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Review Process - Scientific Colleges

The HZB Scientific Selection Panel (SSP) assesses the scientific merit of beamtime applications and gives recommendations for beamtime allocation (MEMBERS of SSP). The decision is based solely on the information given in the proposals and, if applicable, on results, experimental reports and publications related to previous HZB experiments. The rules of procedure of the HZB Scientific Selection Panel are available HERE.

The HZB Scientific Selection Panel is organised in seven Scientific Colleges, which have been grouped according to research fields, in order to facilitate discussions on the scientific merit of the proposals.

All users applying for synchrotron radiation beamtime are requested to choose the appropriate Scientific College for their proposal upon online submission:


  MX - Macromolecular Crystallography (MX)            former College C2

Research fields/topics

  • molecular biology
  • structural biology

College MXC primarily deals with proposals related to macromolecular crystallography (e.g. protein structure determination).


  Cat - Catalysis            former College C3b

Research fields/topics

  • chemical reactions, phase transitions
  • structure, state, composition of substances of chemical relevance
  • nano-chemistry
  • catalysis, reaction pathways
  • chemistry of water, liquids and gases
  • atomic and molecular physics
  • small clusters
  • research on substances of astrophysical, atmospheric and environmental relevance

College Cat reviews proposals related to structure, state, composition and reactions of substances, including chemical crystallography. Pathway and dynamics of chemical reactions as well as catalysis are a further focal point for this college. Proposals from the fields gas phases, liquids, solutions and small clusters will be discussed here too. Proposers aiming primarily at crystallographic or structural investigations are encouraged to consider college Mat (condensed matter).


  ElStr - Electronic Structure (not magnetism)            former College C4

Research fields/topics

  • solid state physics
  • thin films
  • mesoscopic objects (clusters, nanoparticles)

College ElStr reviews research projects dealing with the investigation of electronic structure of matter, primarily with spectroscopic methods. For projects with emphasis on magnetism college Inf (Information Imaging & Spectroscopy) is recommended.


  Ene - Energy, Fuels, Batteries            former College C3a

Research fields/topics

  • energy conversion (PV devices, TE devices, solar fuels)
  • energy storage (batteries, electrode materials, hydrogen storage)

College Ene reviews proposals related to fundamental and novel energy materials. This college focuses on materials research for a sustainable, economic and secure energy supply in the future. 


  Films - Surfaces, Interfaces and Thin Films            former College C3a

Research fields/topics

  • surfaces
  • interfaces
  • thin films

College Films reviews proposals related to surface chemistry, thin films and interfaces. The emphasis is on morphology, structure and (electronic) interactions in these systems.


  Inf - Information Imaging & Spectroscopy (Magnetism)            former Colleges C5a/b

Research fields/topics

  • magnetic structure
  • electronic structure of magnetic materials
  • quantum magnetism
  • magnetic dynamics
  • spin dynamics
  • molecular nano-magnets
  • superconductivity

College Inf reviews research projects with emphasis on geometric and electronic structure of magnetic materials, magnetic effects and magneto-dynamics.


  Mat - Condensed Matter            former Colleges C1 and C6

Research fields/topics

  • nano-structured materials
  • engineering/industrial materials
  • residual stress/strain
  • novel materials
  • applied materials
  • coatings
  • mesoscopic structures
  • earth science related materials
  • crystallography
  • disordered matter, glasses
  • soft condensed matter
  • bio-inspired materials
  • biophysics
  • pharmacology/drug development
  • medicine/therapeutics
  • nutrition safety
  • zoology
  • palaeontology

College Mat reviews proposals related to fundamental materials science/novel materials as well as to materials of industrial or engineering relevance (no energy materials). Projects concerning geological questions or chemical structures/crystallography are addressed in this college. Topics from micro-electronic relevance are discussed in this panel. College Mat also reviews proposals dealing with soft matter and bio-inspired materials. Topics include structure, dynamics and kinetics in the bulk and at interfaces. In addition it reviews radiobiology- and radiotherapy-related proposals. Projects concerned with biophysical questions or palaeontological samples are assessed in this college as well.