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Call for Proposals

Next call: Summer 2021

The last call ended November 10, 2020 and the approved experiments will be scheduled between late February 2021 and July 2021



The NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) offers neutron scattering and chemical analysis instruments to all qualified users.  All proposals will be critically reviewed for scientific merit by experts external to the NCNR.

For this proposal round:

Proposal Submission Form
You must have an account on the NCNR Information Management System (NCNR-IMS) to submit a proposal. Go to the login link on the upper left-hand side of our home page. Login if you have an account or create an account if you do not. Your email address is your user ID. We can send your password to you if you have forgotten your password.

  • Given the COVID situation, we are offering ¾ the number of days compared to a usual call. This does not affect the total number of days we expect to offer in 2021 and 2022. We are simply adjusting the number of days offered in this particular call.
  • Due to the commissioning of CANDOR, the polarized beam reflectometer (PBR) is no longer accepting proposals. Please contact an instrument scientist to inquire about access to PBR.

  • With vSANS now in full operation, uSANS is no longer accepting proposals except as complementary to a SANS proposal. Please contact an instrument scientist to inquire about access to uSANS.

  • While we hope that COVID will recede to the point that some users will be allowed on-site for their experiments, we anticipate that on-site access will be severely limited and that we may only be able to accommodate ‘mail-in’ experiments. If your proposal is successful and the experiment cannot be run via mail-in, we won’t schedule your time until it is safe for you to travel to NIST to do your experiment.

NOTE! MAIL-IN Samples for Powder Diffraction
We will accept proposals for experiments on the BT1 powder diffractometer on "mail-in" samples. That is, for approved proposals, samples may be mailed to NCNR staff, who will execute the data collection. Up to 25% of BT1 instrument time may be allocated to such proposals. Note that only MAIL-IN proposals are accepted for BT1.

Tips on Proposal Writing
The BTAC recommends that applicants read the tips listed on the proposal instructions page, with new specific suggestions from the SANS subcommittee of the BTAC.

Proposal Length Limit
The experiment description must be uploaded as a pdf file. The latter should include any figures and may not be longer than 3 letter-size pages, nor larger than 1.5 MB.

  • The CHRNS CANDOR instrument is now accepting proposals. Please read the disclaimer* before applying.
  • Complementary uSANS time can be obtained using the new checkbox on your SANS/vSANS proposal.

In the current call for proposals, the following instruments are offered to applicants.

* The CHRNS “white”-beam reflectometer called CANDOR is being commissioned. To allow us time to continue to improve its capabilities and reliability, we are offering 34 days instead of the standard 68 days. By applying for CANDOR, you are agreeing to provide feedback so that we can ensure improved future performance. Note that not all sample environments are currently available on CANDOR. As this is changing quickly, please contact an instrument scientist for more details.

If you would like more detailed information about the NCNR instruments than is given on these pages, please contact the appropriate instrument scientist

Created May 12, 2017, Updated November 13, 2020