For MLF Users (1)

User Application system for use of MLF


The Materials and Life Science Experimental Facility (MLF) is available to Japanese and overseas users for both academic research and industrial applications. The following peer review systems are introduced for fair, clear and expedient facility management and to meet the needs of users:

All nonproprietary proposals are reviewed and ranked by the Neutron/Muon Program Review Committee. The J-PARC Center is responsible for the beamtime allocation of approved proposals.

Instruments at MLF

There are 23 neutron beam extraction ports for the pulsed spallationneutron source and four muon extraction channels for the muon target at MLF.

JAEA and KEK, the parent organizations of J-PARC, are constructing instruments for conducting experiments using the neutron and the muon beams. Third parties may construct instruments with the approval of the Neutron/Muon Instrument Review Committee. The third-party owners of the instruments at MLF are obliged to manage and maintain their beamline instruments. Since 2011, new management scheme has been applied so that some instruments constructed by JAEA was classified as Public beamline. They are managed by the Registered Institution for Facility Use Promotion (RIFUP). Currently, the Comprehensive Research Organization for Science and Society (CROSS) is approved as RIFUP. The instruments available are shown in here.

There are therefore three categories in the beamtime management for users; the J-PARC user program which is managed by the J-PARC Center, the third-party-instrument user program, and the public beamline user program managed by CROSS. The third party must supply a certain fraction of the full beamtime for his/her own instrument to the J-PARC Center in exchange for having exclusive rights to use it.

Therefore, the J-PARC user program is carried out using all beamtime for the instruments owned by JAEA or KEK and part of the beamtime for those of the third parties. Proposals submitted to the J-PARC user program are reviewed by a review system that is uniform and open to users.

Access modes

Various access modes are available for the instruments in MLF, to obtain outstanding scientific results and meet the various needs not only of public domain users but also of instrument scientists. There are three basic access modes in the J-PARC user program: general use, project use and instrument group use. The share of the beamtime among these access modes is authorized by the MLF advisory board.

General use

Applicants must be an employee of or affiliated with a legal organization or entity that may be any of the following:

Applicants affiliated with or wishing to apply from the following entities should contact the J-PARC Center Users Office to determine whether there is any restriction on their applying for beamtime.

Project use

Project use is the access mode in which JAEA and KEK conduct their mission-oriented programs such as inclusive scientific research projects, research programs proposed to fulfill plans for midterm goals of JAEA, joint research programs and contract research programs with other institutes and organizations.
Experiment proposals requesting beamtime use longer than one year may be eligible for project use.
Only personnel belonging to either JAEA or KEK or a person approved by the director of the J-PARC Center can be a principal investigator for project use.

Instrument group use

Instrument group use is dedicated to the instrument scientists responsible for the beam-line instruments.
The instrument group shall maintain and/or improve the performance of their instrument and conduct cutting-edge research and development to achieve maximal performance of the instrument so that MLF can always provide users with the most superior experimental environments.

Types and Categories

Proposals are usually accepted as regular proposals, which are accepted and reviewed periodically. Urgent proposals and rapid access proposals, are also possible for important and time-sensitive proposals.

There are also two categories of proposals for use of MLF. One is non-proprietary access, in which no beamtime fee is charged for the peer-reviewed proposal as long as the user publishes the results obtained through their use of MLF for public viewing. The other is proprietary access, in which users obtain exclusive rights to their results for their economic benefit by paying a beamtime fee to the J-PARC Center. The beamtime fee covers all costs.

Table of access modes, types and categories of MLF use
Access mode Type Category
General use Regular proposal
(accepted twice a year)
Urgent proposal Non-proprietary
Rapid access proposal Non-proprietary
General use ( P-type proposal for muon use)
-test experiments for preparation of general use proposal
- users who have no experience on muon use
Regular proposal
(announced twice a year)
Project use Regular proposal
(announced once a year)
Instrument group use Regular proposal
Announced once a year

User program periods are identified with an A or B signifying the first or second half of a year, e.g. "2013A" for the first half of 2013 or "2013B" for the second half.

Regular proposal

Regular proposals are accepted periodically throughout each year. Users can apply for any MLF access modes with a regular proposal.

Urgent proposal

Users wishing to submit urgent proposals must contact the director of the Materials and Life Science Division of the J-PARC Center.

Urgent proposals can be submitted at any time, including outside review periods, for the general user program. However, these must have scientific and/or social significance and have a specific reason for its urgency. The director of the Materials and Life Science Division will reviews these proposals quickly with the chairperson of the MLF advisory board and the individual responsible for the instrument to be used in the proposed experiment, and obtains approval from the director of J-PARC Center. The principal investigator of approved proposals is required to submit an experimental report and have his/her proposal reviewed by the MLF advisory board after conducting the proposed experiment.

Toshiji Kanaya
Director of Materials and Life Science Division
J-PARC Center
Tokai-mura, Naka-gun, Ibaraki-ken, 319-1195, Japan
Tel.:+81-29-284-4208/Fax: +81-29-284-4899

Rapid access proposals (in preparation)

Rapid access proposals are classified as general use.
Review periods are more frequent, for example each user operation cycle. The deadline for rapid access proposals will be set at least one month prior to the start date of each operation cycle. Approved proposals are valid for the duration of the user operation cycle for which they are accepted.
Rapid access proposals will be allocated no more than 10 percent of the total beamtime of the instrument, althouhg the fraction of beamtime may be differ according to the instrument.

Non-proprietary access

The proposals submitted for the MLF-PRC peer review process are for non-proprietary access. The beamtime for each proposal is allocated by the J-PARC Center. No beamtime fee is charged for non-proprietary experiments as long as the user publishes the results obtained through their use of MLF for public viewing.
The titles of the approved proposals are made public after the allocated user program period is over. The user program period is identified with a letter of A or B as 2010A, 2010B.
Users are obliged to submit a publicly viewable experiment report to the J-PARC Center within 60 days of the day after completion. The experiment report will be published in the MLF annual report.

Proprietary access

J-PARC MLF offers to all users the option of Proprietary Access to the beamlines and facilities. Proprietary access users are not required to publish their research outcomes and have exclusive rights to the data and results obtained from their beamtime. Similarly, proprietary proposals are not evaluated for scientific merit by the usual peer-review process but are subject only to reasonable feasibility and safety screening.

For these privileges, a charge set by the facility applies for proprietary beamtime.
Fee [2017.04 - 2018.03]
2,983,000 yen/day

For MLF Users