Proposal Submission Process

The Brazilian National Nanotechnology Laboratory (LNNano) hosts Brazilian and foreign researchers who wish to use the Laboratory’s experimental stations to carry out their investigations.

The submission of proposals for electron microscopy and cryomicroscopy, which have a flow per period, must be carried out through the system SAU Online system.
If the user does not have a record in this new system, it will be necessary to create one.


Introduce new grants rules and regulations for the LNNano (Brazilian Nanotechnology National Laboratory) electron microscope (EM and cryo-EM) users.



Exceptional service practices for CNPEM users during the pandemic:

During the period of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CNPEM has adopted exceptional care protocols to protect its researchers and users, seeking to reduce the dissemination of the coronavirus. These rules reinforce CNPEM’s commitment to serving the scientific community, always seeking to ensure the health of all users and its employees.

To access the campus access rules and guidelines for all CNPEM open facilities, click here


LNNano-specific user policy

At LNNano, the following facilities are open for remote experiments upon samples postage: Atomic force microscopy and synthesis (MFAS), Micro-Nano Fabrication (MNF), X-ray Microtomography (MicroCT), X-ray excited Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), Electronic Microscopy, and Cryomicroscopy. Services offered by other facilities are still to be determined.


Calendar for submission and execution of proposals 2023
For 2023, proposal submissions will be carried out exclusively through our new SAU online  system.

Facility Submissions period Execution Period Contact
Electron Microscopy (ME) SEM-FIB/TEM 25/Sep/2023 to 8/Nov/2023 03/Jan/2024 to 20/Dec/2024 SEM-FIB:


Cryomicroscopy (CRYO-EM) 25/Sep/2023 to 8/Nov/2023 10/Jan/2024 to 06/Dec/2024
Atomic Force Microscopy (MFA) 03/Jan/2024 to 15/Nov/2024 08/Jan/2024 to 19/Dec/2024
Device Manufacturing (MNF), (DSF-LD).
Nanofab, Charact..Microfab
03/Jan/2024 to 01/Nov/2024 08/Jan/2024 to 06/Dec/2024
X-ray Microtomography (MicroCT)

Attention “ MicroCT Users, We inform you that the equipment is inoperative. We are in constant maintenance to solve the problem, and we publish when possible the submission of proposals for the return of use.

X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) 03/Jan/2024 to 30/Nov/2024 08/Jan/2024 to 19/Dec/2024

Rules and Tips for the Submission of Proposals

The inclusion of students (masters, doctorate, etc.) in the proposals is encouraged. However, students cannot submit a proposal without a Senior Investigator as the Principal Investigator.
If the proposal is presented by a doctoral student, it must contain a senior researcher, preferably the student’s advisor as to the project’s main researcher.


Important: The proposal submission process is exclusively applicable to research aimed to remain in the public domain, conducted by Brazilian or foreign academic users, or by industrial users who do not seek the intellectual protection of their research.

Types of Proposal

There are two ways to submit research proposals:

– Standard Proposal – for all facilities;
– Fast-Track Proposal – for specific facilities.

Standard Proposal

This is the standard procedure for accessing LNNano facilities. The submission of proposals is carried out following the submission schedule of each facility. The user requests time for a specific experiment in a facility. The proposal is evaluated by one of the Internal or External Proposal Evaluation Committees.

If the proposal is approved, the user is given a limited amount of time to perform research.

Fast-Track Proposal

This procedure aims to improve access to LNNano facilities for experiments that require little preparation and involve simple samples and safety requirements. The Fast–Track process is aimed at users who are experienced in the required technique and whose group, or principal investigator, has already had a proposal submitted and accepted. This procedure can be used to complete and/or complement experimental results for scientific publications or thesis work. It is necessary for the principal investigator to verify the technical feasibility of carrying out the proposal with the facility coordinator before submission.

For guidelines on submitting fast track proposals for Electron Microscopy/Cryomicroscopy click on Rules_FastTrack

Not all LNNano facilities offer the option of submitting fast-track proposals.

Block Allocation Group (BAG) Proposals

This type of call is intended for groups of researchers working on common themes in a given area of research and who require continuous analysis using the facilities of Electron Microscopy and Cryomicroscopy for the development of high-impact research projects. Each BAG (Block Allocation Group) proposal is valid for 2 years. Thus, once approved, researchers have two years to carry out their experimental activities. At the end of the first year, a report with the main results achieved must be submitted to the proposal evaluation committee, which will judge whether the group should remain in this system. In addition, members of the BAG proposal are not eligible to participate in other LNNano calls that address the same scientific aspect. For more information on the call and the evaluation process, visit the call description link.

How to Submit a Proposal

To start the proposal submission process, the user must register in the SAU Online system. To create an account on the portal, the user must click on the “create a new SAU Online account” and provide personal and professional information.

Important: This registration only needs to be done once. It can be done regardless of the proposal submission period and the information provided can be updated at any time.

Once registered in the SAU Online system, the user must click on the link “Submit a new proposal” and follow the indicated instructions, choosing the National Laboratory and the installation for submission. You will need to fill out a general form online.

After submission, the proposal will be automatically forwarded to the User Support Service (SAU).

Analysis of the Research Proposal

The research proposal analysis process is divided into different phases:

Phase 1: Internal evaluation of the proposal by the facility coordinator to judge the technical feasibility of the proposed experiment.

Phase 2: The facilities’ Internal Committees and External Proposal Evaluation Committees evaluate and rank the proposals according to the following criteria: scientific merit of the proposals and experience of the team, evaluation of previous proposals, and scientific publications based on results obtained previously at LNNano. The highest-rated proposals are recommended for receiving facility usage time.

Phase 3: Internal assessment by the safety committee, the proposal that presents a safety risk for execution will have to fill out a specific safety form and undergo an assessment by a safety committee that will make recommendations for carrying out the experiment.

Important: Given the importance of a scientific track record for the prioritization process, it is recommended that users check and update their publications both in the SAU Online system and in the CNPEM Library database. Updates to the library’s database must be made by sending the complete bibliographic information to the Library ( The publications are included after being checked by the library staff and facilities’ coordinators.

Rules and Tips for Submission of Proposals

Important: The inclusion of master’s and doctoral students, as well as postdoctoral fellows in the proposals is encouraged. However, students and fellows cannot submit proposals. The proposal must be submitted by the group’s principal investigator, which must be a senior researcher. If a doctoral student wants to submit a proposal, there must be a senior researcher (preferably the student’s supervisor) as the project’s principal researcher.

TIP: Before submitting a proposal, it is recommended that users consult the website for available facilities, courses, services and technologies, as well as specific recommendations for sample preparation, protocols and further research proposal submission guidelines. Consulting the facility coordinator for information is also highly recommended.