Rapid Turnaround Experiments


Note: Rapid turnaround experiments are reviewed three times a year. This call is open to any interested researcher and is not restricted to U.S. universities or colleges.

Proposal Submittal & Review Schedule
Solicitation period opens 10/26/16
Proposal due date 1/31/17
Call closes at 4 p.m. Mountain Time
Selection review completed 3/15/17
Proposals awarded 4/12/17

Rapid Turnaround Experiments (RTEs) offer researchers the opportunity to perform quick analysis of a small number of samples. Irradiation experiments that require use of the ATR, MIT or HFIR reactors do not qualify as rapid turnaround experiments. 

Rapid turnaround experiments can be performed at either Idaho National Laboratory or one of the NSUF partner facilities. 

  • Only one facility per proposal will be accepted unless there is clear, obvious, and pre-approved cause for use of two facilities (e.g., sample prep at CAES for studies at IVEM). 
  • One principal investigator per proposal.
  • A principal investigator and affiliated team members (co PI's working on the same team or research area) may only submit a total of two proposals per call.
  • A principal investigator will not be allowed to propose a new RTE if they have three active experiments (RTE and CINR with NSUF access) during the call period.
  • Work is limited to irradiated materials (neutron, charged particle, nuclear fuel).
  • Work must be completed within nine months from date of award.
  • RTE proposals are open to Principal Investigators affiliated with a U.S. university, national laboratory, domestic entity or foreign entity incorporated in the U.S.  In addition, proposals from Principal Investigators not from a U.S. entity will be accepted as long as the proposal contains a co-Principal Investigator who is from a U.S. university, national laboratory, domestic entity, or foreign entity incorporated in the U.S.
  • Proposals submitted should directly support the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy mission.

Reviews will be done three times a year per the call schedule, with awards made shortly after the completion of reviews. Awards are made as follows: proposals receiving a "High Priority" in the review process are given first priority, and "Recommended" proposals are awarded depending on availability of funding. NSUF staff will review each rapid turnaround experiment proposal for appropriateness as an RTE. 

Facilities available for RTEs

The Microscopy and Characterization Suite (MaCS) at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies

  • Focused Ion Beam with EDS/EBSD/Omniprobe
  • Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP)
  • Nano Indenter Atomic Force Microscope
  • Scanning Electron Microscope with EDS/EBSD/CL
  • FEI Technai TR30-FEG STwin STEM

Guidelines for use of these instruments:

  • FIB time is limited to six days in a six-month period (no more than two consecutive days at a time). Maximum of four days in a month.
  • All other instruments are limited to a maximum of 10 days (combined, not per instrument) in a six-month period with no more than three (two days for TEM) consecutive days at a time.

Other Facilities available for RTEs

Time limits for other partner instrument use are similar to the CAES MaCS guidelines. Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) MRCAT proposals may not exceed five days of beam time. IVEM beam time proposals may not exceed 10 days. High-performance computing proposals cannot exceed 1 million core hours per proposal.

All awarded RTE instrument time must be scheduled within three months of award. Awarded RTEs must be completed within nine months of the date of the award. 

More Information
RTE Research Areas of Interest

RTE Review Process

Proposals can be submitted and viewed through MY NSUF on the NSUF home page.