2.4. Experimental Execution Roles and Responsibilities

Experimental Execution Roles and Responsibilities

This section describes the roles and responsibilities of key individuals involved in the experimental execution process discussed in Section 3.2.

Program Leader

The Program Leader decides on the scientific path to meet program objectives and delegates responsibility to Campaign Responsible Individuals (RIs) when a program has many independent technical work streams. He/she is the principal point of contact for sponsoring agencies and provides high-level leadership during the proposal and prioritization processes within a program area.

Campaign Responsible Individual (RI)

The Campaign RI is either the Principal Investigator (PI) or Liaison Scientist. He/she oversees execution of the NIF experimental campaign and is responsible for organizing progress meetings; ensures that the development of the experiment is consistent with the facility, capabilities, and schedule; develops an execution plan; provides regular updates on experimental progress to the PI; negotiates with the supporting program and NIF staff regarding capabilities and priorities as necessary to facilitate the experiment; and, if the RI is the liaison scientist, ensures experimental data is provided to the PI in a timely manner. For DS and NSA experiments, the RI will also serve as the NIF Liaison Scientist, the primary interface for researchers external to NIF.

Principal Investigator

For DS experiments, the individual initiating the experimental proposal is the PI. The PI is responsible for overall formulation of the campaign and the shot plan. The PI will work with Shot RIs on his/her team, Project Engineers, and the Liaison Scientist to develop campaign plans and monitor the progress of the overall experimental program. The PI will also work with NIF management and Shot RIs to ensure appropriate staffing for the experimental campaign.


Collaborators are individuals identified by the PI (DS) or Campaign RI (NSA) who are associated with a particular project and who may participate in reviews or presentations, but do not have shot setup responsibilities. Collaborators may be directly involved in post-shot data analysis at the PI’s or Campaign RI’s discretion.

Shot RI

The Shot RI sets up the experiment(s) in the Campaign Management Tool (CMT), satisfies all required expert-group assessments and reviews as part of the experimental lifecycle, and executes the shots. The RI is the individual principally responsible for post-shot data analysis. It is possible that the Shot RI will also be the PI or Campaign RI, although in practice, for a campaign with a significant number of shots, the level of involvement for each role leads to these naturally being different individuals.

Project Engineers

Project Engineers help provide the necessary technical definition of shots for scheduling and target fabrication purposes. They are the principal channels for data in the shot planner and are responsible for keeping scheduled experiments on track through various readiness gates.

Liaison Scientist

For DS experiments where the PI is an external user and no LLNL scientist is available to act for the campaign, the DS Program Leader may assign an LLNL Liaison Scientist to act on behalf of the PI for the experimental planning and scheduling of the experiment.