Use Neutrons in Your Research

Use Neutrons in Your Research

Beam time on two of the world’s most advanced neutron scattering research facilities—the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) and the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR)—is granted through Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s general user program, which is open to all. In addition, opportunities are available for extended collaboration through programs such as internships and postdoctoral programs.

The instruments at HFIR and SNS are available free of charge with the understanding that researchers publish their results, making them available to the scientific community. The facilities also are available for fee-based proprietary research.

Submitting a Proposal to Conduct Research

The proposal call for 2016A is now closed: Proposals for the 2016A call will be accepted until 11:59 AM Eastern (NOON) on Wednesday, October 14, 2015. The current proposal call poster is  available here.  This call is for experiments anticipated to run from January to June 2016. There are two proposal calls each year. 

Before submitting a proposal for a specific instrument, please contact the appropriate instrument scientist to make sure your research is feasible for that instrument. Information about the instruments available during each call is available on the instrument pages.

ORNL Guest Portal

The ORNL Guest Portal gives you access to all the resources you need as a new or returning user, such as the proposal system, data access and analysis systems, sample handling information, and visitor information. Simply create an account to have a personalized portal every time you visit the site.

Forgot your account password? You can update your password in the Guest Portal as well.


The Proposal Review Process

An external committee of experts in the field of neutron sciences reviews all proposals and rates them for high-impact science potential. Submitters are highly encouraged to read the review and ratings process. Users for approved projects must complete access and training requirements before beginning experiments.


User Responsibilities

Safety: Safe operations are integral to the ORNL mission. A user must agree to adhere to all relevant safety requirements and to complete all user training deemed necessary by a given facility.

User Agreements: The US Department of Energy requires that its ORNL operating contractor—UT-Battelle (UTB)—and the institution of each user who accesses its User Facilities sign, in advance, a standard agreement dealing with such topics as intellectual property, liability, site access, safety, and publications. The User Agreement is not project-specific, and it applies to virtually all of an institution’s approved proposals at ORNL’s designated User Facilities. If an applicable agreement does not already exist, the user or institution will receive an agreement and instructions from the ORNL Sponsored Research Office.

The NScD User Office will initiate preparation of these agreements for approved proposals, if the agreements do not already exist.

Intent to Publish: As a condition of performing nonproprietary research, the US Department of Energy requires users to publish results from their research. Authorship of publications based on research from these facilities should reflect the normal considerations of recognizing collaborations. It is also important to take into account the considerable efforts of the instrument scientists in their role of designing, constructing, and/or operating the instrument and related facilities. Results typically are published in peer-reviewed journals, proceedings, or presentations at technical conferences. Proprietary users are not required to publish.

Credit Line: Each facility (SNS, HFIR, or both) should be acknowledged with this required statement:

This research [or, A portion of this research] at ORNL’s High Flux Isotope Reactor [and/or Spallation Neutron Source, as appropriate] was sponsored by the Scientific User Facilities Division, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, US Department of Energy.

Please submit bibliographic information for your publications via the Publications Portal.

Contact the User Office

User Office
User Program Manager Laura Morris Edwards
Proposal Coordinator Janell Thomson
User Facilities Analyst Gabrielle Boudreau
User Training & Access Robbie DeJarnette
  Lisa Grace
  Sharon Lantz
  Linda McDaniel