BNC call for Science Proposals

Next BNC Science Proposal deadline: 15 April, 2022

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. 

Presently no emergency regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic are in effect in Hungary and users are allowed to visit the BNC premises. However, 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 to take out the appropriate insurance to cover accidental quarantine and health condition consequences.

In response to the COVID-19 challenge, beside participatory experiments, BNC temporarily offers the users to choose the Remote Experiment option. Following a detailed discussions with the respective instrument scientist (IS) users may choose to conduct their BNC experiment remotely. Namely, prior to the beam time, the samples are 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.

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")   [Due to a large backlog, temporarily, no applications accepted]
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]

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. 
The proposal deadline is 15 April, 2022. 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, October 25, 2021.

The principal investigators will be notified about the referees’ decision by May 31, 2022. Beam time allocated as a result of the present call will be negotiated with the PI to be scheduled for the period September 1 through December 20, 2022 in periods of time allowed by the reactor schedule.
Experimenters of the approved projects will be required to prove access liability and training history prior to their on-site experiment.

Please note, that 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.