- iNEXT offers access to research infrastructure through three different access themes and eleven modalities through a peer-reviewed process (EXECUTIVE REVIEW PANEL; LIST OF REVIEWERS).
- The submission of iNEXT proposals requires all external researchers to have an “iNEXT identity” obtained via Instruct’s ARIA.
By clicking the green ‘Submit Proposal’ button you will be forwarded to the proposal submission system.
By clicking the ‘User Dashboard’ button in the top menu you will be forwarded to your proposals.
- Data resulting from iNEXT access should be published by the users, with the exception of data for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). iNEXT funding must be clearly acknowledged:
“This work has been supported by iNEXT, grant number 653706, funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union”.
Relevant research data must be made available within one year after publication of the research results, or within five years after the visit, whichever comes first, unless otherwise agreed.
PLEASE ALSO NOTE:
- There may be a waiting list for certain popular modalities!
- We recommend that potentially patentable results are not included in proposals until after a patent application has been filed.
- A User Panel was formed, an independent and self-organizing body of well-known structural biologists, to provide feedback to iNEXT. The Chair of this User Panel is also user representative in the iNEXT Management Committee. Importantly, the User Panel can also be contacted for all user issues. Current User Panel members are:
1. Structural Audit
This theme includes two novel access modes. Both are mail-in services for basic analysis for suitability of samples for structural biology research. The modalities do not include a visit and the analysis is done by local experts.
2. Enhanced Support
SIx more modalities have been developed to attract users without previous expertise in structural biology. The modalities in this theme include structural studies by X-ray crystallography, SAXS or NMR, EM sample optimization, ligand and fragment screening, advanced light imaging, and the study of macromolecular interactions in vitro or ex vivo (in cells). This type of access is typically guided by experts from the host institutes and involves training and active participation of visiting users.
3. High-End Data Collection (experts)
Expert users can use synchrotron beamlines, high frequency NMR magnets and state-of-the-art cryo-EM instruments.
Short description of available access modalities
Overview of access provision per facility:
Structural Audit – Structural Audit
A macromolecular sample is sent to an iNEXT partner (crystallography, NMR, EM or biophysics laboratory) to be assessed for its suitability for structural studies. The sample will always get checked for quality, quantity, and stability. Depending on the request by the user and quantity and characteristics of the sample provided, additional steps can be taken:
a. Crystallization trials can be performed in all cases that enough sample is provided;
b. Characterization by SAXS can be performed;
c. An HSQC (or similar) NMR spectrum will be collected if a 15N sample for a molecule with Mw<40 kDa is provided;
d. Negative stain trials for EM studies can be requested if the Mw > 200 kDa.
Results will be combined in a Structural Audit Report that could be of help to enter the more challenging and time consuming Enhanced Support and High-End Data Collection modalities.
Mail-in SAXS – Structural Audit
A macromolecular sample is sent to iNEXT and a preliminary characterization by SAXS is performed to obtain low-resolution shape characterization and determination of interactions in macromolecular complexes.
From macromolecular sample to X-ray data collection – Enhanced Support
Hands-on support for sample characterization and extensive crystallization trials, leading to structural data via crystallography and/or small angle scattering.
NMR assignment, structure, dynamics – Enhanced Support
Visiting users are supported by local experts in solution or solid state NMR data acquisition, spectral assignments, structure calculations,ligand binding studies, etc. A stable NMR sample is required.
Cryo-EM sample optimisation – Enhanced Support
We will help you to move your project from negative stain images to cryo-EM grids ready for high resolution data collection.
Macromolecular interactions – Enhanced Support
Access to expertise and biophysical equipment to quantify macromolecular interactions. We will help you design, perform and analyse your experiments, and provide 1-2 weeks access to our equipment, including surface plasmon resonance, multi-modal fluorescence plate readers, isothermal titration calorimetry, microscale thermophoresis, stopped flow equipment, multi-angle laser light scattering, and label-free thermal shift assess.
Advanced light imaging – Enhanced Support
Support in the use of advanced light imaging equipment to perform structural studies. For instance for in-cell measurements of protein interaction kinetics.
Ligand and fragment screening – Enhanced Support
iNEXT provides crystallographic screening for validated ligand-binding and fragment-based drug discovery. Access ranges from crystallization trials all the way to data for several crystal structures.
Following the success of Biostruct-X and its predecessors, this access modality aims to provide synchrotron access to expert users. Note: although “BAG”s are available, all BAG-projects will have to be grouped under a common and coherent research theme.
Following the success of BioNMR and earlier EC-funded NMR initiatives, this modality aims to provide access to expert NMR users.
For the first time, trans-national access to some of the best electron microscopes in Europe for single particle cryo-EM, CLEM, and other experiments is offered.
Peer Review and Expected Access Timeline
Proposals can be submitted at any time and are reviewed by a panel of experts that are not associated with the research infrastructures. Proposals are assessed for their scientific merit, but also their value for translational research, their technical feasibility and the quality of the team. The detailed score criteria are:
- Scientific Excellence of the proposed research theme
6. Internationally Outstanding
1. Not Competitive
- Relevance for Translational Research in Health, Biotechnology, or nanomaterials
3. Highly relevant
2. Possibly relevant
1. No translational component
- Scientific Track Record of the team
2. Outstanding team
- Technical Feasibility
1. Not feasible
It is important to notice that a proposal failing any one of the listed criteria (achieving a red score) will be rejected. In addition, it will be necessary to achieve a score of at least 10 to qualify for approval. Some access modalities that are extremely popular will naturally need higher scores to achieve high ranking, while for other cases achieving a qualifying score will be enough. Adjustment to these will be made according to available budgets are perceived popularity by the users.
We aim for rapid turnaround of proposals (less than two weeks). Some of the more complicated proposals (especially in the Enhanced Support access theme) may be pooled and ranked periodically. Following approval, experiments are scheduled by the facilities.