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Electronic Proposal System

The ILL is dedicated to helping its visiting researchers to make the most of its facilities. Neutron beams and instrument access are provided free of charge for proposers of accepted experiments.

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Applying for beamtime

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.

Submission of a standard proposal - Electronic Proposal System (EPS)

Standard applications for beamtime should be submitted electronically using our Electronic Proposal Submission system (EPS), via the ILL User Club. Proposals can be submitted to the ILL twice a year, before the deadlines in February and September. If you are new to ILL please register as a new user via the User Club to have access to the EPS system.
Submitted proposals are judged by a Review Committee during the two proposal review rounds. Please read the detailed guidelines before submitting a proposal via the EPS system. For any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. You will get full support from the User Club team.


Policy for beamtime allocation

After discussions with our Associate and member countries, we are applying a new policy for beamtime allocation (from January 2014).  Proposals with non-member country proposers will be guaranteed a chance of being accepted only if they are part of a collaboration and at least two thirds of the proposers are from a member country (or from the ILL).
We encourage all users to check and update their affiliation when submitting their proposal. In calculating the statistics of beamtime per country, the attribution is based on the location of the laboratory of the proposers, not their individual nationality.


New user?

If you are submitting a proposal for the first time please consult our proposal submission guidelines and our proposal Writing Hints. You should also find an interested ILL local contact (see below).


Deadlines for standard submission

Deadlines for proposal submission are usually in February and September. The web opens for submission about two months before each deadline. The exact dates are given in our 'Call for proposals', e-mailed to all ILL users twice a year in January and July. Precise information is also available on our website. If you wish to be included in the our mailing list please contact the User Office.
There are generally 4 reactor cycles a year (one cycle is 50 days). Accepted proposals submitted in February will receive beamtime in the second half of the year and those submitted in September, during the first half of the following year.

Local Contacts

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.


Scientific case of your proposal

Your scientific text should fit on two A4 format pages including the figures (no template needed). The ILL will reduce these two pages to one single A4 page in landscape format and attach it to your web proposal.You can find hints to writing your proposal here.


Technical form

If you are using your own environmental equipment, you may attach a 'Technical Form' to your proposal with the detailed description of your experimental set-up. The procedure is the same as that used for uploading experimental reports. Guidelines.


Review procedure for proposals

All proposals will be reviewed by the subcommittees of the Scientific Council, approximately 8 weeks after the deadline for submission of applications. Beamtime allocation is on the basis of scientific merit, provided the experiment proposed meets technical feasibility and safety requirements.
Subcommittee members are specialists in the relevant areas of each college and they evaluate the proposals for scientific merit, assigning priorities and beamtime to accepted proposals. Before the meeting, the subcommittee receives a report on the technical feasibility of a proposed experiment from the appropriate college at the ILL.
Shortly after the subcommittees meeting the main proposer will be informed if his/her research proposal has been accepted. In the case of a rejection only brief general reasons are given as the ILL declines to enter into correspondence concerning decisions made by the scientific subcommittees.


UK users

Consumables for ILL experiments

More information can be found here:

Collection of information on the funding behind UK users
The UK is implementing a new funding model for the large facilities. As part of that process, there is a requirement on the STFC to be able to provide the other UK research councils with information on the users of the national and international facilities that STFC supports, including being able to link facility access proposals to the related research council grant where appropriate. To do this, STFC will have to collect a full set of data on the UK users of each facility. The full set of data is based mainly on what is already collected by the facilities (statistics on beamtime allocation, its distribution over different UK laboratories and so on), with the addition of the clear link to the source of UK funding that underpins the research with the facility usage.
To help STFC collect this information, we now ask all UK users to provide details on the funding source for their research (when applicable) on the proposal form when they submit a proposal to the ILL. The information is "compulsory" for all UK main proposers. It is not compulsory for submission for UK co-proposers, but they will be asked to provide this information prior to using the facility, e.g. at the invitation stage.

Experimental schedules and invitations

Schedules for a period of six months are normally compiled in the few weeks following the subcommittees meeting. This entails reserving the appropriate beamtime and issuing invitations for some 350 experiments.
Clearly, proposers must make every effort to accept the dates suggested and any modifications or constraints must be communicated to SCO and your Local Contact or Instrument Responsible as soon as possible after notification of the decision.
After receiving the electronic invitation, please reply as early as possible with all relevant details about your forthcoming visit. You may not enter the site without having previously registered for the experiment. Any substitution must be made known no less than 1 working day before arrival. Visitors from non EU countries should check visa requirements for entering France. The campus is a restricted area and you will be asked to report in at the site entrance on arrival. You will need to produce proof of identification (e.g. passport, ID card) to be able to enter.


Experimental reports

Requests for further beamtime must always be accompanied by a report on previous measurements. The lack of an experimental report attached to a continuation proposal can lead to rejection. All ILL experimental reports are now software-archived and accessible via the web server as PDF files. Experimental reports must be submitted on the web via the User Club after having logged in with your personal ID. Experimental reports uploaded via the web are made available immediately after reception. When preparing your report, please follow the guidelines.

Publication and data policy

All users participating in experiments are obliged to comply with the ILL publication and data policy. You are asked to commit to this when submitting a proposal.  
You should agree with your Local Contact on the terms of his/her involvement in the performance of your experiments and in the data analysis before coming to the ILL, as specified in the invitation form. If the results of your experiment are going to be published, you must give proper credit to ILL staff members who participated in the experiment and a proper mention of ILL facilities (preferably on the first page). The ILL considers it natural that Local Contacts who have made a significant contribution to the concept, design, execution, analysis or interpretation of user experiments should be offered the opportunity to be listed as authors in publications.
In any case you should at least acknowledge ILL scientists with their ILL affiliation at the end of your paper.
Be aware that the ILL Data Policy ( ) provides for data from  ILL experiments to be made public via the ILL Data Portal ( after an embargo period. When you publish results of ILL data - either your own data, data to which you were granted access, or data that were made public - you must cite the DOI reference using the specified format shown below:

Martin, J.; Bihannic, I.; Deme, B.; Duval, J. F. L.; Michot, L.; Rotureau, E.; Measurement of Structural Changes in Multi-responsive Core-Shell Polymer Particles; Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL): Grenoble, 2013; DOI:10.5291/ILL-DATA.9-10-1310

If the journal requests a special format, you could use the citation formatter tool provided by DataCite ( in order to get the citation properly formatted for this journal.

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