SNS-HFIR User Group Bylaws and Charter

SNS-HFIR User Group (SHUG) Charter

This charter defines the membership and responsibilities of the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) and High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) User Group (SHUG) and the membership, responsibilities and structure of the SHUG Executive Committee (EC).


The purpose of the SHUG is to:

  1. Provide a formal and clear channel for the exchange of information and advice between the investigators who perform neutron scattering and neutron science experiments at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the management of the SNS and HFIR.
  2. Serve as an advocacy group for the neutron scattering and neutron science activities at SNS and HFIR.
  3. Provide a communication channel among users of SNS and HFIR.


Membership in the SHUG is automatically granted to those who are named as a principal investigator or team member on proposals submitted to the Neutron Sciences Directorate’s (NScD) Integrated Proposal Tracking System (IPTS).  The membership lasts until a user decides to opt out. The SHUG membership lists will be updated by the NScD User Program at the beginning of each calendar year.


An annual meeting of the SHUG shall be held at a time and in a manner designated by the SHUG EC. The EC shall plan the meeting, including preparation of the agenda and timely notification of the SHUG membership, with assistance from the NScD User Program. If necessary, a special meeting of the SHUG, or a subcommittee of it, may be called by a majority of the EC or a majority of the SHUG membership.


  1. Roles and Responsibilities.  The EC shall conduct the regular business of the SHUG and is charged with providing objective, timely advice and recommendations to NScD management related to matters affecting the SHUG, such as operating policies, instruments, and needs for facilities, infrastructure, and instrumentation.  It is also charged with facilitating discussions among facility users, the broader research community and NScD management on matters important to the users. The EC is expected to serve as an advocacy group for the ORNL neutron facilities.

The EC shall also carry out the following functions and processes

  1. Drawing on suggestions from the membership, shall make recommendations to management for persons to serve on proposal evaluation committees.
  2. Plan and run the annual meeting of the SHUG.
  3.  Report back to the membership at the annual meeting and at other times as appropriate.
  4. Provide advice on other matters affecting ORNL’s neutron facilities at the request of NScD management.
  5. Form, as appropriate, ad hoc committees to deal with special needs of NScD management or SHUG as identified by the EC.  Ad hoc committee members will consist of SHUG members.


  1. Executive Committee Membership and Terms of Service. The SHUG shall have up to 12 members consisting of the Chair, Vice-Chair, a Secretary and up to nine other members. All members, except one, shall serve three-year terms. The remaining position, for a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow, shall be a two-year term. Four members shall be elected by the SHUG membership each year, except in years when the graduate student/postdoctoral fellow position is being filled, when up to five members may be elected.


  1. Executive Committee Membership Qualifications. The EC members must be SHUG members and on proposals submitted to the Neutron Sciences Directorate's (NScD) Integrated Proposal Tracking System (IPTS) in the past 5 years at the time of the election. The EC members must possess the highest personal and professional ethics, integrity and values, and be committed to representing the long-term interests of SHUG, HFIR and SNS mission and values. EC members must also have an inquisitive and objective perspective, practical wisdom and mature judgment. Members must be willing to devote sufficient time to fulfilling their duties and responsibilities effectively.


  1. Executive Committee Elections. Elections will be held every year in the fall.  The election cycle will begin with a formal call for nominations to the SHUG by the EC Chair. The EC shall determine the number of new EC members to be elected and will strive to have no less than nine and no more than 12 Committee members. In preparing a slate of candidates, the EC shall strive to have scientific and institutional diversity reflected in the slate of candidates. No more than three EC members may be employees of ORNL.


The Chair will work with the EC to review and select the final slate of nominees, ensuring broad representation across the capabilities and scientific focus of the SNS and HFIR User Program. The SHUG will vote for the candidates, using electronic ballot or other method as deemed appropriate by the EC. The election process (distributing biographies of the candidates and ballots, tallying the votes, and reporting the results) shall be the responsibility of the Secretary of the EC. Election of members shall be by simple pluralities of votes cast


  1. Executive Committee Officers.  Terms for members shall begin on the January 1 following an election in the fall. The officers of the EC shall be a Chair, a Vice-Chair, and a Secretary. The Chair position term will be for one year, after which the Vice Chair will assume the position of Chair, and the Chair will move into the ex officio position of Past Chair, providing advice and guidance to the current EC.  The Secretary position will be for one-year.

Subsequent to the election of new EC members, the EC in its first meeting shall select a Vice-Chair from one of the new members of the Committee. A Secretary shall also be chosen at this time. Neither the Chair nor Vice-Chair shall be an employee of ORNL.

  1. Executive Committee Meetings. Meetings will be organized and facilitated by the SHUG EC Chair.  Activities and discussions will be documented, and the reports will be made available to all members of the SHUG and NScD management.  The EC may conduct business where a quorum of its members is present; such quorum must consist of at least 50 percent of the EC members and include the Chair or Vice-Chair. EC members are expected to prepare for and attend all scheduled Committee meetings. The Chair is responsible for drafting the agenda items for meetings in discussion with the EC and the User Program manager.

The EC may meet at ORNL, with reasonable travel reimbursement provided by NScD based on established ORNL business rules.

EC members that are considered non-participating can be removed if they miss more than four meetings over the course of the calendar year.


This charter shall be adopted if approved by two-thirds of the SHUG members voting at the annual meeting.

A proposed amendment to this charter, bearing the signatures of at least five SHUG members, may be introduced at an annual meeting. A two-thirds majority of members voting is required for passage of the amendment.

The current version of the bylaws was revised and adopted in August 2022.