Submitting a Research Proposal
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.
Select an Instrument and Determine a Local Contact
Review the information about our instruments and their capabilities and consult with the appropriate instrument scientist(s) to make sure your research is feasible for the instrument you would like to use.
Because we receive many more than we can accommodate, proposals go through a rigorous review process. After talking with our staff, the second most important step to getting beam time is making sure your proposal provides the review committee with all the information they need to make a valid assessment of your proposal. Please review these proposal writing tips to aid you in writing a successful proposal.
Create and Submit a Research Proposal
Proposals are submitted through the Integrated Proposal Tracking System (IPTS). The easiest way to create a proposal, get an account, update your information, or retrieve a forgotten password is in the
ORNL Guest Portal
After logging into the ORNL Guest Portal:
- Click the "Create a Proposal" link in the right sidebar.
- Choose the appropriate ORNL User Facility.
- Login to IPTS to start your proposal.
- Follow the form instructions to complete and submit your proposal.
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. A 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.
The Proposal Review Process
All proposals are reviewed and rated for feasibility, safety, and the potential for high-impact science. Submittors are highly encouraged to read the details of the review and ratings process. Users for approved projects must complete access and training requirements prior to beginning experiments.