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Photon Sciences Directorate at Brookhaven National Laboratory

Close-Up: NSLS Users


From Alabama to Australia, more than 2,200 visiting scientists from over 400 institutions came to NSLS to conduct their research in FY10, exactly 700 of which were new to the facility.

These scientists, known as “users,” primarily are awarded beam time by submitting a general user proposal through a peer-reviewed, web-based system. The proposal is rated based on various scientific criteria and can remain active for up to six cycles of operation (about two years).

In FY10, about 1,000 requests for beam time were submitted, with about one-third of those requests on new proposals. Beam time is given without charge, as long as the research results are published in open literature. Work that is proprietary in nature is charged on a full-cost recovery basis consistent with U.S. Department of Energy guidelines.

The majority of NSLS users (74 percent) come from academic institutions, and about one third (33 percent) come from New York State. Another third come from locations nearby in the northeastern states. About half of the users are U.S. citizens and almost 27 percent are women.

The greatest number of users works in the life sciences field (42 percent), followed by materials science (29 percent). When the number of days spent on experiments is considered, materials science studies make up the largest portion of beam time used (42 percent).

In FY10, almost 40 percent of the researchers working at NSLS were students in undergraduate or graduate programs. About 23 percent of the users were post-doctoral researchers, with faculty members, professional staff, or research scientists making up the balance.

NSLS Users by Field of Research

field of research

NSLS Users by Affiliation


Geographical User Distribution

geographical dist.

Beamtime Used

beamtime used