Exceptional Call for Proposals

In early July 2020, the first experiments were carried out on the MANACÁ beamline, still under scientific commissioning. In the face of initial tests that show the capacity of the MANACÁ beamline to generate reliable data and in response to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, CNPEM makes this tool available to the Brazilian scientific community in an exceptional character dedicated to research related to COVID -19.

From July 13th, a special call for research proposals is open to researchers dedicated to study the molecular mechanisms related to the action of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Researchers who wish to submit a research proposal to use the MANACÁ beamline in this call must have previous experience in using a synchrotron beamline and in protein crystallography.


Users will be able to submit their research proposals now and should have access to the facilities from August, after technical analysis of the proposals and a programmed stop of the accelerators for the installation of the undulator of the CATERETÊ beamline.

It is important to keep in mind that Sirius is still in the commissioning and final assembly process. Tests on accelerators and the assembly of other beamlines impose limitations for carrying out experiments. At the moment, the synchrotron beam is not full time available at MANACÁ. In fact, the beamline does not yet operate under ideal conditions and did not reach its best performance foreseen in the project.

Parameter Expected Paramenter Current Condition
Energy Range [keV] 6 to 20 9
Energy Resolution
~10-4 ~10-4
Beam size at
the sample [μm2]
5 x 10 to 100 x 100 100 x 100
Photon flux
at the sample
Estimated at more than 1 x 1013 photons per second in the focus, with a current of 100mA. Estimated at approximately 1011 photons per second in the focus. Experiments performed in ~6 minutes, with ~0.1 second exposure for every 0.1 degree of rotation. Resolutions around 1.5 angstrom for the samples tested.

For the experiments of this exceptional call, in an emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MANACÁ beamline must operate at the following parameter values:Any changes to these parameters will be updated in the table above and communicated to users who have approved research proposals.


Proposals can be submitted at any time after the opening this special call, within the rules of fast-track proposal submission.

Research proposals must be submitted through the SAU Online system. To start the proposal submission process, the user must register on the SAU Online portal. To create a new account on the portal, the user must click on “Create a new SAU Online Account.” Upon first access, the user must provide personal and professional information.

Once registered in the SAU Online portal, the user must click on “Submit a new Proposal” and follow the instructions indicated. Once submitted, the proposal will be automatically forwarded to the User Support Service (SAU).


The review committee for the proposals of this call will be formed by the scientific direction of the LNLS, which reserves the right to request external advice if necessary. After approval, beamtime will be allocated according to the availability of the beam in Sirius as well as the working conditions of the beamline.

After the approval of the research proposal, the user will receive instructions that must be followed prior the expriments.


For the execution of the experiments, due to the health crisis, only one user will be allowed per approved research proposal. The user will be assisted by the LNLS team during the experiment.


In compliance with the sanitary measures to fight the pandemic, users allowed to the CNPEM campus must obey the safety instructions implemented on the campus. Amongst them:

  • Access to the campus only with prior authorization.
  • Entry and exit registration at the main gates.
  • Mandatory use of masks during the entire stay on campus.
  • Measurement of body temperature to access common areas.
  • Controlled circulation between facilities.
  • Restrictions on interpersonal contact.


Due to the exceptional nature of this submission of proposals and the sanitary measures necessary to fight the pandemic, users who have an approved proposal will not be offered the possibility of requesting financial assistance or using the CNPEM guesthouse. Likewise, the use of the campus cafeteria and restaurant will not be possible.


User Support Services (SAU) is the point of contact for national and international researchers who develop research proposals at CNPEM’s National Laboratories, from the submission of research proposals to their execution. If you have any question, contact:

Email: sau@cnpem.br

Phone: +55 19 3512 1025 / +55 19 3512 1021