Photon Factory


Call for Proposals of Academic Research

Updated: May 10, 2024

Photon Factory is a light source facility at the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK). Our call for proposals is open as below. In addition, we welcome proposals for Slow Positron Facility (SPF).

Status of Call for Proposals

Our call for proposals is open as below. More details are available on the "Call for Proposals using the Photon Factory".

CategoriesDeadline for submission
G (General), T (Ph.D. student), S2 (Special 2) The next submission for proposals is scheduled in beginning of early October, 2024.
*Approved proposals will be effective from April 1, 2025.
P (PF beginners), U (Urgent and Important), S1 (Special 1)At any time

Proposal Application Guidelines using the Photon Factory

Recent changes

  • Change to the call for proposals from the second term, FY2024
    • (Mandatory submission of the "list of crystal preparation status") All proposals applied to Subcommittee 4 (using beamlines BL-1A, 5A, 17A, AR-NE3A, and NW12A) are now required to submit the "list of crystal preparation status" when submitting a proposal. Failure to submit this list will result in rejection of the proposal. The new form for the list is available for download from the proposal submission system. Please use the new form from call for proposals in the second term, FY2024. For more information, please refer to Application to subcommittee 4.
  • Changes to the call for proposals from the first term, FY2023
    • (Reconstruction of BL-11) Due to reconstruction of BL-11, we are not accepting proposals for BL-11A/11B/11D. For further information, please refer to Announce From PF
    • (Applying for G type for graduate students) Graduate students are eligible to apply for G type under certain conditions. For further information, refer to Type G Remarks


  1. Spokesperson (Principal Investigator)
    • A professor, researcher, engineer of domestic and international university or public research institute.
    • A researcher of a private company which allows academic research with publication of accomplishments, or a person approved by the Director of Institute of Materials Structure Science (IMSS).
    • A graduate student who is enrolled in a domestic university. (Ph.D. course) (Type T and Type G)
    • Please note that if a spokesperson does not understand Japanese, you are required to assign CPJ, who is a researcher, understands Japanese and lives in Japan. (Contact Person in Japan: CPJ)
    • Please refer to the Categories for more information about your eligibility.
  2. A spokesperson and experiment participants must:
    • Be ready for registering as a qualified radiation worker.
    • Join liability insurance and accident insurance.


  • Categories are described as below. Characteristics of proposals, eligibility, procedure after your proposal is approved are different, depending on the category you apply. Please refer to "Call for Proposals:Categories" for further details.
  • Call for Proposals:Categories
    Category Description Term of Validity Deadline
    Type G (General) General experiments 2 years Twice a year, Deadline: Every May and November
    Type S2 (Special 2) Advanced research projects which require a long period of beamtime and making full use of synchrotron radiation. Includes experiments that are technically challenging, but if successful, will be highly regarded. 3 years Twice a year, Deadline: Every May and November
    Type T (Ph.D. student) PF and university collaborate to educate and support graduate students (Doctoral course) who take initiative advanced research with synchrotron radiation, aiming to foster the future leaders of synchrotron radiation science. 3 years Twice a year, Deadline: Every May and November
    Type P (PF beginners) Experiments with synchrotron radiation for those who have never done before. 1 year At any time
    Type S1 (Special 1) Project research with remodelling, constructing beamlines, or setting up large devices. 3-5 years At any time
    Type U (Urgent and Important) Extremely important proposals that are so urgent that they cannot wait for the next PF-PAC (Photon Factory Program Advisory Committee) and are worth prioritizing over already allocated proposals. - At any time

Experimental Stations

  • Available experimental stations (beamlines) and devices

Submitting a proposal and Review

  1. Preparing a proposal
    To prepare your proposal, please read our Proposal Writing Guidance. Ensure that you understand how to write your proposal before submitting. If you need assistance writing your proposal and conducting your experiments, contact us well in advance.
  2. Proposal Writing Guidance
  3. Submission
    Writing and submitting a proposal should be done by Proposal Submission System. Regarding how to write and submit a proposal, how to use the online system, follow the instruction on the system
  4. Proposal Submission System
  5. Notes
    • Regarding a proposal which use experimental stations belonging to several different subcommittees
      • PF-PAC Subcommittees are uniquely decided, depending on which experimental station you choose. If you choose experimental stations belonging to several different subcommittees, each proposal is reviewed and scored by each subcommittee. Therefore, details of the experimental method by each beamline should be indicated in the proposal.
        Please refer to Beamline Groups and PF-PAC Subcommittees.
        Please include enough details of each experimental methods, to carry out a series of experiments, if you use different methods (eg. X-ray structure analysis, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, etc.) for one proposal.
    • (Group's previous achievement) For those who have submitted a proposal and performed an experiment at PF in the past, please ensure that your publications related to your previous proposals are registered in our KEK Publication Database, which will be taken into consideration for the review. Check if your papers are registered in KEK Publication Database before you submit your proposal. If you do not meet the criteria of paper registration status PF-PAC set, you can not submit your proposal without the statement of reasons why you can not publish or register your paper.
  6. Proposal Review
    • All submitted proposals are reviewed by the Photon Factory Program Advisory Committee (PF-PAC), and after being approved at Advisory Committee for IMSS, Director of KEK IMSS determines whether to accept or reject it. Regarding Type U (Urgent and Important) and Type P (for beginners), each time a proposal arrives, it is reviewed promptly and determined whether to be accepted or rejected.
    • A proposal is evaluated based on its academic and technical value and, technical feasibility of the research plan. Please refer to "Reviewing Proposals and the Evaluation Criteria".
    • Note that PF-PAC may ask a spokesperson for further explanation, as necessary.
    • The result will be notified to the spokesperson and Contact Person in Japan.
  7. Beamtime Allocation
    • The available beamtime is allocated, as a rule, according to the rank order of score, beginning with the best score. Therefore, keep it in mind that the "approval" does not always guarantee the beamtime you requested in your proposal.
    • Beamtime is allocated 3 times a year, every operation period. Make sure to contact to beamline scientists that you plan to use.
  8. Publication of experimental results
    Our academic research are open to the public. Experimental reports are mandatory and will be made public by journal submission, presentation at a conference. When publishing your results, it is expected that you will include your experiments were performed at PF. After publishing, your papers should be registered in KEK Publication Database. We encourage you to submit at least one user report per proposal to PF Activity Report (PFACR), as a rule. However, if you can not carry out your experiment for some reasons, please submit "Brief report of the program".


  • (Peaceful purposes only) The research proposals are restricted for peaceful purposes only, based on Resolution No.3 of the 33rd extraordinary general meeting of the Physical Society of Japan(Butsuri, 23 (1968) 250, in Japanese) and on the decision of the 522nd committee (Butsuri, 50 (1995) 696, in Japanese).
  • (Additional notes for eligibility) If an applicant is either from the organization which is on "the End users list" by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, or/and from the country which does not join NPT, we will determine the eligibility after we discuss with Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
  • (Intellectual Property Rights) Intellectual Property Rights obtaind by experiments at PF shall be settled each time upon consultation between both parties based on the relevant regulations issued by KEK.
  • (Personal Data) Collected personal data by receiving proposals will be only used for reviewing proposals and contacting to users for their performing experiments smoothly. In addition, please note that spokesperson's name, affiliation, and the title of approved proposal. will be released on our website and publications.
  • (Procedure after your proposal is approved.) Please refer to Information to Users
  • (Support for travel expenses) If you are from domestic university, etc., you can claim for your travel expenses, based on the rule by KEK. You can use our dormitory if we have an available room.


  1. Regarding Submission your proposal
    • Research Collaboration and User Support Division, KEK
    • E-mail: kyodo1[at]
    • TEL: +81-(0)29(864)5126
  2. Regarding Experiments
    • Photon Factory, Institute of Materials Structure Science, KEK
    • E-mail: pfexconsult[at]