Getting Research Resources

Proposing an Experiment, Research or a Test at Fermilab

When proposing an experiment, research, or a test at Fermilab, the effort must be documented using the Technical Scope of Work (TSW). The TSW describes the effort in detail including physics goals, necessary resources (engineering, technical, etc.), real estate requirements (including office area), and infrastructure needs. A TSW is a written plan put in place to establish a clear understanding of how the effort will practically function and the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved in the effort. The TSW also allows Fermilab to understand the great efforts that occur around the lab and provides the agreed-upon resources to those efforts. The TSW is not considered proprietary information and is publicly released.

The TSW approval process varies according to the complexity of the scope of work. Some TSWs can be approved by the facility manager, while others may need to be approved by the appropriate division heads and the directorate. This process can be as short as a few hours to several weeks, depending on the resource negotiations between the requestor and Fermilab. The division R&D coordinator (indicated below) will assist you in the approval process and provide feedback on the scope of work.

If you have questions about the TSW or ORC process please contact the appropriate Division R&D Coordinator:

  • For any experiment that does not initially require beam time and is related to Detector R&D or non-neutrino experiments, contact Petra Merkel (
  • For any experiment that does not initially require beam time and relates to neutrino experiments, contact Alan Hahn (
  • For any experiment related to the Fermilab Test Beam Facility (FTBF) or other beam line activity contact Mandy Rominsky (
  • For neutrino experiments interested in the SciBOONE Hall contact Carrie McGivern (


To start a TSW using BEAM, go here.

To start a TSW with NO BEAM, go here.

The spokesperson is the official contact of the effort and is responsible for forwarding all relevant information to the rest of the group, arranging for their training, and getting the necessary approvals for operations. Once all equipment is installed and prior to operations, the spokesperson will arrange for an ES&H review of the equipment. This is called the Operational Readiness Clearance (ORC).

The ORC is a review of the installed equipment and its compliance with national, state, and local standards. Guidance for these standards as they apply to work at Fermilab can be found in the Fermilab Environmental, Safety and Health Manual (FESHM). The ORC inspection will look at electrical equipment (fusing, grounding, strain relief, etc.), mechanical and structural components (pressure vessels, vacuum vessels, lifting fixtures, supports structures, etc.), and fire and life safety (egress pathways, trip hazards, chemicals, etc.). There are also specialized committees that will be enacted for flammable gas installations (including targets) and installations utilizing cryogens.


Helpful Hints and FAQs on the process can be found here.


In special cases, you may do an ORC without a TSW. In that case, please use the links below:

For an ORC with BEAM, go here.

For an ORC with NO BEAM, go here.