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85748 Garching

Getting beam time

Find information

You are at the right place to find any information regarding the instrument suite offered by MLZ: Each instrument has its own web page. A short description, scheme, typical applications and technical data are given. And the most important: Learn to know who the scientists responsible for the instrument are. It is highly recommended to contact them well in advance before submitting a proposal. They can help you with special requirements your experiment will need or advise you how to write a proper proposal.

If you like to get all information in black and white, you are surely interested in the Experimental Facilities brochure of the MLZ. Order your printed copy from the User Office by writing an email with your contact data to

Register at the User Office online system

Before you can submit a proposal you need to register at the User Office online system. There are two access points:

Don't worry, both access points use the identical user interface and also the same log in data.

After receiving the confirmation email you will gain access to the system. Please take care, that all mandatory fields within the personal data form are completed. They are confidential and subject to privacy laws. But we need to be able to contact you (for example in the case of a reactor shutdown) and we also need information like your ID-card number (= passport number) in order to prepare your visit at the MLZ in the scope of an experiment.

Write a proposal
  • Have a look at the manual for the module “Proposal”. You have to complete this form. Please make sure that all orange marked mandatory fields are completed. In case not, you will be informed about this in your list of proposals: a green tick means “everything fine”, a red cross means “something is missing”.
  • Furthermore you have to attach within this form a .pdf of not more than two pages. Please find our templates for proposals in the Downloads area.
  • The introduction and state of science shall describe the general idea/ theory behind the proposed experiment.
  • With previous results it shall be made clear what you did before or on which previous results you will rely on.
  • The next part of your proposal shall describe the aim of the proposed work. What are you aiming for? What are you expecting?
  • Last but not least please describe the proposed experiments in detail.
  • At the end, please give the most relevant references.

A few insider tipps from the User Office team:

  • Please make always sure that you don't forget to choose a requested instrument and give the number of beam days you will need.
  • The review panel members have to read hundreds of proposals for each round. Make it easy for them: Write clear, and for a person who is not familiar with every detail of your special scientific field. Please do not rely on information contained in the given references.
  • In case you are asking for beam time in order to continue a former proposal, please indicate the number. Please make sure that an experimental report had been submitted for the former proposal.
  • Missing experimental reports for your previous experiments cause the rejection of the current proposal.

Wait for the results of the review

The review takes place about eight weeks after the proposal deadline. The dates are given on the User Office start page.
Another two weeks later you will be informed about the results by email. This time is necessary because the User Office has to inform the directorate of the results of the review. It has to approve the distribution of the beam time.

  • In case your proposal was refused, you will get a short explanation.
  • In case your proposal was accepted, please get in touch with your local contact as soon as possible – in order to arrange your experiment and your visit at the MLZ as soon as possible.

We are looking forward to welcoming you at the MLZ!

For special cases: The MLZ Rapid Access Programme

Within the Rapid Access programme, a limited number of days (up to a maximum of three beam days per reactor cycle) are allocated by a fast response process. It is devoted to those measurements which do not fit into the normal proposal workflow with two deadlines and reviews per year.

For the experiment of a successful Rapid Access proposal the presence of the user is not necessary and therefore the samples shall be sent to the designated local contact that carries out the proposed measurements. The main proposer will be provided with the raw experimental data as well as pre-treated data for further analysis.

Available for the Rapid Access programme:

  • the cold neutron radiography and tomography facility ANTARES
  • the diffractometer for large unit cells BIODIFF
  • the small angle scattering instruments KWS-1, KWS-2, KWS-3, SANS-1
  • the analytic facility for prompt-gamma-activation analysis PGAA
  • the high resolution powder diffractometer SPODI
  • the materials science diffractometer STRESS-SPEC

How to apply

  • The proposed experiment has to be discussed with the instrument scientist well in advance – this discussion is mandatory!
  • You submit your proposal via the User Office system at (for ANTARES, BIODIFF, PGAA, SANS-1, SPODI and STRESS-SPEC)
    or (for BIODIFF, KWS-1, KWS-2, and KWS-3)
  • Within the form, complete all mandatory fields (marked orange) and upload your pdf (max. of two pages, please give all technical details here)
  • Don’t forget to check the checkbox “Rapid Access”

How does it work?

  • You can submit your proposal anytime
  • Ten days before each reactor cycle (see here for dates), the received proposals are reviewed by an internal committee
  • The main proposer will be informed about acceptance/ rejection of the proposal straight afterwards
  • Beam time to Rapid Access proposals is allocated in hours, max.: 12 hours
  • Proposals with existing samples (at the time of submission) will be preferred

Please note!

  • In case your proposal is rejected but you are still interested in the beam time, you have to submit it anew for the next cycle.
  • Due to the short duration of the measurements a high degree of standardisation is required and the usage of a complicated sample environment is excluded. It is expected that the measurements will be performed at Standard Ambient Temperature and Pressure (SATP) conditions by using a standard sample holder provided by the local contact. However, upon agreement with the local contact, the use of some simple sample environment equipment can be considered.
  • Missing experimental reports for your previous experiments cause the rejection of the current proposal.

View into the Experimental Hall

© Wenzel Schürmann/ TUM

Further questions? Just contact the User Office!

Dr. Flavio Carsughi
Phone: +49 (0)89 289-10703
Dr. Ina Lommatzsch
Phone: +49 (0)89 289-10794
Ramona Bucher
Phone: +49 (0)89 289-11751

Upcoming deadline for the MLZ Rapid Access Programme: tba

Submit your proposal for the MLZ Rapid Access Programme here:

  • For BIODIFF:
    Choose one of the above mentioned links!
Upcoming deadline for proposals: Sept. 13th, 2019

You can submit your proposal here anytime:

MLZ is a cooperation between:

Technische Universität München> Technische Universität MünchenHelmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht> Helmholtz-Zentrum GeesthachtForschungszentrum Jülich> Forschungszentrum Jülich
MLZ App (Android)
MLZ App> MLZ App