General Information

Top of Page

Requesting Beam Time

Use one of the following options depending on your research:

General User Proposal

General User proposals are peer reviewed for scientific merit by a Proposal Review Panel (PRP). General User proposals compete for beamtime with other General User Proposals based on scientific merit. Once the original proposal and beam time request is reviewed and rated in the PASS System, additional beam time requests can be submitted against the original proposal for its lifetime, a period of up to six cycles (two years). Data taken during experiments associated with a General User proposal is considered to be in the public domain. There is no charge for General User beamtime.

Rapid Access

Rapid Access proposals are a subset of General User proposals available for selected techniques. Rapid access proposals go through an expedited peer review process. Peer reviewed Rapid Access proposals are allocated beamtime on an as-available basis. Additional beam time requests on a previously reviewed and rated Rapid Access proposal can be submitted against the Rapid Access proposal for its lifetime, which is a period of three cycles (one year) total. Data taken during experiments associated with a Rapid Access proposal is considered to be in the public domain. There is no charge for Rapid Access beamtime.

Proprietary Research

Proprietary User proposals are reviewed internally by the Facility. If approved based on the value of the proposed research and beamline availability, beamtime used will be deducted from the General User program. Proprietary User proposals are considered Rapid Access in that go through an expedited process and can be scheduled as soon as time is available on the particular beam line requested. Data taken during experiments associated with a Proprietary proposal is considered proprietary. Beamtime used is subject to charge according to the NSLS User Access Policy.

Proprietary proposals with Participating Research Team (PRT) arrangement must be approved by the respective PRT in operation at selected NSLS beamlines. Beamtime used will be deducted from the PRT's allocation and is not considered as a General User. Data taken during experiments associated with a Proprietary proposal is considered proprietary. Beamtime used is subject to charge according to the NSLS User Access Policy.

Participating Research Teams and Contributing User Program

Participating Research Teams (PRTs) and Contributing User (CU) Programs have dedicated blocks of beamtime on selected beamlines at the NSLS facility. Members of PRTs and CUs that wish to access this time should contact your beamline spokesperson directly. Users that wish to collaborate with PRTs or CUs to access some of this time are also encouraged to contact the spokesperson. (See the beamline guide for spokesperson contact information.)


There are also specialized purposes under which you may request beam time, both of which require meeting with the NSLS Facility Director. These include:

Please contact the User Administrator for further details.


Web-Based Proposal, Allocation, Safety, Scheduling (PASS) System

For detailed instructions on accessing the web-based Proposal System called PASS (Proposal, Allocation, Safety, and Scheduling), click here.

Deadlines For Requesting Beam Time

Refer to the appropriate deadlines for the submission of General User proposals and declaration of beam time for PRTs and Contributing Users.

General User Account

Once a beam time proposal is reviewed and rated, users may need to set up a $1,000 operating account to cover operating expenses while at the NSLS, such as charges for use of trades, shops, and stockroom withdrawals (such as liquid nitrogen). A telephone access code, for use in placing off-site calls and faxes, is associated with each operating account. Operating accounts, which are subject to BNL overhead, are established by the user's home institution via a purchase order.