Proposal submission guidelines

ILL Electronic Proposal Submission Guide

If you are a new user please create an account in the ILL User Club.

    System requirements

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    General Guidelines

    Electronic applications for beamtime are made via the ILL User Club and consist of two stages:

    1. The first is a series of screens asking for details of your experiment such as the title, proposers, instrument, etc

    • 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.​​​

    2. In the second stage you will be asked to upload a detailed description of the experiment and its scientific background. Hints for writing proposals are given here

    • The proposal must be written in English and not exceed two portrait A4 pages.
    • Your proposal will only be accepted if you have filled in every page and uploaded the Scientific case (and technical form if applicable).
    • Use a font size of at least 12 for writing your scientific case, with at least single-line spacing (excessively long proposals, using small font sizes for example, will be rejected).
    • Proposals are reproduced in black and white for the panels – please bear this in mind when producing figures.
    • It is recommended to print out the final pdf file to check that both the text and figures are clear.
    • Accepted formats when uploading files: pdf files.

    Questionnaire summary

    The questionnaire is divided into 8 parts:

    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)