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 2016B closed April 13, 2016. The 2016B proposal call poster is available here. This call was for experiments anticipated to run from July to December 2016. There are two proposal calls each year. The 2017A call will close on October 5, 2016 at noon EDT.
- Download NEW General User proposal template
- Tips for writing a good proposal
- Detailed instructions for submitting a proposal
- Integrated Proposal Tracking System (IPTS) for proposal submissions
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.
Access to CNMS Characterization Facilities
The Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD) User Facilities (HFIR/SNS) are cooperating with the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) characterization facilities to allow users to request CNMS characterization time within a NScD user proposal, provided that the main part of the proposed work would be carried out at NScD. To request characterization time at CNMS, NScD users should attach the 2-page CNMS appendix with their NScD proposal submission in IPTS. (Template is available within IPTS.) The CNMS request will be reviewed concurrently with the NScD proposal review. NScD access for any proposal will still be based entirely on the NScD standard peer-review process. An NScD user whose CNMS characterization request is approved will schedule that time during late CY2016 to early 2017. Note that if the primary thrust of the proposal is to obtain access to the CNMS facility for synthesis, prospective users must submit a proposal directly to CNMS.
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.
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.
All publications based on work done in whole, or in part, at the Spallation Neutron Source or the High Flux Isotope Reactor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory should acknowledge the facility (or facilities) with this required statement:
This research [or, A portion of this research] used resources at the High Flux Isotope Reactor [and/or Spallation Neutron Source, as appropriate], a DOE Office of Science User Facility operated by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
In addition, users are asked to credit the instrument(s) used in the body of the paper.
Please submit bibliographic information for your publications to the PuSH (Publications of SNS and HFIR) database.
Contact the User Office
|User Program Manager||Laura Morris Edwards|
|Industrial Users Point of Contact||Ke An|
|Proposal Coordinator||Janell Thomson|
|User Facilities Analyst||Gabrielle Boudreau|
|User Training & Access||Jennifer Earles|