Proprietary Research

Proprietary Research is defined as that for which users request confidentiality of proposal, data and results for a certain period of time. This research follows the guidelines for implementation by the Stanford University Faculty Senate and is executed through a Proprietary User Agreement. Proprietary Research is subject to the Department of Energy's full-cost recovery requirement for facility charges for the use of user facilities and advance payment of those charges. The facility charges are established as a dollar rate for each shift of beam time.

Experimenters interested in conducting Proprietary Research should contact the User Research Administration Manager well in advance of the anticipated need for beam time as the legal and financial procedures involved may take up to several months to finalize.

For beam time to be assigned on general user stations, proposals for Proprietary Research must be reviewed for merit and to assure that all ES&H guidelines are met in accordance with standard user facility policies and procedures. Sufficient generic information to enable external peer and Proposal Review Panel review should be provided in proposals. Proposals designated as proprietary research will be maintained in confidence during the review process to the maximum extent possible.

Proprietary Research can be performed in conjunction with Partner or Participating Research Team (PRT) time in cases where the industry has an agreement with the user facility. However, the performance review of the PRT must include at least sufficient information on how the proprietary research time was used so that a review can be made by the external group appointed to carry out the review.

General Conditions

  • Stanford faculty, students or research staff will not be directly involved in the research aspects of the Proprietary Research program.
  • No more than 15 percent of the available beam time in a given 12-month running period will be used for Proprietary Research.
  • The SLAC Associate Laboratory Director (ALD) for the user facility, or the ALD's designate, and the Safety Officer will be provided with a description of the experiment and its goals prior to the approval of the experiment. The description will be sufficiently detailed so that the ALD can understand and monitor the main components of the experiment and the Safety Officer can assure that all ES&H guidelines are met and that there is no risk to people, the facility or the environment. If possible, these should be written so that the confidential nature of the research is not compromised.
  • Disclosure of intellectually significant results of the experimental work will be made within five years from the time of completion of the data collection at the user facility.
  • A yearly disclosure will be made of the scientific and programmatic accomplishments at least in general terms (such as a contribution to the user facility scientific highlights or activity reports).
  • Barriers, roped-off areas or other similar measures that would restrict access to the experimental stations will not be used.

Advance Payment Policy of Proprietary Research Activities

In accordance with the DoE accounting policies, proprietary research experiments performed at national user facilities of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory shall neither start nor continue without full prepayment or a cash advance of funds. SLAC therefore applies the following advance-payment protocol:

  • High-activity users must deposit in advance, each year, an amount corresponding to their projected usage for proprietary research for the entire fiscal year run time.
  • New or infrequent users must pay for the scheduled shifts in advance of their experiment.
  • After termination of proprietary research activities, any outstanding balance will be refunded.


Find Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource on TwitterFind Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource on YouTubeFind Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource on Flickr