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LANSCE User Agreements and Cost Model

Los Alamos Neutron Science Center is the major experimental science facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory, underpinning the Laboratory as a world-class scientific institution.


  • LANSCE User Program Coordinator
  • Nina Roelofs
  • (505) 665-9967
  • Email

LANSCE Cost Model

The customer base at LANSCE is separated into three categories:
  1. NNSA/LANL Weapons Program sponsored work
    is paid for using standard LANL Work Packages. The Work Packages contain a list of deliverables and a cost associated with these deliverables. In some cases these Work Packages may encourage collaboration with universities and/or others. A fraction of these resources may be devoted to enabling these collaborations.
  2. Industrial Users
    must pay for the cost of fielding their experiments. This is typically executed via a Proprietary User Agreement and a legal contract signed by the Laboratory and the Industrial user.
  3. Other Federal Agencies and National Laboratories 
    shall pay the costs of fielding and executing the proposed experiments. Scientist, technician, and any other personnel time needed to field the experiment shall be included in these costs.  These costs are experiment specific.


User Facility Agreement

The Department of Energy (DOE) requires that all non-government users of DOE User Facilities have a signed User Facility Agreement between the institution of the researcher using the facility and the DOE laboratory operating the facility.

Individuals who are not Los Alamos National Laboratory employees are not permitted to do experimental work at any LANSCE User Facilities until a User Agreement with that individual's home institution is established. Please fill out the requested information so the LANSCE User Agreement Specialist can furnish the appropriate User Agreement(s) to your institution for signature.

The following are the User Facility Agreements:

  • Non-Proprietary User Agreement (NPUA; one user/many projects) (pdf)
  • Proprietary User Agreement (PUA; one user/one project)
  • Umbrella Proprietary User Agreement (PUA; one user/many projects)
  • Bilateral DOE Laboratory Utilization Agreement (BUA)

If your institution is not on this list of active User Agreements, please contact the LANSCE User Program Coordinator to start the process of putting a user agreement in place.

Nonproprietary agreements are to be used when the results of the activity are intended to be published and made available to the general public. Proprietary agreements are to be used when the information received from the research will not be available to the general public. Umbrella agreements can have a time duration of up to 5 years. These agreements cover liability, intellectual property, and financial issues (access templates from the links above). DOE has worked out agreements and any changes to these agreements will involve negotiation between DOE and the Institution, which may delay the process.

Non-Proprietary User Agreements with foreign institutions need to signed by the Los Alamos National Laboratory Director. Users need to take extra time for this process into account.

What is a User Facility Agreement?

The User Facility Agreement (UFA) is a contractual agreement between the Laboratory and external parties designed to permit outside users, including scientists and engineers from industry, universities and other governmental agencies, to conduct research using the Laboratory's unique experimental research equipment and facilities.

Only one user agreement is required between a visiting organization and the Laboratory. Several efforts by several people from the same institution can be covered with one agreement.

How does a User Facility Agreement work?

The visiting partner directs the activity that occurs in the Laboratory facility within the framework of the agreement, with Laboratory staff oversight. Typical requests for user-facility access are for fabrication, calibration, testing and evaluation of products and processes. Laboratory staff should keep in mind the following points when entering into a UFA:

  • Activity must be conducted on a non-interference basis with Department of Energy mission-related work.
  • Users develop the statement-of-work describing the work they wish to perform.
  • Generated information may be protected.
  • Users retain rights in intellectual property that is generated, although IP is not anticipated.
  • Agreements are typically one year or less, with the actual facility use defined in days or weeks.
  • Proprietary Users pay all costs associated with using the facility for the tasks defined in the statement of work.
  • Agreements can be put in place in two to four weeks if standard agreement language is accepted and all necessary information is received.

Keys to ensure UFA success:

Regular communication with the partner is essential for successful agreements.
Work will not begin until the partner's funding is received and a program code has been set up. The statement of work may contain company proprietary (OUO) information, which must not be disclosed.