The Molecular Foundry is a nanoscale science research center open to any interested researcher (“user”) through a competitive peer-reviewed proposal process, free of charge for users who intend to publish their results. The User Program offers users access to all of the Foundry’s instruments and capabilities as well as the expertise of world-class scientific and technical staff.
The program is open to scientists from academia, industry, and research institutes worldwide. Most user projects involve one or more users coming to work on-site at the Molecular Foundry in Berkeley, California, though some projects are conducted remotely. The on-site users join a vibrant community where they can receive training, collaborate with staff and other users, attend seminars, and share their results in informal meetings. Learn more about working at the Foundry.
User projects vary in size and scope and may last anywhere from a few days up to a year. Longer-term projects can be accommodated by subsequent follow-on proposals. Learn more about proposal types.
The Foundry is organized into seven research Facilities, which span synthesis, characterization, fabrication, and theory. A user proposal can request resources from multiple Facilities and interdisciplinary work is encouraged. Learn more about what makes a good proposal.
Access to the Molecular Foundry is free of charge for non-proprietary research; the vast majority of projects fall into this category. Onsite users bear their own living, local transportation and travel costs, though the Foundry offers a limited number of needs-based Opportunity Travel Grants. The cost of standard incidentals related to the user project (such as chemicals, basic lab supplies, office supplies) is supported by the Foundry. In the case that a user’s project requires consumable items above and beyond what is customary, they will be asked to establish a charge account to handle these more costly incidentals.
Proprietary projects pay a full cost recovery rate during the period when the project is active.