Understanding the Foundry
The Molecular Foundry is a national user facility funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science and enables researchers from outside institutions to gain free access to our expertise, instrumentation, and capabilities in nanoscale science through a peer-reviewed proposal process.
As a user facility, the Foundry is unique because instead of focusing on a single large tool, like Light Sources and Supercomputers, the Foundry’s specialty is an area of science: nanoscience or anything that can be studied at the nanoscale (from hundreds of nanometers down to sub-Ångstrom). Within a single building, we host a range of experts and state-of-the-art instrumentation to answer nearly any question at the nanoscale.
The Foundry’s current user community includes researchers from academia, industry, and other national labs from over 30 states across the U.S. and over 30 countries from around the world.
To gain access to the Foundry, prospective users must submit a proposal to one of our twice-annual proposal calls, which occur in March and September. Proposals are reviewed by an external panel of subject-matter experts for scientific merit.
If a proposal is successful, a user gets one year of free access to the Foundry, which includes collaborations with staff, access to instruments, basic consumables in the lab, use of our conference rooms, and even desk space.
It’s also possible to get samples of materials made at the Foundry through Sample Only proposals, or to gain short-term access for special projects through a Rapid Access proposal.
Foundry access is free for researchers who intend to publish the results of their work with acknowledgement of the facility’s use. Researchers can also perform proprietary research, not intended for publication, by paying a full cost-recovery rate for lab and instrument access. Learn more about the proposal process in the User Program section of our website.
Next: What the Foundry Offers
Why do other scientists become Foundry Users?
At the Foundry's 2017 Annual User Meeting, we asked some of our users a few questions about why they became Foundry users. Listen to them tell their #MyFoundryStory.
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