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  • SRC Consortium for Synchrotron Radiation Science

    October 8, 2013Consortium Pledges

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    The University of Wisconsin Synchrotron Radiation Center (SRC) is an electron storage ring optimized for the production of synchrotron radiation in the IR/VUV/soft x-ray region. SRC has been a pioneer facility in, for example, photoemission spectroscopy and, more recently, IR spectrochemical imaging. 

    While several Department of Energy funded synchrotron radiation facilities exist in the United States, none of these in the future will effectively cover the energy range of SRC, especially the very useful low energy range.  Moreover, these DOE facilities are not ideal for the education of undergraduate and graduate students in synchrotron radiation science, since access time for a given experiment is limited to 1 – 3 days.  In order to teach students well, one needs extended periods to nurture the development and mastery of those techniques necessary to work successfully and safely at such an advanced scientific facility.  The environment that SRC uniquely offers is an assignment of 2 - 6 weeks devoted to a given approved experiment.  This is ideal for the training of students and other new users of synchrotron radiation.  Nevertheless, SRC was defunded by the National Science Foundation in 2011.  For the last two years, the University of Wisconsin has provided bridging funds while SRC continued to seek another source for operational support. 

    However, until these new sources of funding become available, SRC must be supported by other means.  Failure to do so will result in the progressive closure of this facility in the Fall of 2013, with a final closure date of January 6, 2014.  However, a consortium of institutions with research groups currently using SRC can maintain minimal operations for the next three years ($400,000 – $650,000/year; 8 - 12 hr shifts, respectively, 5 days per week), while SRC works to secure new funding.  While each institution can establish its own model for support, the SRC Consortium for Synchrotron Radiation Science can work on the following general tier structure:

    Return on a $25,000/year commitment:
    User fees for four weeks of beamtime on a heavily subscribed beamline, or six weeks of beamtime on a less heavily subscribed beamline will be waived.  In essence, this represents the user fee model, but if the institution pledges this money up front, priority in beamtime scheduling will be given over other groups (with the exception of those groups pledging at a higher level).

    Return on a $50,000/year commitment:
    User fees for eight weeks of beamtime on a heavily subscribed beamline, or twelve weeks of beamtime on a less heavily subscribed beamline will be waived.  Again, if the institution pledges this money up front, priority in beamtime scheduling will be given over other groups (with the exception of those groups pledging at a higher level).

    Return on a $100,000/year commitment:
    User fees for sixteen weeks of beamtime on a heavily subscribed beamline, or twenty-four weeks of beamtime on a less heavily subscribed beamline will be waived.  Again, if the institution pledges this money up front, priority in beamtime scheduling will be given over other groups (with the exception of those groups pledging at a higher level).

    Return on a $200,000/year commitment:
    User fees for sixteen weeks of beamtime on a heavily subscribed beamline, or twenty-four weeks of beamtime on a less heavily subscribed beamline will be waived.  Again, if the institution pledges this money up front, priority in beamtime scheduling will be given over all other groups.
    Furthermore, a research group from the institution is permitted to sign up one week prior to the beginning of any one-week measurement period on any beamline that has not yet been subscribed, and the use of this week of beamtime will be free.

    For all SRC Consortium members at this level of commitment, guest house expenses ($220/week) will be reduced to $110/week, or waived entirely for undergraduate students participating in experiments at the facility.

    A leadership role will be provided to this level of SRC Consortium members in future grants that are submitted seeking more stable support for SRC operations.  Moreover, for an SRC Consortium institution at this level of commitment, select graduate and undergraduate students from the institution will be allowed to work with other groups from institutions that are participating in the SRC Consortium (such as University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Queens College, etc).  These students will receive research credit for this work at their home institutions and, depending upon their level of involvement, authorship or acknowledgment in publications that result from the work performed.

    *****

    Subject to scheduling conflicts, beamtime can be split over various beamlines.

    All papers that result from research performed at SRC will acknowledge that support was provided in part by the institutions participating in the SRC Consortium.  (Note: Research performed at SRC resulted in 63 papers in 2011 and 53 in 2012.  Many of these papers were published in high profile venues, including Science, Physical Review Letters and Nature, for example.)

    For further information, contact Dr. Gary L. Findley (Consortium Coordinator for the SRC Users’ Advisory Committee) at g.l.findley@gmail.com.

     

    SRC Consortium