The goals of the user training and outreach component are to provide training to prepare biomedical researchers to perform experiments using the BioCAT resource and to engage in outreach activities to inform the scientific community about BioCAT capabilities and to recruit new user research projects. Each year, more than 70 new users come to the BioCAT Resource. We have developed a training program for all users regardless of the level of expertise of the users or the properties of their samples. Before coming to the beamline, even before submitting a proposal, users are encouraged to view our online user manuals and video tutorials available on the BioCAT webpage, which provide the information users need to plan efficient and meaningful experiments. On-site users receive one-on-one, in-person training covering (1) operation of the beamline, (2) data collection strategies and techniques, (3) data reduction and (4) data interpretation. Training is also provided on all aspects of the data-to-interpretation process before and beyond allocated beam time. The BioCAT user community is characterized by a broad range of expertise. At one extreme are a few advanced users who require training only if changes have occurred since their previous visit, and at the other extreme are the majority of users, who initially have little or no experience with SAXS or Fiber Diffraction. Training follows a graded approach that bring novices up to speed quickly and that allows them to grow into more advanced practitioners as their skills mature. Training is also provided to the greater research community. BioCAT staff will engage in workshops, to provide training on all aspects of SAXS and Fiber Diffraction to new and existing communities. We will collect metrics that can tell us how effective our training programs have been and gather information that can indicate how they may be improved and how they can reach under-represented groups. Vigorous outreach activity by BioCAT staff has resulted in significant growth of the user community, sustaining a high level of beamline productivity. The recently revamped BioCAT web site contains complete information concerning BioCAT capabilities and includes material targeted to past, and prospective users. We will continue to develop new web content tailored to Inform the broader research community about the capabilities of BioCAT and how to obtain beam time. BioCAT will continue to distribute BioCAT-maintained data analysis tools to a broad user community. We will collect metrics that can tell us how effective our outreach programs have been and gather information that can indicate how they may be improved.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Illinois Institute of Technology
United States
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