Access to CNMS facilities will be determined through a peer-reviewed proposal process. Proposals are to be submitted electronically by e-mail attachment in Microsoft Word using the standard forms listed below. A complete proposal must include the following components:

  • Completed proposal form, approximately 5 pages including all front matter and a 2-page "Description of Proposed Research."
    It is important to use the latest version of the CNMS Proposal Form (download) because the equipment offered is subject to change and only the latest form contains the up-to-date list.
    (click to see a Sample Proposal and read Tips for Writing a Competitive User Proposal)
  • A brief curriculum vitae of no more than 2 pages for the Principal Investigator only. You may use the NSF-style template provided below, or another format containing similar information.
  • In addition, if you plan to request beam time for neutron scattering, you will need to include the 2-page Neutron Scattering appendix (see Item #1 below to download the form).

The Shared Research Equipment (ShaRE) User Facility is now part of the CNMS!  All ShaRE equipment is now listed on the standard CNMS proposal form. See capabilities included under Microscopy, Neutron and X-Ray Scattering.

Each proposal will receive a rapid, initial screening for feasibility, safety and completeness by one or more CNMS research staff members. Proposals that are not feasible using the current capabilities at CNMS will be returned to the PI without further review. Selected members of the Proposal Review Committee (PRC) having expertise in the appropriate research areas will then evaluate each proposal according to the Review Criteria. CNMS management will allocate facility time to approved proposals considering the prioritization established by the PRC review results and the availability of resources.

Prospective users are encouraged to download and preview the proposal forms and initiate contact with appropriate ORNL research staff early in the proposal development process to ensure familiarity with proposal requirements and gauge the feasibility and time requirements of the research being proposed.

To submit a proposal:

  1. The proposal template is available as a set of fillable Microsoft Word forms. Use the links below to download each of the necessary forms.
    • CNMS Proposal Form (LaTex version) - You must use the latest version from one of these links
    • Neutron Scattering Appendix for requesting beam time at the SNS or HFIR user facilities.
    • CV Template - Your NSF-style CV may be submitted in an alternative format but should include similar information as indicated on this template. Limit to a maximum of 2 pages.
  2. Review the descriptions of CNMS capabilities using this web site.
  3. Contact appropriate ORNL staff members listed in the relevant research area descriptions if you would like to discuss your intention to submit a proposal and clarify compatibility with available facilities (not required).
  4. Insert the information requested into the forms on your computer. Be sure to read the “Notice Regarding Public Dissemination of User Project Information.”
  5. Attach all forms to a SINGLE e-mail message with subject line “CNMS proposal submission (last name of PI)” and mail to NOTE: For more than one proposal by the same PI, add -1, -2, etc. to the name of the PI.
  6. NOTE: Submission of a proposal asserts an intention to publish the results in the open literature and constitutes an agreement to acknowledge the CNMS any such publications. Prescribed text for the acknowledgment may be found here.