National School on Neutron and X-Ray Scattering

The 22nd National School on Neutron and X-Ray Scattering will begin on June 13-27, 2020.

Purpose: The main purpose of the National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering is to educate graduate students on the utilization of major neutron and x-ray facilities. Lectures, presented by researchers from academia, industry, and national laboratories, will include basic tutorials on the principles of scattering theory and the characteristics of the sources, as well as seminars on the application of scattering methods to a variety of scientific subjects. Students will conduct short experiments at Argonne's Advanced Photon Source and Oak Ridge's Spallation Neutron Source and High Flux Isotope Reactor facilities to obtain hands-on experience for using neutron and synchrotron sources.

Target Audience: The school accepts 60 applicants each year, targeting:

  • Graduate students attending North American (includes Canadian and Mexican) universities.
  • Those using experimental physical analysis techniques in their research (typically getting a degree in physics, chemistry, materials science, geosciences, engineering, or related fields.)

Most commonly, priority is given to students who:

  • Are expected to use multiple neutron or x-ray experimental techniques in their graduate research (ideally both x-rays and neutrons).
  • Already started their graduate research and will utilize neutron and x-ray techniques to complete it (typically students in their 2nd or 3rd year of graduate work).
  • Typically only one student per department is accepted. Almost never more than one student from a single research group.
  • Students from universities in states that are underrepresented in federal research funding are encouraged to apply.

Application Process: The NX School is highly competitive and usually oversubscribed. To apply as student to the school:

  1. Read the application instructions.
  2. Talk with your thesis advisor about the application.
  3. Make sure at least three referrers, one being your thesis advisor, complete the Evaluation Form and e-mail it to It is your responsibility to follow up with the references and make sure they are submitted prior to the deadline.
  4. Complete and submit an online application.

Transportation and Reimbursement: Graduate students who are accepted and attend the School receive transportation from their home institution or their current address, plus housing and meals at Argonne and Oak Ridge, as well as transportation between Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory. The Argonne Educational Programs and Outreach Division will arrange for travel so that students arrive at ORNL on June 13 and depart from ANL on June 27; arriving early or staying longer cannot be reimbursed. If accepted, students are expected to attend the entire school. Students who travel via private automobile will be reimbursed in accordance with Argonne policy.  Individuals who reside within a 50-mile radius of either laboratory will have reimbursements limited for their travel to that location, as required by DOE rules.

Jointly Conducted by: Argonne National Laboratory's, Advanced Photon Source and Materials Science Division, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Neutron Sciences Directorate.

Scientific Directors: Stephan Rosenkranz and Uta Ruett, Argonne; Matthias Frontzek, Mike Manley, and Bianca Haberl, Oak Ridge.

Application Period for 2020 NXS has begun.

Click here to apply. The deadline for applications is February 17, 2020.

What Do the Students Think?

Students talk about their experience at the 21st National School on Neutron and X‑ray Scattering, or NXS 2019.

Jointly conducted by Oak Ridge and Argonne national laboratories, NXS immerses graduate students in national user facilities to learn in a hands-on environment how to use neutrons and X-rays in their research.

Connect with NXS

Videos from NXS 2017

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