Proposal submission guidelines

1. Register for an account

Applications for beamtime are made via the ILL User Club. The ILL User Club provides online access to all the information and administrative tools for our scientific visitors, presented in a user-friendly environment. Club members can log on using their personal identification to gain direct access to all the information they need. Users with particular responsibilities have privileged access to other tools, depending on their role. To register a new account:

  • Go to the User Club Portal
  • Click on “New User” to create a new account
  • Fill out the Profile Information and click on “Save”

  • This application uses cookies, so please check if they are enabled on your browser.
  • Please update your browser to the latest version.

2. Select an Instrument for your study

Consult the ILL web pages dedicated to new ILL users and try to identify the technique and possible the instrument better suited to your scientific case.

The figure shows the time and length scales of the various neutron-based techniques. You can use it to identify the techniques which will best match your needs and then consult the list below to choose the appropriate instruments. Or, you can scroll the “Application” column of the table or search by keyword,  to help you find the relevant instrument(s).


Once you select an instrument, contact the appropriate scientist to ensure your research is feasible and receive answers to your initial questions. The instrument scientists are listed on each instrument page.

The scientists can help:

  • Determine if the desired instrument and facility are the best fit for your research.
  • Estimate the amount of facility time needed and justify the requested amount.
  • Provide constructive comments to prepare your scientific case.


Before submitting a proposal, make sure that the library database contains any articles and PhD theses from your group making use of ILL data. Check that these articles from you and your co-proposers are also correctly linked to ILL beam time. During the submission process, you will be asked to include a list of papers published in the last 5 years arising from ILL experiments; only articles found in the library database may appear.


Standard proposals are created and submitted in the Electronic Proposal Submission (EPS) integrated system, on the User Club.  
This is done in two-steps:


When creating a new proposal, users are guided through the proposal creation process and prompted to supply the necessary experiment information. There are 8 sections to be completed to submit your proposal.
Watch this TUTORIAL with detailed instructions.


The Scientific description is an essential part of a proposal. This two-page document should describe the purpose, importance, and goal of the research to be conducted at ILL.. 

Questionnaire summary

  • There are 8 sections to be completed to submit your proposal.
  • When you press the [Next >] button or use the menu, the data you entered is automatically saved in a database; this process will enable you to retrieve your proposal each time you connect to the ILL User club (until the deadline).
  • To SAVE each screen of the proposal submission, you must navigate to another screen (from 1 to 8). You can also use the menu on the left to navigate directly to a selected page.
  • The [Previous] button allows you to return to the previous page.
  • Do not use accents when completing the forms.
  • To modify or complete your proposal, connect to the ILL User club (under Proposals, select "Manage my proposal, Show + edit current proposal"). You will retrieve the previously entered data. It is not necessary to create a new proposal each time if you want to update one.
  • Maximum time limit to modify a proposal: until the deadline.
  • After completing all the questions you will have to upload a 2 page A4 PDF document corresponding to the scientific case of the proposed experiment. Please use the "Times" font, size 12.
  • You can Save, Submit or Delete your proposal.
  • When you press Submit for the first time, you will receive an email informing you of any missing information. You have until the deadline to fill this in. You will not receive any further emails when you press Submit.
  • There is NO submit button at the end of the process, and NO further email to indicate that you have successfully submitted; the only notification you receive is when you create and submit your proposal for the first time.
  • The system is linked to a database and the data is saved as you navigate. Submission is automatic.​​​

1. Title and Information

  • Proposal title
  • Suggested keyword number
  • Indicate the main research area
  • This proposal is: a new proposal / a continuation / a resubmission
  • Previous proposal number (for continuation or resubmission)
  • Indicate if you need to use the Materials Science Support Lab
  • Indicate if you need simulation support (CS - C-lab)
  • Indicate if you need to use the Partnership for Soft Condensed Matter
  • Do you seek complementary SAXS measurements through the PSB Small Angle Scattering Platform?
  • Indicate if collaboration/contract with industry exists
  • Requested starting time (Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr/May/Jun/Jul/Aug/Sep/Oct/Nov/Dec)
  • Unacceptable dates.
  • List of proposers with their status (Main Proposer*, Laboratory responsible, New neutron user, New ILL user). The Main Proposer is the person to whom correspondence will be addressed.
  • Possibility of adding proposers: if not in the list you will be able to create them
  • Local Contact(s): Your contact(s) at ILL. All external users carrying out an experiment at the ILL must have an ILL staff member as a Local Contact, who will provide assistance during the experiment. The Local Contact will also be experienced in running the instrument concerned, thus ensuring efficient use of beamtime. In order to maintain close contact with the ILL, all external scientists submitting proposals should attempt to find an interested Local Contact themselves. In case of difficulty, the appropriate College Secretary may be able to suggest suitable ILL scientists, but it remains the responsibility of the proposer himself/herself to establish links with individual ILL scientists. However, scientists or experimental groups wishing to use neutrons for the first time will be given special consideration and are strongly advised to contact the User Office for further information.





  • Instrument(s) required
  • Estimated measuring time on each instrument
  • Substance(s)/Formula(ae)
  • Availability
  • Mass (in mg)
  • Size (in mm3)
  • Surface area (optional)
  • Category (Powder/Liquid/Gas/Polycrystalline/Single crystal/Other)
  • Space group (optional)
  • Unit cell dimension (optional)
  • T (in K), a, b, c, alpha, beta, gamma.
  • Sample container (cylinder, flat plate, pressure cell, etc..).
  • Safety aspects
    The sample is (inflammable/radioactive/etc...)
    Is the sample a transuranium sample?
    Is there any danger associated with the proposed sample or its preparation at ILL?
    If Yes or Uncertain, please give details of the risks associated.
  • Experimental details
    Energy/wavelength range
    Resolution in energy or wavelength
    Range of momentum transfer
    Resolution in momentum transfer.
  • Required equipment
  • If special material or equipment is supplied by the user, please give details in the technical form
  • Temperature range
  • Pressure range
  • Magnetic-field strength
  • Is there any danger associated with ancillary equipment?
  • If Yes or Uncertain, please give details of the risks associated.
  • Please provide an abstract* of 1200 char max, 11 lines.
    * To be correctly printed in PDF, the number of lines is limited. If you have more than 11 lines the abstract will be cut when printing; however the data will be saved in the database if the length is less than 1200 chars.
  • Your publication records (references to papers arising from ILL experiments)
    A maximum of 14 publication records will be on the printed version of your proposal. This information will be useful for the panel evaluating the proposal, to prove that previous use of ILL beamtime lead to successful experiments and publications.
  • Upload document: Scientific background* and detailed description of the proposed experiment.
    Two A4 pages - PDF file.
  • Upload document: Technical form*, describing special material or equipment supplied by the user (templates).
    Two A4 pages - PDF file.
  • Generate your complete proposal as a PDF file.
  • Submit* your proposal to ILL.

* You may complete/modify your proposal at any time up to the deadline, but only Submitted proposals will be processed by ILL.


Do not hesitate to contact our User Club team at club(at)