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November 2017

Proceed to the following links for details on proposal submission, proposal review, and site access.

The NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) offers neutron scattering and chemical analysis instruments to all qualified users.


The next deadline for receipt of proposals is Wednesday, November 1, 2017.

Note that continuation proposals are no longer a separate category, and the deadline applies to all proposals, except for Quick Access proposals.

Detailed Instructions for quick access proposals


For this proposal round:

You must have an account on the new 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. It may be that you may already have an account of which you are unaware. You will know this if you try to create an account referring to an existing account with the same email address. We can send you your password in the latter case, or if you have forgotten your password. PLEASE do not create duplicate or mutiple accounts.

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 SUCH MAIL-IN PROPOSALS ARE ACCEPTED FOR BT1.

UPLOAD A PDF document of the description of your experiment on our proposal form.
The new feature allows you conveniently to include figures and equations. The uploaded material may be no larger than 1500 kb in file size, nor longer than 3 letter-size pages in length. The font size must be 12 point or larger.

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

In order to include special characters and equations, you must use the option of uploading the description of experiment as a pdf file. NOTE that the text box option no longer supports special characters, since no version of the proposal that reviewers will see is formatted in html.

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 including references, nor larger than 1500 kb in file size.

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

*The brand new vSANS instrument is currently being commissioned. This means that it is not fully functional. We are still adding and testing features. In this proposal round, we are offering 30 days instead of the eventual 90 days so that sufficient time is available to complete the commissioning and solve problems as they are found. By applying for this time, you are agreeing to help with commissioning by testing the instrument and providing feedback so that we can ensure reliable service in the future. While not all the instrument's eventual capabilities will be available, we are reasonably confident that you will be able to use vSANS as a SANS instrument. In other words, it will cover essentially the same Q-range as our current 30 m SANS instruments. Unlike our other SANS machines, it will have 2 detectors each with about 3 times the area of our current detectors allowing a wider Q-range in a single measurement. There will also be 3 options for wavelength spread: 3% (λ = 0.475 nm), 13% (variable λ using a velocity selector), and 30% (λ ≈ 0.5 nm). We anticipate that most SANS sample environments will be available. Any other features should not be expected. Within these constraints, we intend for you to get publishable data and we won't schedule approved beamtime until we believe that this is likely.

To apply for beam time, please use the WEB PAGE PROPOSAL FORM. This is our required format, since it allows efficient processing of your proposal.

If you would like more detailed information about the NCNR instruments than is given on these pages, please contact the appropriate instrument scientist. For more general information about the NCNR, call Yamali Hernandez at (301) 975-5295, or inquire by email to, or FAX a message to (301) 921-9847.

Last modified 11-October-2017 by website owner: NCNR (attn: )