Proposal-preparation process

The proposal-preparation process is detailed below. Click on the step number in the table to jump to more information about that step.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

Step 8

Step 9

Submit proposal or letter of intent

PAC specialists assigned

Technical and safety review

PAC submits questions to spokespeople

Video conference pre-PAC meeting

PAC meeting

FRIB Laboratory Director allocates beam time

Appeals process

Experiments scheduled  


Step 1: Submit proposal or letter of intent

Responsible party: Experiment spokespeople
Process and requirements:


  • FRIB issues a Call for Proposals approximately once per year (may shift to twice per year after the first few PACs).
  • Experiment spokespeople submit a proposal in response to the Call for Proposals.
  • Submit proposals via the User Portal.
  • An FRIB beam physicist will help with the detailed calculation of beam rate and beam characteristics.
  • Proposal text template
  • Pointers:
    • Be mindful of page limits.
    • Required sections: Scientific motivation, goals, figure/diagram of experimental instrument, demonstration of technical feasibility of measurement, justification for time requested, clear statement of any technical assistance that may be requested from FRIB, and a list of items that would be brought to FRIB.
    • Evaluation criteria: The full scientific value of the results, the technical feasibility of the proposal, the ability of the collaboration to successfully conduct the proposed experiment, and the ability of the collaboration to publish the results in a timely manner.

Letter of intent

  • A Letter of Intent is used when there is an idea for a proposal, but a significant new development is necessary.
  • Pointers:
    • The PAC Program Advisory Committee confirming the priority for the science described can help justify the needed developments.
    • A Letter of Intent can be much shorter than a full proposal, and doesn’t require all of the facility worksheets for a full proposal.
    • Letter of Intent spokespeople will receive feedback from PAC on how a proposal for the science described might be received in the future and may receive guidance on what would be expected in a full proposal. 

Step 2: PAC specialists assigned

Responsible party: FRIB Scientific Director
Process and requirements:

  • Each proposal is assigned a PAC member specialist and backup specialist to review the proposal in detail.
  • Each proposal is assigned based on the scientific content of the proposal and the PAC member’s field of expertise.
  • Spokespeople will be informed of who was assigned as specialists to discuss clarifications, afterthoughts, and further information.

Step 3: Technical and safety review

Responsible party: FRIB Accelerator Systems Division, FRIB Experimental Systems Division, Safety Office
Process and requirements:

  • The purpose of the reviews is to assess if the proposed experiments are within the established technical capabilities and safety envelope of FRIB. 
  • The primary spokesperson will be sent any comments from the reviews, and the spokesperson will have a chance to respond to those comments before both are sent to the PAC members.

Step 4: PAC submits questions to spokespeople

Responsible party: PAC members
Process and requirements:

  • Questions are to be submitted two weeks prior to PAC meeting.
  • Reviewers will submit questions to spokespeople.
  • PAC evaluates proposals based on stated criteria. PAC will communicate with spokespeople for clarification with a copy of all communication to the Manager for User Relations.

Step 5: Video conference pre-PAC meeting

Responsible party: Manager for User Relations
Process and requirements:

  • Video conferences are arranged one week prior to the PAC meeting.
  • Spokespeople will answer questions from reviewers.

Step 6: PAC meeting

Responsible party: FRIB Scientific Director
Process and requirements:

  • Proposals are discussed and evaluated based on the stated criteria.
  • There will be no oral presentations from spokespeople.
  • The executive committee of the FRIB User Organization may designate a representative to attend each PAC meeting as an observer.
  • The observer may write a letter of their observations to be shared with the scientific user community and the DOE Office of Science.

Step 7: FRIB Laboratory Director allocates beam time

Responsible party: FRIB Laboratory Director
Process and requirements:

  • PAC will send recommendations on all proposals and Letters of Intent to the FRIB Laboratory Director.
  • The FRIB Laboratory Director grants beam time to the collaboration listed on the proposal.
  • The FRIB Laboratory Director’s decision will be communicated to spokespeople in writing.
  • A list of titles of the approved experiments are available online.
  • Approval of an experiment lasts for 24 months
    • An experiment that is not scheduled within this period will need to be resubmitted to PAC for reconsideration.
    • Approval is for the specific measurement proposed, with specified targets, beams, and beam energies.
    • If the experimenters wish to change an approved experiment, permission must be obtained from the FRIB Laboratory Director before the modified experiment can be performed.
    • If the experimenters on a proposal change, the FRIB User Relations Manager must be notified. Significant changes could result in revocation of the beam time.

Step 8: Appeals process

Responsible party: FRIB Scientific Director
Process and requirements:

  • Appeals of rejected proposals can be made to the FRIB Laboratory Director.
  • Appeals must be based on significant factual errors in the evaluation process and must be based on material presented in the original proposal.

Step 9: Experiments scheduled 

Responsible party: Manager for User Relations
Process and requirements:

  • An Experiment Readiness Review (ERR) is held approximately six months prior to the experiment being scheduled. The ERR will determine if an experiment is ready to be scheduled and ascertain what remaining activities need to be completed.
  • At the ERR, all resource requests to FRIB by the experiment spokespeople are set. This includes design, fabrication, installation, utilities, IT support, etc. Additional requests after the ERR has taken place are discouraged and may not be able to be accommodated.
  • An ERR check will be done two months prior to the scheduled start of the experiment. The purpose of the ERR check is to measure experiment progress against the schedule established at the ERR.
  • A final ERR will be held two weeks prior to the scheduled start of the experiment. The final ERR will assess the likelihood that the experiment will be ready to take beam.
  • FRIB maintains a three-month published experiment schedule, a six-month draft schedule, and a nine-month outlook.