A4 sized paper) including all figures and references. The font should be Times New Roman 11pt font, single-spaced, and “justify” aligned. Please make sure to set the following normal margins: top, bottom, right: 1.0” (2.5 cm); left: 1.0” (2.5 cm). Figure captions may be Times New Roman 9pt font.

Proposal summary (max 2000 words). Instructions: Concisely articulate the scientific goal(s) of the experiment, the set-up overview and diagnostic(s)/measurements, and the expected results and impact.

Proposed experiment and Risk Assessment. Instructions: Describe the proposed experimental methodology and provide your assessment of the feasibility and risks of the experiment. This might include previous or preliminary results, simulations or numerical modeling.

Introduction: Scientific background. Instructions: Describe the research field, the context and the potential impact of the experiment on the field, provide a description of previous work / earlier experimental results in the field of the proposed research, including references. This should be accessible to a non-expert audience.

Scientific Goal(s), experimental objectives and impact. Instructions: State the scientific goal(s) and experimental objectives. Discuss the expected impact of the results. What is the intellectual merit and broader impacts of the experiment? How will the results of the experiment be disseminated to the community?

Proposed experiment and Risk Assessment. Instructions: Describe the proposed experimental methodology and provide your assessment of the feasibility and risks of the experiment. This might include previous or preliminary results, simulations or numerical modeling.

Beamtime requirements and shot plan. Instructions: Indicate and justify the estimated amount of beamtime (number of weeks) needed for the experiment. Beamtime shall be understood as time during which laser beam is available in the experimental area. A typical beamtime award is expected to be 4 weeks, but you may make the case for shorter or longer access in this section. Note that setup access to the target area would typically be 2 weeks prior to the beamtime.

Laser / beam requirements. Instructions: Indicate the parameters for alignment (if needed) and required alignment accuracy and the nominal experimental parameters needed.

Facility requirements. Instructions: Include the experimental setup, the beam and geometry specifications, the interaction chamber specifications, other equipment specifications and any other relevant facility requirements.

Diagnostic requirements. Instructions: Indicate the diagnostics available at the facility required for the experiment and additional diagnostics to be brought on site.

Target requirements. Instructions: Indicate the requested target configuration, the targets to be provided by the facility and/or targets to be brought on site (and their handling requirements, if any).

References. Instructions: Provide in the following format:

[1] A. N. Author, “Title”, Journal, Volume, Page (year); doi

Notes about access to the ZEUS facility

The facility beamtime and support is provided at no cost to the users. Basic targets (see website for details) may also be provided. Users are responsible for their own travel costs for their team, as well as extraordinary targets or consumables required by the experiment. A link scientist will work with each user group to coordinate the planning and execution of the experiments. The ZEUS facility is a “hands-on” facility, with the expectation that each group will work in the target area to set up the experiment-specific diagnostics and run the experiment in coordination with the facility staff. The PI must ensure adequate staffing to run their experiment.

The data availability and data access policy for ZEUS is still under development and will be agreed upon with the PIs of the selected experiments prior to the time being awarded.

Required Reporting

An acknowledgment of funding sources must appear on all publications resulting from the use of ZEUS facilities leading to publications, whether or not they are copyrighted. The text required for the acknowledgement for publications will be “This work is based upon research conducted at the ZEUS facility which is supported by the National Science Foundation under award 2126181.”

The PI for each experiment will have responsibility for timely reporting back to ZEUS (such as an annual scientific report, notification of publications, students graduated using ZEUS data) and to ensure acknowledgement in publications and presentations. The PI must provide the ZEUS facility with an open access copy of the publication within 1 month of publication. In future calls, consideration for future access may be contingent upon timely and accurate reporting on prior ZEUS experimental access.


ZEUS is a user facility and it is not a requirement for users to collaborate with local researchers or to include facility staff as coauthors. However, we do encourage PIs to consider including the link scientists (or others) as coauthors if they contribute significantly to the science direction and success of the experiment.

You may contact Louise Willingale (Associate Director for ZEUS) at wlouise@umich.edu with any questions regarding this call for proposals.