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Education and Outreach Programs

National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are converting the National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering (NX School) scheduled for June 15-26, 2020, to a virtual format. Invitations to participate will be sent through Cvent to all applicants.


The main purpose of the National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering is to educate graduate students in the use of major neutron and x-ray facilities. Lectures, presented by researchers from academia, industry, and national laboratories, include basic tutorials on the principles of scattering theory and the characteristics of the sources, as well as seminars on the application of scattering methods to a variety of scientific subjects. Students will conduct short experiments at Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source and at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Spallation Neutron Source and High Flux Isotope Reactor, which provides hands-on experience using neutron and synchrotron sources.

The School is jointly conducted by Argonne National Laboratory’s Educational Programs and Outreach Division; Advanced Photon Source and Materials Science Division; and Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Neutron Scattering and Materials Science and Technology Divisions.

The School is supported by the U. S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, and Materials Sciences and Engineering Division.

    National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering

    Invitations to participate in the virtual summer program will be sent to all 2020 applicants. Please check your email for further instructions. You can still apply for next year’s school, even if you choose to participate in the virtual program.

    Target Audience

    The school accepts 60 applicants each year, targeting:

    • Graduate students attending North American (includes Canadian and Mexican) universities.
    • Those using experimental physical analysis techniques in their research (typically getting a degree in physics, chemistry, materials science, geosciences, engineering, or related fields.)

    Most commonly, priority is given to students who:

    • Are expected to use multiple neutron or x-ray experimental techniques in their graduate research (ideally both x-rays and neutrons).
    • Already started their graduate research and will utilize neutron and x-ray techniques to complete it (typically students in their 2nd or 3rd year of graduate work).
    • Typically only one student per department is accepted. Almost never more than one student from a single research group.
    • Students from universities in states that are underrepresented in federal research funding are encouraged to apply.

    Application Process

    The NX School is highly competitive and usually oversubscribed. To apply as student to the school:

    1. Read the application instructions.
    2. Talk with your thesis advisor about the application.
    3. Make sure at least three referrers, one being your thesis advisor, complete the Evaluation Form and e-mail it to nxschool@​anl.​gov. It is your responsibility to follow up with the references and make sure they are submitted prior to the deadline.
    4. Complete and submit an online application.

    Transportation and Reimbursement

    Graduate students who are accepted and attend the School receive transportation from their home institution or their current address, plus housing and meals at Argonne and Oak Ridge, as well as transportation between Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory. The Argonne Educational Programs and Outreach Division will arrange for travel so that students arrive at ORNL on June 13 and depart from ANL on June 27; arriving early or staying longer cannot be reimbursed. If accepted, students are expected to attend the entire school. Students who travel via private automobile will be reimbursed in accordance with Argonne policy.  Individuals who reside within a 50-mile radius of either laboratory will have reimbursements limited for their travel to that location, as required by DOE rules.