The DIII-D National Fusion Facility is accepting white paper proposals for experimental run time in 2020 that advance the frontiers of plasma science. DIII-D is a highly flexible tokamak with a comprehensive set of diagnostics, able to study a broad range of plasma physics phenomena. The different applications of plasma physics share common foundations, on questions such magnetic reconnection, wave-particle interactions, particle energization or global MHD stability. The DIII-D facility, which targets fusion energy goals, can provide a window on these fundamental processes that complements capabilities elsewhere.

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 United States. A white paper template is available for download at the bottom of this page. Applicants are encouraged to engage relevant experts from within the DIII-D program to assist in developing proposals and carrying out experiments. A guide to DIII-D capabilities and experimental proposals can also be emailed to applicants upon request– please contact Richard Buttery for an information pack or to identify a suitable contact person, if needed.

Review process

All proposals will be peer-reviewed for selection by a committee of leading Frontiers scientists from the community and DIII-D scientists, to make recommendations on the selection for DIII-D run time. Proposals will be reviewed based on the Intellectual Merit in advancing the frontiers of plasma physics as defined in the 2015 report ‘Plasma: at the frontier of scientific discovery’*, as well as Technical Approach and Qualifications of the team:

Intellectual Merit will be judged on:

  • 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?
  • What will be the impact on the field?

Technical Approach will consider:

  • 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?

Qualification of the PI and Team will consider:

  • How well qualified is the PI and the team?
  • Are the necessary skills represented amongst proponents?
  • What is the level of technical support needed from the facility team?

Broader impacts may also be considered such as involvement and training of junior scientists (including students & postdocs), impact on diversity, and contributions to the broader DIII-D 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.

"Report of the Panel on Frontiers of Plasma Science"


For users who intend to publish the results of their work using DIII-D, there is no cost for run time which includes assistance from DIII-D research staff and use of existing facility equipment (antennas, power supplies, heating beams, RF, diagnostics, etc), including support for DIII-D facility and diagnostic operation.

Users who are selected and allocated runtime will need to provide any other required support (e.g. support for salary of researchers or students working on the project and associated data analysis, or specialized equipment not available at DIII-D). Initial travel needs for successful domestic applicants may be considered from DIII-D. However, for general travel and data analysis support, U.S. researchers should contact DOE (please see below about an anticipated FOA/Lab Announcement from DOE-FES).

Policies and Procedures

For DIII-D, experimental run time is allocated in units of run days or half-days, with preparation undertaken beforehand. White paper proposals can request up to 2 days of run time per calendar year (though typically half to 1 day should be sufficient). A small reserve of run time will be maintained to ensure satisfactory completion of selected experiments.

DIII-D has a resident staff of research scientists who are tasked with assisting users in executing their experiments (operating the experiment and assisting with installing diagnostics and other apparatus on the machine). These scientists have invaluable knowledge about the behavior of plasmas in our devices and as such users may choose to involve DIII-D researchers as collaborators on their project and offer co-authorship on papers. However, this is not a requirement; Frontier Science users may utilize the same general support services provided to all DIII-D users without explicitly naming DIII-D co-authors, though publications resulting from these experiments are required to follow DIII-D publication guidelines.

Information about the capabilities of the DIII-D experiments and about current user projects and research of the DIII-D group is offered on the DIII-D website (

For additional information, potential new users are encouraged to contact the DIII-D Experimental Science Director

Additional information:

From FES: Notification of Solicitation on Frontiers Science Expected in FY2020

DOE Office of Science Fusion Energy Sciences is anticipating to issue 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 Basic Plasma Science Facility (BaPSF/LAPD) at UCLA, DIII-D Frontier Science Initiative at General Atomics, Wisconsin Plasma Physics Laboratory (WiPPL/BRB/MST) at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Magnetized Dusty Plasma Experiment at Auburn University, low-temperature Plasma Research Facility (PRF) at Sandia National Laboratories and 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