Call for Proposal Submissions

The Basic Plasma Science Facility (BaPSF) is accepting white paper proposals for experimental run time.  The purpose of the Basic Plasma Science Facility is to provide the plasma science community access to frontier-level research devices (principally the Large Plasma Device (LAPD)) that permit the exploration of plasma processes which can not be studied in smaller devices or are difficult to diagnose in large (e.g. fusion) facilities. 

White paper proposals are expected to be no more than 5 pages (including references) and will be accepted from scientists at any institution, including from those outside the US.

A white paper template is available for download here and at the bottom of this page.

Information about the capabilities of the BaPSF devices (including available equipment, diagnostics, and range of plasma parameters) and about current user projects and research of the BaPSF group is offered on the BaPSF website (  For additional information, potential users are encouraged to contact the BaPSF Director, Prof. Troy Carter (

The BaPSF supports two “Campaigns” with runtime that is allocated separately from this solicitation process.  

The Solar Wind Campaign is led by Prof. Greg Howes ( and

The ICRF Campaign is led by Dr. Cornwall Lau (

Individuals interested in topics addressed by these campaigns (described on the BaPSF Website) may choose to contact the Campaign leaders about participation or may choose to submit their own idea separately to this solicitation.

Proposals will be due Dec. 20, 2019 and should be submitted by e-mail to the BaPSF Director (  We anticipate that decisions on runtime allocations will be announced in Feb. 2020. Proposals selected from this process will be given access to runtime for two years, 2020 and 2021.  

Review process

All proposals will be peer-reviewed by an external panel of scientists; the BaPSF director facilitates but does not participate in this review and then acts on the recommendations of the panel to allocate runtime.  White paper proposals will be reviewed based on the following criteria: 

(1)  Scientific and/or Technical Merit of the Project

To what extent does the proposed work articulate a fundamental intellectual advance or a fundamentally new approach to expanding knowledge, understanding, or a new capability? •    How does the proposed work compare with other efforts in its field, in terms of uniqueness, originality and /or scientific merit?

(2)  Appropriateness of the Proposed Approach and Team

• How well organized and developed is the proposed idea?

• Is the technical approach feasible with a well thought-out experimental plan? 

•  If additional resources are requested from the facility,  are these reasonable?    

• How well qualified are the PI and team, and are all the necessary skills well represented on the team?

(3)    Broader Impacts of the Proposed Work

•    Does the project: involve and train junior scientists (including students & postdocs), have impact on diversity, make contributions to the broader BaPSF User Community (e.g. will the project bring new techniques or hardware that could be utilized by others)?

Proposers should ensure that the goal of the experiment is clear in the proposal and that resources requested (run time, measurements to be made, etc) are reasonable. Existing users who are seeking to renew runtime (asking for additional run time to continue work on the same project) should provide a progress report on the results obtained using prior runtime as part of their new white paper proposal. 



For users who intend to publish the results of their work using BaPSF, there is no cost for run time which includes assistance from BaPSF research staff and use of existing facility equipment (antennas, power supplies, ion/electron beams, diagnostics, etc).  Users who are selected and allocated runtime will need to provide their own travel support and any other required support (e.g. support for salary of researchers or students working on the project or specialized equipment not available at BaPSF).  The BaPSF director may decide to support the construction of new apparatus for a user experiment if that apparatus (e.g. diagnostic, antenna, etc) requires a reasonably small amount of resources to fabricate and could be utilized by other users.  The purchase or fabrication of other experimental apparatus (that does not satisfy the description in the previous sentence) would need to be funded by the user. Users can obtain financial support for their projects through application to federal agencies.  In particular, the NSF/DOE Partnership in Basic Plasma Science and Engineering along with NASA (e.g. H-TIDES) and DOD programs (e.g. MURI) have supported several BaPSF users. 

In addition, DOE Office of Science Fusion Energy Sciences is anticipating issuing a targeted FOA and Lab Announcement in early 2020, subject to FY 2020 budget appropriation by Congress, to support frontier science experiments on one or more of the currently FES General Plasma Science (GPS) program supported collaborative research facilities or initiatives. These include the Basic Plasma Science Facility (BaPSF/LAPD) at UCLA, the DIII-D Frontier Science Initiative at General Atomics, the Wisconsin Plasma Physics Laboratory (WiPPL/BRB/MST) at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, the Magnetized Dusty Plasma Experiment at Auburn University, the low-temperature Plasma Research Facility (PRF) at Sandia National Laboratories and the Princeton Collaborative Research Facility (PCRF) at Princeton Plasma Physics laboratory. U.S. researchers whose experimental proposals were selected or have been selected for experimental runtime in any of these facilities are eligible to apply. For more information, please contact DOE Program Manager Nirmol Podder (

Policies and Procedures

For LAPD, experimental run time is allocated in units of run weeks (the week time scale includes the time to setup and teardown the experiment).  White paper proposals can request up to 3 weeks of run time per calendar year (typically not allocated consecutively) over two years.   Approximately 20 run weeks are available yearly for BaPSF users (this depends on facility uptime).

Users are not required to collaborate with BaPSF research staff on their research projects using the facility.  BaPSF runtime allocation comes with technical support from the BaPSF resident staff in setting up and taking down experiment-specific equipment, operation of facility experimental devices, and data collection.   This technical support does not require BaPSF research staff to act as collaborators on the user’s research project nor does it result in a requirement for co-authorship on publications resulting from the work. Consultations with BaPSF staff about the facility capabilities ahead of a white paper submission also do not require that BaPSF researchers will be collaborators on user research using the facility. However, if during planning and execution of an experimental campaign the user desires intellectual involvement from the BaPSF research staff (engages BaPSF staff directly in the experiments and/or data analysis in a collaborative fashion), it is expected that they would be offered co-authorship on any scientific papers or presentations resulting from such an experimental campaign.

We welcome proposals from theoreticians and others who are not laboratory experimentalists; the BaPSF research staff can assist with the design and execution of experiments.

Users are required to acknowledge DOE and NSF support for BaPSF in any publications including BaPSF data.

The CY2020 proposal submission deadline is December 20, 2019.