Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated: March 12, 2024

What is the official acknowledgement for NSUF-related publications? 

  • NSUF projects: This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy under DOE Idaho Operations Office Contract DE-AC07-05ID14517 as part of Nuclear Science User Facilities award #________.
  • HPC work: This research made use of Idaho National Laboratory High Performance Computing systems located at the Collaborative Computing Center and supported by the Office of Nuclear Energy of the U.S. Department of Energy and the Nuclear Science User Facilities under Contract No. DE-AC07-05ID14517.

Where can I find NSUF publications? 

Publications and presentations that have been added to the NSUF website are located here: 

Where can I find NSUF Annual Reports? 

Hover over "About Us" on the main menu and select "Annual Reports."


How do I reset my account or password? 

If you haven’t logged in for a while, the site will require that you set a password for your account. When you login, you’ll see a password reset screen that asks you for the email address associated with your account, and then asks you to type your new password two times.  

Please contact us at [email protected] if you are not sure what email address is associated with your account. 


How can industry participate the NSUF program? 

For the Consolidated Innovative Nuclear Research (CINR) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), DOE seeks applications from U.S. universities, national laboratories, and industry to conduct nuclear energy-related research that focuses on the needs and priorities of the Office of Nuclear Energy (NE), including fuel cycle, reactor concepts, and NE mission supporting research. Industry applicants are also eligible to participate in the Rapid Turnaround Experiment (RTE) solicitations.


Do I need to have a technical lead for a CINR project? If so, how and when should I obtain one? 

Yes. The initial purpose of an NSUF Technical Lead is to help the principal investigator (PI) develop a feasible application that will have the highest chance of being awarded. NSUF Technical Leads are high caliber, usually PhD research scientists and engineers at the NSUF facilities. They have knowledge of, and direct access to, important information about the facility or facilities where the work of an awarded project will be performed. The Technical Lead(s) should be an integral member of the project team and contribute strongly to the application preparation.  

Technical Leads for NSUF partner facilities are listed on the NSUF website: 

Technical Leads for INL facilities are assigned by NSUF Chief Scientists after Letters of Intent are received.  


Do I need to have a collaborator on a CINR award? 

Collaboration is encouraged and is a factor in evaluation scores. A collaborator is an individual that makes a defined, material contribution that is critical to the success of the project and/or contributing to joint publications. 


Where can I find CINR submittal instructions? 

The CINR can be accessed via > Funding Opportunities > Consolidated Innovative Nuclear Research Funding Opportunity Announcement.


Why do I need to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) for NSUF applications? 

LOIs are required. They are used by the NSUF Program Office in the assignment of INL technical leads, LOIs are provided to the technical leads and start the communication process between technical leads and the submitting applicants. 

As stated in the FOA:

To ensure that a Pre-Application and eventual application is submitted with the highest possibledegree of feasibility, it is imperative that potential proposers establish contact with an NSUFTechnical Lead at the earliest possible time. The NSUF Technical Lead will have knowledge ofand direct access to the facility or facilities where the work will be performed. It is intended thatthe Technical Lead should be an integral collaborator on the project and contribute strongly tothe application preparation. The Technical Lead will provide guidance in establishing the scopeof the project in negotiation with the facility to produce a cost estimate. Should the project beawarded, the Technical Lead will be the primary POC to best ensure the project is performed onschedule and within budget. 


How many active RTEs can I have at one time? 

A PI may only have two active traditional RTE Projects. RTE projects are considered active until a satisfactory completion report has been submitted and approved. If you currently have two active proposals during an ongoing call, a new proposal may be prepared and saved in the application. However, you will not be able to submit a new proposal until you complete at least one of your active projects (i.e., a completion report has been submitted and approved).

Once a CINR or RTE call is open, what assistance can NSUF provide me with my application? 

The RTE Administrator (Anna Podgorney; [email protected]) can assist with submittal questions and issues. During an open RTE call, you should contact any of the NSUF facility contacts for assistance with proposal feasibility. NSUF facility staff and facility contacts can not help with the technical aspects of a proposal in order to ensure fairness during the review process. 

For CINR applications, technical leads will provide guidance in establishing the scope of the project and work with the facility(ies) to produce a cost estimate for the proposed scope of work. They assist applicants in understanding specific NSUF and facility requirements early in the proposal process (particularly for neutron irradiation tests, as the irradiation of materials/fuels in test reactors requires rigor and has needs beyond those described in other sections of the CINR FOA). Questions on CINR application issues can be directed to the NEUP Integration Office Solicitation Specialist, Other questions can be directed to the NSUF CINR Administrator, [email protected]. 


Is there a time or dollar limit on my award? 

There is no specific target value for the RTEs. As applicants will not know the cost of their proposal, NSUF has posted a set of Facility Guidelines ( for traditional RTE experiments that are designed to help researchers develop a proposal that can be executed for within less than the suggested target. The guidelines are based on the average cost of instrument time at each facility. The guidelines are based on a typical work week at each facility and assume that only one instrument is used each day. If you request more than one NSUF facility for your project, please note that all facility costs are considered as part of the total target. It is recommended that you contact the specific NSUF facility(ies) you wish to use to help you develop a proposal that meets the dollar target guideline.

CINR projects have up to two types of funding; R&D funds and Access-Only funds. R&D funds support salaries, tuition, travel, or other costs typically supported via DOE-NE Program R&D funds. Access-only funds are provided to the NSUF partners to support the work scopes for awarded projects. Refer to Part II, Section C Maximum and Minimum Award Size in the CINR FOA: 

Eligible work scopes for a NSUF R&D project are found in Part IX, Appendices A and C of the CINR FOA, and applications must comply with the provisions of Part IX, Appendix E of the CINR FOA. 


How long is the RTE application? 

The RTE application has 6 short sections. These sections include: principal investigator information, team member information, experiment details, technical abstract (less than 500 words), NE program relevance abstract (less than 500 words), and a proposal narrative (2 page limit). 


Can the NSUF grant a no-cost extension to my project? 

Per RTE guidelines, awarded traditional RTEs must be completed within nine months of the date of award. There is not a formal NSUF process to extend work beyond nine months. If a project extends beyond nine months, PIs should work with the NSUF RTE Administrator, Anna Podgorney ([email protected]), to ensure that a project is completed as soon as possible. NSUF may cancel a project if is not completed within the nine-month timeline.

For CINR awards, no cost extensions pertain to DOE cooperative agreements. If an award received R&D funding in addition to NSUF access, then a DOE cooperative agreement was set up for that award. Follow these steps found on

To apply for a no-cost extension (NCE), submit a completed NCE Request Form and submit to Tara Haack ([email protected] ) and cc: Crystal Sosalla ([email protected]). Once received, a budget replan, by milestone, will be sent out and will need to be completed and returned. If you need additional assistance, please contact Tara Haack or Crystal Sosalla.

For CINR NSUF-2 access only projects, there is not a formal extension process; contact the NSUF CINR Administrator, ([email protected]), for discussion on project extension.


Can someone review my RTE proposal prior to submission? 

The NSUF Chief Scientists, Keith Jewell ([email protected]) and Rongjie Song ([email protected]), can provide general advice, but not a detailed review.  Continue to watch the NSUF website for updates on the RTE rules and guidelines and upcoming informational webinars and individual Q&A opportunities.


What is the status of my RTE application? 

The status of an RTE application can be found on the Proposal page. From there, check the status column in the "MProposals" box. 


Where can I find current RTE or CINR call information? 

Both the CINR and RTE pages are regularly updated. Please contact us at [email protected] if the page does not answer your question. You can also visit the Communications page to sign up for email notifications.  

How do I know how "big" of an RTE I can propose? 

The NSUF lists RTE Facility Guidelines for all the facilities available in the RTE calls.  This is expressed in "weeks" or "days."  For the best results, an investigator should contact the NSUF partner facility point of contact when developing a proposal in order to match the right number of specimens and tests to the allowed days at each facility.  

Can I see all current applications? 

This information is not public. However, previously awarded projects can be found on the NSUF website.  

If I resubmit a proposal after addressing reviewer comments, will the same reviewers be assigned to my proposal? 

Reviewers are assigned based on expertise, availability, and lack of any conflicts of interest.  There is no guarantee that the same reviewers will be assigned.   

I received the reviewer comments on my proposal and one reviewer appears very positive and the other did not.  How does NSUF deal with reviews that seem to disagree? 

NSUF leadership and the competitive awards team meet and evaluate all of the reviews, relevancy, technical, and feasibility, for each proposal.  If a set of reviews is in disagreement, NSUF assesses the quality of the reviews and may ask for an additional review in that area.  Two reviewers can legitimately disagree.  If both reviews are deemed to be high-quality, they may be allowed to stand, even if they appear to be very different.  If one of the reviews appears to be lacking, it may be replaced by a third review.  

I see that the high-flux NSUF reactors are not available for RTE calls.  How can I get my specimens irradiated and how can I ensure I'm choosing the proper reactor? 

These questions should be directed to the NSUF Chief Scientists, Keith Jewell ([email protected]) and Rongjie Song ([email protected]), who can provide further information and points of contact, as appropriate.

Is there a way to access the NSUF materials library outside of the RTE calls? 

The Nuclear Fuels and Materials Library (NFML) samples can be assigned based on discretion of NSUF program leadership.  Contact Kelly Cunningham ([email protected]) for details on the process and visit this page for more information.   

NSUF offers access to INL high performance computing (HPC) as part of the RTE call.  How do I get support for modeling and simulation (M&S)? 

RTE scope should focus on the experimental side and not focus on the M&S aspects.  NSUF can only provide limited staff support for M&S as part of a CINR award.  Consider using the Nuclear Energy Researcher Database (NERD) tool to find a collaborator that can help with M&S.   

I have an idea for a novel material or material application.  Can I get RTE support to develop this idea? 

NSUF RTEs are intended to support testing and characterization of nuclear fuels, materials and sensors.  They are also small in scope and need to be accomplished in a few months after award.  Because of these restrictions, material development is most likely outside the scope of an RTE.  An investigator could certainly perform a test or series of tests on a novel material, but an NSUF RTE is not the proper tool to develop a fabrication technique, for example.


Where can I find previous NSUF projects? 

Previous NSUF projects can be found here: 


Is there a way to submit a rebuttal for a rejected proposal? 

There is no formal process. However, you may always apply in the next award round.  


My question wasn’t answered, who do I contact? 

You can email [email protected] with any further questions.