1-5 June 2020
Spallation Neutron Source
US/Eastern timezone


Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in conjunction with North Carolina State University, and support from the National Science Foundation (Award #1915748) and the Shull Wollan Center—a Joint Institute for Neutron Scattering will host the HFIR/SNS Advanced Neutron Diffraction and Scattering workshop (HANDS2020) during June 1-June 5, 2020

Oak Ridge National Laboratory | High Flux Isotope Reactor and Spallation Neutron Source     North Carolina State University

The unique potential of neutron scattering in biology arises from i) the strong interaction of neutrons with hydrogen (H) and its deuterium (D) isotope and ii) the ability of neutrons to differentiate these isotopes. These properties makes the information available from neutron scattering and neutron diffraction unique and a valuable complement to data obtained from other structural techniques. Individual hydrogen/deuterium atoms can visualized in neutron density maps from crystallographic data at the resolution typical of most protein structures (2.0 -2.5 Å). Using H/D exchange and contrast variation, proteins, nucleic acids and lipids can be sequentially modeled and mapped in large biological systems using small angle neutron scattering and reflectometry techniques. H/D labeling also enable biological molecules and water dynamics to be probed using neutron spectroscopy.

The workshop includes a symposium, lectures, and hands-on experiments at the High Flux Isotope Reactor (IMAGINE, BIO-SANS) and the Spallation Neutron Source (EQ-SANS, LIQREF, MaNDi, Neutron Spin Echo Spectrometer).

The workshop is designed for graduate students, post-doctoral researchers and faculty with knowledge of structure and function of biological macromolecules but with limited to no experience with neutron sciences.

Techniques introduced include:

  • Crystallography
  • Small Angle Scattering
  • Reflectometry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Imaging
  • Labeling techniques
  • Sample preparation


Course Objectives

  1. Educate participants in neutron scattering techniques, instrumentation and data collection, analysis and interpretation.
  2. Expose participants to cutting-edge research in neutron structural biology.
  3. Build interactions between participants, their university groups, and ORNL neutron scattering experts to develop new research projects.

Course Information

  • 3-minute pitch talk session: A 3-minute pitch talk session will be held on Monday, June 1, 2020. Each participant will present her or his interest in a concise 3-minute presentation using up to 3 slides. This session will offer participants an excellent opportunity to open the door to further discussions with ORNL neutron scientists. Abstract for a presentation should be emailed to the workshop organizers no later than Monday, May 18, 2020.

  • Fellowships: A limited number of travel and accommodation fellowships are available for participants from U.S. institutions. There are no registration fees for any participant. 

  • Application deadline: Applications must be submitted by April 24, 2020 (5:00 p.m.) to be considered for admission. 


Spallation Neutron Source
Oak Ridge National Laboratory