Procedure to Obtain Beam Time

This procedure to obtain NSCL beam time for experiments is designed to achieve several objectives:

  1. To formalize uniform criteria for considering all proposals for experiments and for selecting those to be granted beam time.
  2. To maximize the scientific effectiveness of this national user facility for nuclear science.
  3. To provide a relatively rapid turn-around time between the submission of a proposal and the performance of an experiment.

A Program Advisory Committee (PAC) has been set up to advise the director (presently C. Konrad Gelbke) on all matters relating to the scientific research program at NSCL. The PAC receives written proposals for experiments from all prospective users. These proposals are reviewed by the PAC at meetings generally held about every 6-8 months. Recommendations, based on scientific merit, are made for allocation of beam time for proposed experiments. The Executive Committee of the Users Group is invited to designate a representative to attend each PAC meeting as an observer. The representative’s observations are recorded and are available in the Director’s office after the PAC meeting.
Proposals can be submitted at any time. For a proposal to be considered at the following PAC meeting, it must be received at NSCL prior to the deadline communicated to all users about 8 weeks before the due date. The notice will include a list of available beams. Proposal forms can be obtained from the NSCL web site and completed proposals can be uploaded there.
Until the director makes his decision concerning beam time allocations, all proposals received will be treated confidentially. The decision of the director will be communicated to each spokesperson in writing, along with a list of titles of the approved experiments. Once the decisions have been communicated, the approved proposals will be held on file at NSCL on an open basis. Approval of an experiment lasts for only 24 months. An experiment that is not scheduled within this period will need to be resubmitted to the PAC for reconsideration.
To reduce the burden of proposal writing and reviewing, written proposals will be brief (no more than four pages of description), and there will be no oral presentations at the PAC meetings. All NSCL communications regarding the experiment will be sent to the spokesperson for dissemination to the collaborators as he/she sees fit.
You will be sent the name of the PAC member responsible for the detailed review of your proposal. You are encouraged to call the PAC member with clarifications, afterthoughts, etc. or you may be contacted for further information. We request that the spokesperson or an alternate be available at the telephone number given in the proposal during the period of the PAC meetings to respond to possible questions.
It is emphasized that approval is for the specific measurement proposed, with specified targets, beams, and beam energies. If the experimenters wish to change an approved experiment, permission must be obtained from the NSCL director before the modified experiment can be performed. If a major development in the field leads to an urgent request for beam time, the director holds discretionary time to meet such contingencies. Requests for discretionary beam time should be addressed to the director and sent to the Manager for User Relations.
Experiments are scheduled by the NSCL Scheduling Committee.