Become a User
The Department of Energy requires ORNL to execute user agreements, typically with researchers' institutions, prior to granting access to user facilities. The user agreement, which can be nonproprietary or proprietary, serves as the "master" agreement which establishes the general terms and conditions, including disposition of intellectual property, for work at any of our user facilities. For use that will generate proprietary output or that will require any cost reimbursement, a project-specific Appendix A must also be executed in advance.
- Non-Proprietary – appropriate when 1) all tasks will be directed toward non-proprietary research that advances the state of the art in the user’s area of interest, rather than toward producing a commercial end result (e.g., a marketable product); 2) the user intends to publish the research results in the open scientific literature; and 3) the user does not require a proprietary level of protection for any of the output. The user may use proprietary data or software in the performance of the project, as long as all the project output is non-proprietary.
- User Agreement for a Federal Agency - appropriate when the user organization is a federal agency. This specialized agreement does not include the Indemnity and Liability provisions, and it clarifies Intellectual Property ownership.
- Non-Proprietary Agreement Between Two National Laboratories - appropriate when the user organization is a federal laboratory, operated by a contractor. This specialized agreement does not include the Indemnity and Liability provisions, and it clarifies the Intellectual Property ownership.
- Proprietary – requires full cost recovery because the user does not want the results disseminated to the public. A proprietary agreement is also used when full-cost recovery is required, regardless of dissemination of results.
- Appendix A – a simple document executed primarily when costs are to be recovered. It authorizes use of the specific User Facility or Facilities for a defined duration and serves as an advance-payment invoice. Facility access is controlled through proposal review and approval, scheduling, and badging. Advance payment is required prior to initiation of work.
- Note: A special "Appendix A-ORNL" may be executed for the convenience of User Institutions that have previously executed the prior version of the Non-Proprietary User Agreement.