Basic Policy for MLF Use

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:

1. Beamlines at MLF

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

For the beamlines currently available, please check the URL below.
http://mlfuser.cross-tokai.jp/en/beamlines.html

There are three categories of Beamlines at MLF.

J-PARC Center Beamlines

Neutron / Muon beamlines installed, maintained and managed by JAEA / KEK ( except Public Beamlines)

Public Beamlines

Neutron beamlines installed and maintained by JAEA and managed by the Registered Institution for Facility Use Promotion (RIFUP).

Third-party Beamlines

The beamlines installed, maintained and managed by third parties. The third party must supply a certain fraction of the beamtime to general use in exchange for having exclusive rights to the beamline.

2. Categories of Beamtime

To maintain a high level of performance of the beamlines and to meet the various needs of the users as well as to strive to encourage users to create outstanding scientific results, J-PARC / Public beamlines have beamtime not only for General use, but also for Project and Instrument use. Third-party beamlines have fractions for Third-party exclusive use and General use.

(1) Beamtime for General use

General use beamtime is widely available to Japanese and overseas users. A Principal Investigator (PI) must be an employee of or affiliated with a legal organization or entity that may be any of the following:

A postdoctoral researcher can also submit proposals as a PI with the permission of his/her senior.
Students or persons without affiliation cannot be the PI.

(2) Beamtime for Project and Instrument use

Project and Instrument use is the fraction of beamtime in which JAEA/KEK/RIFUP conduct their mission-oriented programs or joint research programs with universities or other organizations.

The PI should be a JAEA/KEK/RIFUP member.
The KEK joint research program allows a university researcher to become PI under KEK rules.

(3) Beamtime for Third party exclusive use

Ibaraki Prefecture has neutron beamlines for exclusive use and invites their industrial use. Please check the URL below for details.
http://www.pref.ibaraki.jp/kikaku/kagaku/j-parc/sangyou.html


3. Beamtime allocation

Beamtime is allocated by reviewing proposals submitted through J-PARC proposal application programs.

Proposals for J-PARC beamlines and for General use of Third Party beamlines are called by J-PARC Center, while proposals for Public beamlines are called by RIFUP.
J-PARC Center and RIFUP jointly carry out an open proposal review system and hold the following Proposal Review Committees.

All proposals are reviewed in NSPRC/MSPRC and PEC, where they are categorized approved or not, and the beamtime to be allocated is determined when categorized as approved.
The Materials and Life Science Facility Advisory Board and Selection Committee confirm the proposal review results.
J-PARC Center and RIFUP conduct beamtime allocation.

4. Types of applications

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

There are also two categories of proposals for use of MLF, non-proprietary access and proprietary access. The details are as follows;

Non-proprietary access

No beamtime fee is charged for the peer-reviewed proposal as long as the user submits his/her Experiment Report to J-PARC within 60 days after the completion of the research and also publishes the results obtained through their use of MLF for public viewing, where his/her use of MLF must be stated clearly.

Proprietary access

Users obtain exclusive rights to their results for their economic benefit by paying a beamtime fee to J-PARC Center. The beamtime fee covers all costs. Proposals are not evaluated for scientific merit by the usual peer-review process but are subject only to reasonable feasibility and safety screening.

(1) Types of General Use Proposals

  Access mode Beamline Acceptance of proposals Category
General use General use proposal (short term) all beamlines Regularly
(twice a year)
Non-proprietary / Proprietary
General use proposal (Long Term) Neutron beamlines Regularly
(once a year)
Non-proprietary
General use P-type proposal Muon beamlines Regularly
(twice a year)
Non-proprietary
New user promotion proposal Public beamlines Regularly
(twice a year)
Non-proprietary
General use urgent proposal all beamlines At any time Non-proprietary / Proprietary
General use proposal (short term)

Acceptance of proposals is announced twice a year, with proposal reviews following each announcement. Approved proposals are valid for six months.

General use proposal (long term)

Acceptance of proposals is announced once a year, with proposal reviews following each announcement. Approved proposals are valid for up to 3 years (or 6 proposal rounds), and should have a clear long-term strategy for research and development and hold the expectation of yielding outstanding results. Note that beamtime allocations to Long-Term Proposals are highly limited. The Review Committee may hold hearings after documentation screening. During execution of Long-Term Proposals, the principal investigator is requested to submit a research plan every year showing the current status of the research and the details of each experiment for the following year. J-PARC/MLF may reject the following year research plan that has not been evaluated or has been evaluated as a non-value project.

General use P-type Proposal

Acceptance of proposals is announced twice a year with proposal reviews following each announcement. Approved proposals are valid for half a year.
This is intended to encourage users who wish to conduct test experiments in preparation for general use and Project use (S-type use) proposal and/or have no experience in muon use.

The following terms are set for P-type proposals for muon use:

New user promotion proposal

Acceptance of proposals is announced twice a year with proposal reviews following each announcement. Approved proposals are valid for half a year.
This is intended to encourage and support first-time and novice users of neutron-based experimental techniques, with the specific objectives to grow the user community and to promote the use and utility of pulsed neutrons.

Urgent proposal

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. Applicants are recommended to contact the appropriate beamline scientists before beginning submission process.

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

[Inquiries]
Toshiji Kanaya
Director of Materials and Life Science Division, J-PARC Center
Tel.:+81-29-284-4208/Fax: +81-29-284-4899
E-mail: tkanaya@post.kek.jp

(2) Types of Project and Instrument use proposals

  Type Beamline Type Category
Project and Instrument use Project use proposal all beamlines Regularly
(once a year)
Non- proprietary
Instrument group use proposal all beamlines Regularly
(once a year)
Non- proprietary
Development use proposal Public beamlines Regularly
(once a year)
Non- proprietary
Project use proposal

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.

Project use proposal accepted by KEK is called an S1-type proposal. S2-type proposals and Multiprobe Experiments that utilize two or more types of beams, including synchrotron radiation, slow positron, neutron and muon beams, are also classed as Project use proposals.

Detailed information for application is available on the official website below.
http://www2.kek.jp/uskek/eng/apply/

Instrument group use proposal

Instrument group use proposal aims at maintaining and/or improving the performance of their instrument and conducting cutting-edge research and development. Striving to achieve maximal performance of the instrument enables MLF to provide users with superior experimental environments.

Development use proposal

Development use proposal is for scientific utilization promotion research lead by RIFUP.