BNC call for Science Proposals

Mon, 05/04/2020

The Budapest Neutron Centre (BNC), the largest research infrastructure in Central Europe operates the 10MW Budapest Research Reactor and provides excellence-based open access to the national and international user community to the experimental stations. 

The BNC user program currently includes 14 (thermal and cold neutron-based) instruments, to carry out research in physics, chemistry, biology, materials, medical and cultural heritage sciences. Typically 180 experiments per year are performed, involving 140 scientists from Hungary and abroad. Upon negotiations with the User Office, BNC also provides access to special facilities for neutron mirror testing, isotope production and neutron irradiation. 

The emergency regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic presently in force in Hungary, do not allow users to visit the BNC premises. Foreign users are not allowed to cross the borders. It is unforeseen when such restrictions may be lifted.

However, after having detailed discussions with the instrument responsible remote experiments by the users are possible and are encouraged to conduct. Namely, the samples are to be sent in advance to BNC via post and the experiment is performed by the BNC instrument scientist, amid a continuous communication with the user. Therefore do not hesitate to submit your proposal now, and indicate in your proposal if you choose the remote experiment option. This is especially important for urgent experiments.

Instruments offered in the BNC user program (

MTEST: 4-circle Material Test Diffractometer
PSD: Powder Diffractometer with Position Sensitive Detector
TOF-ND: High Resolution General Purpose Time-Of-Flight Diffractometer

SANS-YS: Small Angle Neutron Scattering Instrument ("Yellow Submarine")
FSANS: Time of Flight Small Angle Neutron Scattering Instrument 
GINA: Vertical Sample Cold Neutron Beam Reflectometer with Polarization Option
REF: Cold Neutron Beam Reflectometer for neutron optics testing

TAST/HOLO: Thermal Neutron Triple Axis Spectrometer
ATHOS: Cold neutron triple axis spectrometer - NOT AVAILABLE IN THE CURRENT CALL FOR PROPOSALS

RAD: Static/Dynamic thermal-neutron and X-ray Imaging Station
NORMA: Neutron Optics and Radiography for Material Analysis

NAA: Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis
PGAA: Cold Beam Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis
NIPS: Neutron-Induced Prompt Gamma-ray Spectroscopy
DÖME: Low-Level Gamma-Spectrometer


To learn more about BNC, please visit

In order to get beam time on a BNC instrument, users must prepare and submit an experimental proposal. The proposal template may be downloaded from the BNC website at to fill in and submit electronically via e-mail to We encourage potential users to contact the respective instrument responsible when planning experiments and writing proposals. They will be glad to assist you and will help you to submit your proposal in due time. 

Proposals will be reviewed by the international User Selection Panel for technical feasibility, safety and potential for high-impact science.
As announced earlier -- high preference is to be given to proposals on R&D related to the fight against the COVID-19. 
The submitted experimental proposals involving user-program instruments of BNC will next be evaluated from Monday, May 18, 2020.

The principal investigators will be notified about the referees’ decision by June 30, 2020. Beam time assigned as a result of the present call will be negotiated with the PI to be scheduled for the period September 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021.
Experimenters of the approved projects will be required to prove access liability and training history prior to their on-site experiment.

We would like to emphasize that the present call is BNC's general Science Proposal call for the majority of the beam time on the instruments. BNC also participates is various thematic international programs, in which beam time on part of the instrument pool may be applied for. The deadlines for those proposals -- aimed at different user groups -- are called at different times of the year. The evaluation procedure and the referee committees may also vary from project to project. Please check all project proposal deadlines here.