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Proposal Types

User Proposal Types

The Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) solicits scientifically high-impact proposals for user-initiated nanoscience research that will make effective use of CNMS facilities and staff expertise. Access is provided at no cost to users for research that is in the public domain and intended for publication in the open literature. Visit the Capabilities section of the CNMS website to learn more.

General User Proposal

The CNMS accepts General User Proposal twice per year, in May and October.  Proposals are externally reviewed and if approved, access is for a 12-month period with the possibility for renewal for an additional 12-month period. 

In some occasions, users may wish to partner with the CNMS in order to enhance CNMS capabilities.  Partners users are individuals or groups who not only carry out research at an NSRC but also enhance the capabilities or contribute to the operation of the Center. Typically, they develop the facility instrumentation in some way, bringing outside financial and/or intellectual capital into the evolution of the NSRC, or contribute to the operation of equipment and facilities in a way that benefits both the Partner User and the CNMS. These contributions must be made available to the General Users and so benefit them as well as the facility. Partners may be allocated limited access to one or more facilities over a period of several years, with the possibility of renewal. 

Rapid Access User Proposal

The CNMS accepts Rapid Access user proposals for expedited peer review that request support for time-sensitive studies and require only a limited amount of CNMS resources, typically not more than 5 days. A justification for requesting CNMS resources is required.

Rapid Access proposals may be submitted “off-cycle” between scheduled proposal calls and may be approved at any time at the discretion of the CNMS Director. A Rapid Access proposal is especially appropriate for a relatively quick and straightforward experiment in a rapidly advancing field or for a proof-of-concept (feasibility) study intended to support a subsequent regular user proposal. A Rapid Access proposal may also request access to certain basic characterization facilities at CNMS using time that is not otherwise allocated to General User proposals. Special consideration will be given to user projects that have been approved by other ORNL user facilities. 

Programmatic User Proposal

User-initiated nanoscience research in support of a sponsored program at ORNL in which the full costs of CNMS support will be recovered from the sponsoring program – an ORNL charge number is required to submit.

Proprietary User Proposal

User-initiated nanoscience research that utilizes unique facilities at CNMS to benefit the national economy. Full cost recovery will be obtained for proprietary research, and efforts will be made to secure appropriate intellectual property control.

Please contact the CNMS User Program Director if you would like additional information and guidance for submitting a user proposal.