Block Allocation Group (BAG) Proposals

Block Allocation Group (BAG) proposals

The submission of BAG proposals at the Electron Microscopy and Cryo-Electron Microscopy at the Brazilian Laboratory of Nanotechnology (LNNano) is a new form of access that is intended to offer more flexibility in the access and scheduling of instruments at CNPEM. In this first call, the BAG proposals will prioritize groups working in similar research field or other synergisms. The BAGs will optimize the instruments use by researchers that need repeated analyses i.e. development, for the resolution of scientific problems of high impact. The researchers with approved BAG proposals will only be allowed to participate in the other EM and Cryo-EM proposals at LNNano if the proposals are in a different field of research and will be accompanied by a justification attached to the proposal. The groups will elect a leader (principal investigator, PI) which will be the direct contact for proposal following and reports.

Duration of proposals

The BAGs will be valid for 2 years and the allocated time of the instruments will be evaluated by the BAG Evaluation Committee. Mid-term and full-term reports will be presented at the end of the first year of the BAG proposal and at the end of the proposal, respectively. Also, the researchers will present seminars showing the advances in the project to the BAG Evaluation Committee and others.

Submissão das propostas

The BAG proposals will be submitted using the SAU Online platform, using English as the proposal language, at the open facilities supported by this system. At the submission, all the researchers will have to be included in the proposal, being the leader represented as a proponent and PI the other researchers, as well as post-doctoral researchers, graduated and undergrad students involved in the projects.

The BAG titular will also indicate the operators of the instruments that will require basic training (in case of not done previously) and afterward, advanced training, allowing the instruments use out of the regular schedule (08:00 to 17:00), after the approval and alignment with the staff. During the BAG proposal, other operators may be included in the project and they will receive the necessary training if it applies.

The online form contains the following items:

  • Proposal Title;
    • List of all researchers in the proposal (professors, postdoctoral researchers, graduate, and undergraduate students);
  • Abstract including the objectives of the BAG proposal;
  • Objectives;
  • Synergy between the BAG members;
  • Technical expertise of the group, including relevant publications highlighting the advances and the importance of research in the field of research. It will also include the list of previous proposals of the proponents that used the infrastructure of LNNano, relevant to the proposal;
  • Attachments (Projects approved in funding calls in the field of research of the BAG proposal (Federal and other entities).


The BAG Evaluation Committee will evaluate the proposals adopting the criteria mentioned in table below, using scores from 1 (Poor) to 5 (Excellent) the topics presented in the project. The criteria below are adapted from the IUPAP recommendation.

  • Synergy between the BAG members: It evaluates how the research field of the BAG members are aligned with each other and if they have collaborations, resource sharing, between others. Research groups from different areas, even from the same University/Research Institute, will have to distress their synergy. This criterium may be used by the evaluation committee as elimination from this call.

    5 – Extraordinary. High synergy between the BAG members, notable collaboration presented by the effective resource sharing, joint projects, and excellent joint publications.
    4 – Excellent. Strong synergy between the BAG members, good collaboration presented by effective resource sharing, joint projects, and quality individual/joint publications.
    3 – Good. Satisfactory synergy between the BAG members, adequate collaboration presented by reasonable resource sharing and/or joint projects and/or satisfactory individual/joint publications.
    2 – Regular. Limited synergy between the BAG members, occasional collaboration presented by limited resource sharing and inconsistent joint publication.
    1 – Weak. Absence of synergy between the BAG members, lack of collaboration, limited resource sharing and absence of joint publication.

    Scientific Motivation, Objectives, and Originality: Evaluates the clarity, scientific relevance, and connection with objectives, as well as the specificity, innovation of objectives, and the impact of the research on science and society.

    5 – Extraordinary. Clear description of relevance and impact, specific and innovative objectives. Solid connection with objectives.
    4 – Excellent. Well-presented motivation, understanding the importance. Clear and tangible objectives with some innovation. Some gaps in the connection with objectives.
    3 – Good. Adequate motivation, defined objectives, and reasonable original hypotheses.
    2 – Regular. Unclear motivation, imprecise objectives, and limited originality of hypotheses.
    1 – Weak. Unclear/absent motivation, poorly defined objectives, and minimal originality of hypotheses.

    Justification for Equipment Usage: Evaluates a solid justification for the use of equipment and the appropriateness of proposed experiments to the techniques suggested in the project, as well as the availability of these in the equipment.

    5 – Extraordinary. Solid justification with excellent alignment between expected results and available techniques.
    4 – Excellent. Good justification with relevant technical alignment between expected results and available techniques.
    3 – Good. Coherent justification regarding the use of equipment.
    2 – Regular. The project presents weak justification, or the group has similar techniques and access to instruments.
    1 – Weak. The project did not present coherent justification with expected results.

    Expected Results and Experimental Techniques: Evaluates the clarity of the results and the adequacy of the techniques.

    5 – Extraordinary. Clear expected results connected to objectives. Detailed and justified experimental techniques.
    4 – Excellent. Expected results mentioned, the connection to objectives could be more direct.
    3 – Good. Explained experimental techniques, but the connection to results could be stronger.
    2 – Regular. Expected results may be vague. Listed experimental techniques, but complete explanation is lacking.
    1 – Weak. Expected results absent or disconnected, inappropriate techniques.

    Previous Experience and Group’s Relevance: Evaluates the group’s experience and its relevance to the project.

    5 – Extraordinary. Detailed experience highlighted previous contributions, clear scientific relevance.
    4 – Excellent. Mentioned experience, recognized contributions, addressed relevance.
    3 – Good. Mentioned experience, but details of previous projects could be clearer. Relevance could be more explicit.
    2 – Regular. Limitedly addressed experience, relevance may be absent.
    1 – Weak. Absent or irrelevant experience, lack of justification for the group’s capability.

As there in other calls, all the scientific production generated during the BAG period which involves the LNNano open facilities, even at the beginning of the project, must be acknowledged using the standard procedure. In case of unacknowledgement of the open facilities use, sanctions may be applied in the project or in future submissions

BAG Evaluation Committee

The BAG Evaluation Committee will be composed by the actual members of the evaluation committee of Electron Microscopy and Cryomicroscopy, upon availability of the researchers. The BAG Evaluation Committee is composed of three subcommittees: Electron microscopy (inorganic materials) – ME-C1, Structural Biology – Cryo-EM-C2 and Soft Matter-ME-C3.

Tabela 2: Composition of the BAG Evaluation Committee and the subcommittees

Electron microscopy (inorganic materials) Affiliation Structural Biology – Cryo-EM-C2 Affiliation
Daniel Lorscheitter Baptista – Chairperson UFRGS Gregory Thomas Kitten – Chairperson UFMG
Ana Flavia Nogueira UNICAMP Lia Carolina Almeida Soares de Medeiros Kuczera ICC/FIOCRUZ
Braulio Soares Archanjo INMETRO Lisandro H. Otero CONICET
Cecília de Carvalho Castro e Silva MACKENZIE
Cleiton Carvalho Silva UFC
Conrado Ramos Moreira Afonso UFSCar Soft Matter-ME-C3 Affiliation
Daniela Zanchet UNICAMP André Galembeck – Chairperson UFPE
Giovanna Machado CETENE André Linhares Rossi CBPF
Henrique Duarte da Fonseca Filho UFAM Cristiano L. P. Oliveira USP
Luciano Andrey Montoro UFMG Edvaldo Sabadini UNICAMP
Marcela Mohallem UFPR Liliane Maria Ferrareso Lona UNICAMP
Paula Mendes Jardim UFRJ Rogéria de Sousa Nunes UFS

After the submission period, the proposals will be assessed by the feasibility evaluation team composed of the staff and open facilities coordinators. The proposals that are feasible will be forwarded to the BAG Evaluation Committee and the subcommittee will meet to evaluate the proposals. The accepted proposals will then be evaluated by the CNPEM safety committee and the User´s Office will disclose the results of the call.