Information for Users

Access to KNMFi installations requires the submission of proposals via the online proposal submission system. In case you face any problems please contact the User Office. Please comply with the user guidelines and consider our suggestions for the submission of proposals.

Optional access route for transnational Users of KNMFi: users from European countries other than Germany may apply to use KNMFi via the NFFA Europe project. An advantage is that there are funds available to subsidise travel, also that you may apply to access the other partners. The technologies offered are grouped into six installations: 1. Lithography & Patterning, 2. Growth & Synthesis, 3. Structure & Morphology Characterisation, 4. Electronic, Magnetic & Chemical Characterisation, 5. Nano to Micro, and 6. Theory & Simulation. If you are interested, and will need technologies from two or more installations please check out the web page The used installations may be at the same or different access providers. If KNMFi is your preferred access partner for one or more of the technologies you select, please indicate that KIT is your preferred location on the application form. As usual, before submitting a proposal please discuss your ideas before with our KNMFi scientists.

Please note that both proposal submission systems (KNMFi and NFFA) coexist. You can choose the access route that better suits your needs in terms of technologies offered, deadlines and (NFFA only) travel reimbursement.

User Office


Karlsruhe Nano Micro Facility
KIT-Campus North

Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1

76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen


+49 721 608-23123
knmf-useroffice does-not-exist.kit edu

How to Submit Proposals

Check the conditions of access

Access to KNMF is granted according to the user guidelines.

  • Public research is for projects where the results are intended for publication. These proposals are subject to independent peer review. Public research projects, approved by the independent peer review board are supported by the HGF funding of KNMFi and therefore not subject to a charge.
  • Proposals for proprietary access may be submitted via the on-line application form; alternatively, it is also possible to arrange the work directly with the research groups involved. Proprietary access is fully confidential, not subject to peer review and publication of the results is not required. The costs are based on full cost recovery and negotiated on an individual basis.

Proposers from academia and industry either national, transnational European or international can apply for access to KNMFi installations.

Before submitting a proposal

  • Select the type of proposal
  • Select the technologies of interest
  • Select and contact the experts of the technologies of interest to discuss and define the work to carry out. It is a good idea to discuss your proposal with the KNMFi experts before you submit it. For long-term and fast-track proposals a prior discussion with the KNMFi experts is mandatory.

Submit your proposal

  • Sign up online for a user account and login
  • Prepare online the application form (standard or long-term proposal. For standard proposals a fast-track option is offered at the end of the submission process but is subject to rigid restrictions.
  • Prepare offline the experimental method form
  • Submit online the proposal
  • Make sure that the status of your proposal is "Submitted". If you edit your proposal the status changes to "Ready to Submit" and you must submit the proposal again when the editing is completed.
  • Submission deadlines for public proposals usually are January, 15th and June, 15th each year.
  • It is a good idea to submit project reports for your previous proposal(s) and to submit publications that are related to your work at KNMFi. With a good report and publication record you can show your commitment to KNMFi and positively influence the Reviewers' decision on your new proposal(s).

Start your project

  • Receive information about time allocation
  • Visit us

Finish and publish your project

  • Prepare offline the project report
  • Submit online the project report
  • Publish your results and submit your publications to KNMFi

Good to know ...

Publications & Acknowledgements

Users are expected to publish results in referenced high-impact journals. Please submit publications in the online proposal submission system or notify us of publications relating to your user project.

KNMFi has a collaborative approach to user access and requires co-authorship in accordance with DFG good scientific practice rules. “An author is an individual who has made a genuine, identifiable contribution to the content of a research publication of text, data or software.” In instances where the user carried out independent research and without identifiable contribution from KNMFi personnel, a straightforward acknowledgement of the use of KNMFi is required: This work was [partly] carried out with the support of the Karlsruhe Nano Micro Facility (KNMFi,, a Helmholtz Research Infrastructure at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT, In the case where a journal does not allow acknowledgements a mention of KNMFi in the text suffices.

Publications relating to previous KNMFi proposals will be considered in the Peer Review of new proposals. They are also important in the evaluation of KNMFi as user facility and therefor we are grateful for your support.

Publications listed in the KNMFi proposal submission system are classified with respect to the source of publication and if the KNMFi contribution is acknowledged:

  • KNMFi acknowledged (green bullet): KNMFi is properly mentioned in the publication and the source of publication is of sufficient standing (referenced in Web of Knowledge, formerly ISI).
  • KNMFi not acknowledged (green ring): no mentioning of KNMFi in the publication however the publication clearly refers to the work and the source of publication is of sufficient standing (referenced in Web of Knowledge, formerly ISI). Please consider to submit another publication which fulfils the requirements of the KNMFi User Guidelines.
  • Insufficient (gray bullet with exclamation mark): the source of publication is not of sufficient renown (not referenced in Web of Knowledge, formerly ISI).
  • Undecided (gray bullet): publication is waiting for classification by the User Office.

Proposer & Co-proposers

A proposer is the person responsible for a proposal, co-proposers can be named to underline that a working group supports a proposal. Be aware that staff of HGF member organisations are not eligible to act as proposers or co-proposers.

It is required that proposers and co-proposers are registered users of KNMFi. When nominating co-proposers please make sure that they are registered or willing to register, respectively. Please take care that a co-proposer's e-mail address is the same that is used in his/her KNMFi account.

Up to 5 co-proposers can be nominated for a proposal. A co-proposer can be invited by entering his e-mail address into the proposal form. A co-proposer can accept or reject his participation until the proposal is closed for changes after the end of the call.

After being nominated, co-proposers should log into their account, go to the menu item "Manage proposal participations", and choose the status of their co-proposership(s) which remains "pending" until they accept or reject their participation.

Please note that no staff of a Helmholtz Association (HGF) member organisation are eligible to submit a KNMFi proposal or be nominated as co-proposers to avoid conflicts of interest.

Final Reports

After completion of the work the user is expected to submit a Final Report: please log in to the KNMFi proposal submission system, select “Reporting” and create the report by clicking the appropriate action icon.

The final report does not replace a publication. If you are able to publish your results please do not forget to acknowledge KNMFi according to the KNMFi User Guidelines and submit your publications to the KNMF proposal submission system (menu item “Publications”). If you submit future proposals, your publications from earlier proposals may positively influence the assessment by the Peer Review Board.

Finally, please use the “Status overview” menu item to quickly check the status your proposals. If all buttons are green you’re done. You can earn an extra star if you submit a feedback (see action icon) which will help us to assess and improve our performance, thank you.