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Obtaining Instrument Time

There are several ways for users to obtain beam time on NCNR instruments.


The primary method is through our proposal system. Calls for Proposals are issued approximately twice a year. Proposals are normally peer-reviewed, first by technical experts on the scientific topic of the proposals, then by the NCNR Beam Time Allocation Committee, which provides specific recommendations for instrument time. NCNR staff schedule the time for approved proposals. 

For more information on User Proposals, see our latest Call For Proposals

Here are some statistics for proposals received in response to recent Calls.


Many users obtain instrument time through scientific collaborations with NCNR staff. If you are interested in starting a collaborative project, please contact a staff member to discuss your ideas.

Research Consortia

There are several NCNR instruments (e.g. NG7 30-m SANS, BT2 Imaging Facility) that were built and are maintained by research consortia, typically including NIST and several other institutions. The consortium members are entitled to a portion of the time on these instruments.

Created April 19, 2017, Updated November 19, 2019