PNCC accepts three categories of user proposals each conferring different access and instrument allocation levels as outlined in the following table.
Proposal Type Instrument Allocation Requests Typical Access Timeframe Proposal Focus Proposal Review Timeframe Page Limit
8-24 hours Valid for 3 months Preliminary data or time-sensitive investigations. Scheduled by PNCC staff as time is available. Proposals sent for review monthly. 1 page
Up to 5 days Valid for 6 months Most research projects. Onsite training optional. PNCC staff operation of instrumentation.  Proposals sent for review monthly. 2 pages
Up to 20 days per year allocated in 5-day increments. Valid for 2 years Long-term projects of significant impact. Onsite training recommended. Training can be component of proposal or primary focus. PNCC staff or qualified user operation of instrumentation. Proposals sent for review  Mar. 1, Jun. 1, Sep. 1, and Dec. 1 3 pages
User access process


Individuals wanting access to PNCC resources must submit research proposals through our User Portal, hosted by EMSL (a DOE National User Facility located at PNNL). To ensure proper handling, users must choose the “PNCC CAT” option in the Current Calls selection box. A step-by-step guide describing how to submit proposals is available for download. 


Templates for each proposal type are included in the table above. Rapid access proposals and Standard Access proposals can be submitted at any time by users and will be sent for review monthly. Generally proposals received by 11:59 PST on the first day of each month will be sent for review that month. Proposals submitted after that cutoff will wait until the next month's review cycle. Programmatic access proposals can also be submitted at any time; however, they will be reviewed on a quarterly basis.


After proposal submission, an external review committee will review each proposal to assess feasibility, science impact and (with staff help) estimate required resources (instrumentation time & staff assistance). Reviewer’s scores will be forwarded to the PNCC management team for award decisions and access allocation . Every effort will be made for all proposal reviews and decisions to be complete within 3 to 5 weeks of the stated review timeframes based on proposal type. The result of the merit review will be communicated to users directly, and if time is awarded, a link will be provided for scheduling. All raw and processed data generated at PNCC will be automatically uploaded and stored on the EMSL data archive. Remote access for users will be available through the MyEMSL downloader, which can be accessed via the "Get Data" tab on the user-specific EMSL User Portal homepage. All users must sign a User Agreement document prior to utilization of the PNCC. The User Agreement includes an attestation that all publications incorporating data acquired at PNCC must be properly acknowledged. The User Agreement will be sent to all members of a successfully awarded proposal. 


Note on biosafety for all proposed samples: If the sample is, or is derived from, or contains any agent (or its DNA) that can be infectious or toxic in humans, animals or plants (viruses, bacteria, toxins etc.), or is obtained from sources that could potentially harbor (latently) such agents (eg. serum-derived or obtained from human cell lines), then the risk group (RG) must be established, licenses for shipping obtained, and safe operating procedures defined according to biohazard safety level (BSL).  Guidance on risk groups is at and references therein.  The starting point for our review will be the approval from the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) from the applicant's home institution and the protocols on which the approval is based, so please attach both to this proposal after the biosketches. If your final sample might be considered RG1 but preparative work involved steps at BSL2, then a copy of your home-institution IBC approval indicating a down-grading of BSL during the purification will be needed to support that designation. Generally, center staff will oversee approval of RG1 agents, while acceptance of RG2 agents from US institutions will require involvement of OHSU's biosafety officer / IBC which may impact project award timeframes.  Shipping of agents from outside the US often requires additional approval from the CDC and/or USDA, and will be considered on an individual basis. This information must be reported in the proposal using the template provided above. We cannot receive BSL2 samples in liquid form at this time. Only pre-frozen BSL2 samples with IBC documentation can be handled.