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User Program

Establish an Institutional Agreement with EMSL to Cover Research

Before conducting research with EMSL resources, users must have an institutional User Agreement in place or another available, approved, legal instrument for agreement with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory that includes the applicable terms and provisions for using EMSL. The type of agreement depends on the work being conducted, where the work is being done, and who is sponsoring the research. In addition to this institutional agreement, all users will be required to acknowledge the Terms and Conditions covered under the agreement. This web site will help you identify what is appropriate for you.

About User Agreements

If you are not a Pacific Northwest National Laboratory employee, a User Agreement signed by your home institution is a prerequisite for using any of EMSL’s experimental or computational resources. The Agreement must be signed by a person from the user’s institution who is legally authorized to enter into contractual obligations for the user’s entire institution (not just a department or research group).  Note: The user himself/herself is generally NOT authorized to make these contractual obligations. If you are the principal investigator of a proposal, your proposal will not be fully approved and allocated any resource time until a User Agreement is established with your institution. If researchers from multiple institutions are participating in one user project, only those with established User Agreements in place will be authorized to use EMSL resources regardless of the approval status of the project.  

Non-Proprietary and Proprietary User Agreements are the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) master templates that cover liability, indemnification, intellectual property, and financial issues. The Non-Proprietary User Agreement (NPUA) is a 5-year umbrella agreement that, once executed by all parties, applies to the current and all future user projects submitted by that institution.  

Important: We have very limited flexibility to make changes to the standard agreements. Requests by the user institution to modify the NPUA to reference a specific proposal or change the 5-year term of the agreement will NOT be accepted. Any other requested changes in the terms and conditions must be approved by PNNL and DOE. This can be a lengthy process (several months or more), and users should expect lengthy delays and plan their research proposal accordingly.

Please note the following:

  • Non-proprietary agreements are institution-specific and cover open research done with any of EMSL's resources.
  • Proprietary agreements are project-specific and cover confidential or proprietary research. Agreement types may include subcontracts with PNNL or one of DOE's Proprietary User Agreements (PUA) (require advance payment).
  • If you are conducting both proprietary and non-proprietary work, your institution will need to sign both types of agreements.
  • Bilateral DOE Lab Agreements cover open research done with any of EMSL's resources by other DOE laboratory personnel.

Learn more about User Agreements:

EMSL Code of Conduct

All staff, users, and visitors to follow expectations details in the EMSL Code of Conduct. These expectations are designed to create a safe and healthy work environment.


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