Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Obtaining Access to the NCNR Facility

The NCNR uses the web-based Information Management System (IMS) to track interactions with its facility users.

The following steps must be followed before a first time user can obtain unescorted access to the NIST site and unescorted access to the experimental areas of the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR).

If you have any questions, please contact the NCNR User Office (K07) at 301-975-8200 or email ncnraccess [at] (ncnraccess[at]nist[dot]gov).

Steps prior to coming:

Users who are Foreign Nationals must complete the NCNR Visitor Registration form (available in IMS) at least 35 calendar days prior to arrival.

Users who are U.S. Citizens or U.S. Permanent Residents must complete the NCNR Visitor Registration form at least 3 full business days prior to arrival.

  1. Create a new IMS account.

  2. Activate your IMS account.

  3. Complete the NIST Visitor Registration located in your IMS Account under the User Activities tab.

  4. Request Health Physics Tour, located under the User Activities tab in your IMS Account.

  5. Complete the online portion of the radiation training, located under the User Activities tab in your IMS Account. (You may do this on-site but it could delay you if you haven’t allocated sufficient time).

  6. Prepare a Trustworthy Letter, written and signed by your supervisor or department head on official letterhead from your home institution. Original letter with a handwritten (i.e., “wet”) signature is required. An electronic signature cannot be accepted. You cannot obtain a badge from the NCNR without this letter.

Bring with you:

  1. U.S. Citizens: a driver’s license or passport.

  2. Foreign Nationals: Your passport and visa - Proof of Stay in the United States (for example: DS2019, I94, I20, work employment card, etc.). Note: a tourist visa is not acceptable. Please contact us if you have any questions at 301-975-8200 or email ncnraccess [at] (ncnraccess[at]nist[dot]gov).

  3. U.S. Permanent Resident: Your valid U.S. Permanent Resident card (green card). Must present Permanent Resident card.

  4. A signed copy of your Trustworthy Letter as described above.

  5. If you are bringing a car on-site, a copy of your vehicle registration or rental agreement.

Steps after arriving:

  1. Pick up a temporary visitor badge at the Visitor Center located at the main entrance of NIST.

  2. Arrive at the NCNR (Bldg. 235) and go to the main lobby. Acquire a temporary yellow visitor badge and dosimeter from the police officer at the desk.

  3. Go to the NCNR User Office (K07) in the basement of Bldg. 235 (Steps are on the right of the lobby). Sign a Facility User Agreement and acquire a temporary green facility user badge. You should now have three temporary badges, all of which must be worn visibly.

  4. If desired, return to NCNR lobby and page your instrument contact who will escort you into the building areas with restricted access.

  5. Meet in the NCNR lobby to complete the health physics tour, which begins in the main lobby at 9:00 AM on the date requested.

  6. After completion of the On-site Radiation Safety Training (which includes the tour and a lecture), have the associated form signed by health physics.

  7. Review instrument and laboratory safety requirements with your instrument contact.(i.e., Safety Checklist).

  8. Bring your ID, health physics paperwork, Trustworthy Letter, Safety Checklist, and green and white temporary badges to the User Office (K07) where you will receive your orange user badge. Important: If you are not a U.S. citizen please bring proof of stay in the United States and passport. A tourist visa (e.g. B2 or WT) is not acceptable. In some cases additional forms will need to be completed after you arrive.

  9. Return your yellow visitor badge and temporary dosimeter to the police officer in the lobby. Badge into the restricted area and pick up your assigned dosimeter from the hallway rack before beginning your experiment.


Created May 12, 2017, Updated April 5, 2023