Becoming a User

Becoming a User

The Nanoscale Science Research Center (NSRC) user program is designed to provide the international scientific community access to world-class centers operating as U. S. Department of Energy National User Facilities. The program provides access to equipment and technical expertise for nanoscale research that defines state of the art. The program is open to users from academia, the private sector, and research institutes worldwide. Users join a vibrant research community that brings together NSRC research staff, technical support staff, students, postdoctoral fellows, and collaborating guest scientists. The program accommodates both short-term and long-term collaborative research partners. Access is obtained through a brief peer-reviewed proposal with no charge for users who intend to publish their results. Access is available on a cost-recovery basis for research that is not intended for publication. Prospective users are encouraged to consult with NSRC staff members to learn more about the Center’s science and capabilities.

Users of the facilities include academic, industrial and government scientists and engineers. While the vast majority of user research should be in the public domain, and so must be disseminated by publication in the open literature, there may be access for proprietary research that utilizes these unique facilities to benefit the national economy. Users conducting proprietary research may access the facility as either General Users or as Partners. Full cost recovery will be obtained for proprietary research, and efforts will be made to secure appropriate intellectual property control for proprietary users to permit them to exploit their experimental results. Specific information about user agreements can be found at each Center’s website.

Modes of Access

Becoming a User

General Users are individual researchers or groups who need access to the facility to carry out their research, using existing equipment in the NSRCs. General Users apply for access by submission of a proposal that is evaluated by an external Proposal Review Panel (PRP). The scope of a General User proposal can vary from a single experiment proposal to a program proposal (valid for multiple visits and substantial access to a range of equipment extended over multiple years).

Partner Users are General users who also enhance the facility capabilities and/or contribute to the Center operation. They typically help develop instrumentation in some manner, either by bringing external financial and/or intellectual capital into the development of the facility.  These contributions must be made available to the General Users and, therefore, benefit the overall User Program as well as the facility. In recognition of their investment, Partner Users are provided negotiated access to one or more capabilities over a period of several years.

Rapid Access: Time-critical research opportunities may justify access to a NSRC between user proposal cycles. Rapid Access user proposals that clearly demonstrate a need for immediate access to conduct well-focused, short-term work with extremely high-impact potential are considered at each Center.

Upcoming Proposal Calls

NSRC Call Dates
Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) May 2015 Call for Proposals 27-Apr-2015 31-May-2015
Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT) Spring 2017 Call for Proposals 1-Mar-2017 31-Mar-2017
Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) Spring 2017 Call for Proposals 20-Oct-2016 2-May-2017
Fall 2017 Call for Proposals 3-May-2017 18-Oct-2017
Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) March 2016 Call for Proposals 5-Feb-2016 4-Mar-2016
July 2016 Call for Proposals 10-Jun-2016 8-Jul-2016
October 2016 Call for Proposals 30-Sep-2016 28-Oct-2016
The Molecular Foundry (The Foundry) Spring 2014 Call for Proposals 1-Jan-2014 30-Apr-2014
Fall 2014 Call for Proposals 1-May-2014 30-Sep-2014