Structural biology projects can be challenging and protracted, often taking months or even years to complete. Most agencies are reluctant to fund structural biology projects if there is not a good likelihood for success. That means that convincing preliminary data need to be generated. In the case of X-ray crystallography, it is usually required to show that well diffracting crystals are at hand. For NMR spectroscopy, it is usually required to show that a well behaved sample is available in sufficient quantities and that initial NMR spectra are of high quality.
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