BNC call for Science Proposals

The next BNC Science Proposal deadline is 15 October, 2023

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 most of its 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. Before the pandemic, typically 180 experiments per year were 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. 

In response to the COVID-19 challenge in recent years, beside participatory experiments, BNC introduced a Remote Experiment option. Following a detailed discussions with the respective instrument scientist (IS) users may choose to conduct their BNC experiment remotely. Prior to the beam time, the samples may be sent to BNC by mail and the experiments are performed by the BNC IS, amid a vivid communication with the user. Therefore, if the IS has agreed upon and you prefer, you may submit your proposal, selecting the "Remote Experiment" option.

Regulations affecting beam time applicants affiliated to Russian and Belorusian institutions

Instruments: Before applying for beam time please consult the description of the required BNC instrument.

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 [Due to upgrade, temporarily, no applications accepted]
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: Residual stress neutron diffractometer

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

BAGIRA-4: Reactor irradiation loop - [Due to a large backlog, temporarily, no applications accepted]
BIO: Biological irradiation channel - [Due to upgrade, temporarily, no applications accepted]

There are two rounds per year of the regular BNC science proposals with deadlines: around 15 April and 15 October with slight variations according to the day of the week. The dates are announced via international mailing lists, social media channels and via this web page. The available instrument for the actual call may slightly vary due to technical reasons or accumulated backlog.

In order to get beam time on a BNC instrument, users must prepare and submit an experimental proposal. The proposal form may be downloaded from the BNC website in MS Word format 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 to submit your proposal in due time. 

The submitted proposals will be reviewed by the international User Selection Panel for technical feasibility, safety and potential for high-impact science. 

The principal investigators will be notified about the referees’ decision by the end of May / November. Beam time allocated as a result of the actual call will be negotiated with the PI to be scheduled for cycles in Q3 and Q4 of the actual year and Q1 and Q2 of the following year for the April and October proposal rounds, respectively. The tentative reactor schedule Q3 and Q4 2023  is available here.

Experimenters of the approved projects will be required to prove training history and access liability prior to their on-site experiment. Those involve a successful on-line radiation protection test. 

Note: The present call is BNC's general Science Proposal call for the majority of the beam time on BNC instruments. BNC also participates is various -- mainly thematic -- international programs, in which part of the beam time beam on certain instruments 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. In case of doubt please contact the BNC User Office.

COVID-related regulations:
Users are presently allowed to visit and perform their experiments on the BNC premises. No emergency regulations related to the pandemic are in effect or foreseen. However, as a rule, the consequencies of eventuel travel restrictions or quarantine measures in the time of the experiment remain to the risk of the users. Therefore it is advised consider taking out an appropriate insurance to cover accidental quarantine and health condition consequences. The BNC User Office will keep users informed about the eventuel updates.

BNC Management