The Center for Nanoscale Materials’ (CNM) User Program is designed to give you FREE access to state-of-the-art equipment and expertise. The CNM offers some of the world’s best capabilities in X-ray and electron microscopy, nanofabrication, ultrafast spectroscopy, quantum matter and devices, synthetic biology, artificial intelligence/machine learning, materials theory and computational modeling.
We issue three calls for user proposals each year due in March, July and October. We award CNM research projects to users in a competitive peer-reviewed proposal process that encompasses both Regular User access and Partner User access modes. Approved projects are granted access to CNM facilities for a maximum of one year.
There is no cost to use the CNM if you intend to publish your results. You can also access CNM facilities on a cost-recovery basis for proprietary research that is not intended for the public domain.
How to become a CNM user in 3 easy steps
Step 1: Complete your registration
Gather the information you’ll need and SUBMIT IMMEDIATELY. It may take two business days to process your registration — this must be complete before you can move on to Step 2.
Registration instructions are available online.
NOTE: Please keep your registration information updated if you relocate to a different home institution or have any changes in your contact information or visa status.
SHORTCUT: If you’re a current CNM user with an active registration, continue straight to Step 2.
Step 2: Prepare your user proposal
Applications to use CNM are brief; the description of research is addressed in just 2-3 pages laid out to provide seven key elements of text.
- Familiarize yourself with CNM’s research groups and scientific themes.
- Identify tools/capabilities you want to use.
- Familiarize yourself with the user proposal form layout.
- Get tips for writing a successful user proposal and read an allocated user proposal as an example (an example for the computing cluster Carbon is available here).
- Reach out to a CNM Scientific Contact (SciCon) to discuss your potential proposal.
- Read guidance on whether partner user access may be appropriate for you.
- Contact the CNM User Office or a SciCon with any questions.
Step 3: Submit your user proposal
Log in to the CNM Proposal Submission Portal using your User Facility user name and password, generated through the registration system, and click on the “New Proposal” link.
Enter information in all required fields. You can save partial information in this form to complete or modify it later.
You will receive a confirmation email that your user proposal has been submitted. You will receive notification on whether your user proposal has been accepted within seven to eight weeks after the call for proposals closes.
User access modes
The different types of user access (general access and partner access modes) are found here.
Proposal review process
The criteria for reviewing user proposals is described here, along with a description of the different types of user access.
Renewing and revising existing proposals
CNM user proposals expire after one year or after specific allocation(s) of time, whichever comes first. A new proposal submission is required to request additional time on a given project.
If the scope of your work changes during your one-year proposal period, contact your Scientific Contact immediately. That individual will make an assessment whether a revision to the existing User Work Approval (UWA) document is needed.