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Education and Outreach Programs

National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering (NX School) will be held virtually from July 12-30, 2021. The first week of the program will consist of half day sessions, then two weeks of full-time sessions.


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 remote 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.

This year’s NX School will be three weeks in length. The first week will consist of half day introductory lectures. The second two weeks will be full-time consisting of specialized lectures and remote experiments.

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

    Summer 2021 NX School applications are closed. Please keep watching this page for further updates.

    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.