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User Guide | Applying for Beam Time
User Access Policy
User access to beam time is based on (1) proposals that are subjected to peer review that is fair, clear, and expedient, that is sensitive to the needs of users, and that recognizes contributions that improve the overall scientific program, and (2) the principle that all proposals receive a finite amount of beam time for a limited duration that is justified by the need for beam time of the proposed work.
Access Modes and Proposal Lifecycle
There are three modes of user access to beam time at NSLS-II: General User (GU) access, Partner User (PU) access, and Beamline Discretionary Time (BDT) access. The life cycle for GU and PU access to beam time involves the following steps: proposal submission, proposal review and award of beam time, beam time allocation, beam time scheduling, carrying out the work, and reporting the results. BDT access involves scheduling, carrying out the work, and reporting the results but is reviewed retrospectively. Full details of the proposal process
Beam Time Approval
GU and PU access require peer review of proposals through a central review process managed by Photon Sciences that utilizes Proposal Review Panels (PRPs). Beam time is awarded to GU proposals either by the PRPs or via a Rapid Access process. Beam time is awarded to PU proposals by PS management via a Partner User Agreement based on recommendations from the PRPs and the assessment of PS management. Beamline staff may receive beamtime by being part of a GU proposal or a PU proposal. In addition, beamline staff may also be assigned beam time by beamline management using Beamline Discretionary Time. The award and utilization of all beam time, regardless of access mode, is subject to periodic review by the SAC.
Beam Time Allocation
The beam time available for allocation to users does not include time that beamline management requires for commissioning, maintaining, and upgrading the beamlines, and so is typically less than the accelerator operations hours. A minimum of 50% of the available user beam time on every beamline shall be allocated by a Beam Time Allocation Committee (BAC) to GU proposals every run cycle. Up to 40% of the available beam time may be allocated by the BAC to one or more PU proposals in response to their beam time requests for that run cycle. Up to 10% of the available beam time may be allocated at the discretion of beamline management every run cycle for BDT access, typically by beamline staff. Full details about beam time allocation