General Information

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Transition Topics

The Photon Sciences Directorate intends to run a full schedule (~5000 hours per year) of NSLS operations to the end of fiscal year 2014 (September 30, 2014). NSLS-II will be ramped up as rapidly as possible to serve our large and productive user community.  The tabs below provide information related to various transition topics. 

If you have comments, suggestions or questions, please contact the Photon Sciences User Administrator, at

NSLS Shutting Down Operations, 9/30/2014

As of September 30, 2014, the NSLS will be shutting down its operations. The proposal submission deadline of January 31, 2014 for the May-September 2014 cycle is the LAST and FINAL deadline for General User proposals at the NSLS. For more information, please visit the FAQ section of this page.

User Transition Forum, May 2012

The User Transition Planning Forum was held on May 21, 2012, as part of the annual NSLS/CFN Users’ Meeting. Below are copies of slide presentations and notes taken during the Forum.

We have prepared this list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) below. They should address your most pressing questions, but if not, then contact us and we can answer you and/or add your question to the FAQs.

The most recent questions will be added at the top of the existing list.

Can’t NSLS run at the same time the NSLS-II facility is running?

No. The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences does not plan to fund the operation of NSLS past the end of September, 2014

When will NSLS shut down?

At the end of fiscal year 2014: September 30, 2014.

Will NSLS run at full operations until then?

Yes, as long as the DOE budget is allocated normally for NSLS operations, which is what we expect. We anticipate running 5,000 hours per year as we usually do until NSLS stops operations.

How will General User proposals be handled until then?

Same as now, except that you will not be able to request time after September 2014, even if the proposal still shows that it’s active.

What help is available to General Users who aren’t sure where they can continue their scientific research program?

Take a look at our matrices, which are on the "Techniques Across DOE" tab. This may help you get an idea where the capabilities exist for your particular technique. To get started, you can contact the User Administrator at the particular facility (listed on their web site) for help, or contact the Photon Sciences User Administrator, at

When will NSLS-II be operational, and how many beamlines and hours will be available?

We expect that NSLS-II will be operational in fiscal year 2015, which starts on October 1, 2014. At that time, we expect to have at least the 7 NSLS-II Project beamlines undergoing commissioning.  We plan to provide ~2300 user hours of beamtime in FY15.

To assist you in how and where your scientific research projects can be completed, we’ve prepared matrices giving the number of beamlines providing various scientific techniques that will be available at NSLS-II and are available at other U.S. DOE light sources.

These matrices were mentioned in the User Transition Planning Forum in May 2012. If you didn’t attend the meeting, you might find it helpful to visit the "News & Updates" tab and scan through some of the talks. Basically, an effort was undertaken to understand the beamlines that are available across the DOE synchrotron complex, and how that number (and technique mix) might change through the NSLS to NSLS-II transition. The basic framework was proposed by Tony Lanzirotti, University of Chicago, who developed the first matrix for microprobe capabilities at NSLS, APS, ALS, SSRL, and those anticipated for NSLS-II. The idea caught on, and we worked to gather information for other techniques and instruments.

To provide some common structure or classification for the beamlines, we adopted the nomenclature used by DOE to describe experimental techniques at light-source beamlines. A number of volunteers across the facilities worked to collect, classify and project the likely techniques at the facilities through 2016. We worked to make sure beamlines are only listed and counted once, although many have capabilities across techniques, and some (microprobes in particular) might be thought of as spectroscopy instruments that happen to look at small samples. A comparison of the existing beamlines at NSLS and those planned for NSLS-II organized to this scheme is given here.

With all these caveats, it should be clear there is some lack of precision in the overall exercise, but it should be helpful within particular techniques to see where gaps exist, and where capability is expected to be available at any particular time. Have a look at the individual technique tables for details. Overall, one can see from the DOE Beamline Distribution that some areas of spectroscopy and scattering will be especially challenging.  Users are encouraged to interact with the staff at the facilities to try and understand what opportunities will be available to pursue their particular research.

The links at right lead directly to PDFs of the specific matrices.

After exploring the information about anticipated technique availability at NSLS and other facilities in the next few years (provided under the "Techniques Across DOE" tab), you may wish to contact our DOE and Other Partner Facilities for information and/or questions you have about the capabilities their facilities can offer.

 Proposal submission for each of these facilities are as follows:

  Run-Cycle Proposal Due
NSLS   September 30, 2014
SSRL (non-MX) February 1, 2015 September 3, 2014
SSRL (MX) November 1, 2014 July 1, 2014
APS October 2014 July 11, 2014
ALS January 2015 September 5, 2014
CHESS April 30 - June 24, 2014 March 20, 2014

If you have comments, suggestions or questions, please contact the Photon Sciences User Administrator, at

We will follow up as soon as possible.