(Approved by the Committee of Plenipotentiaries of the Governments of the JINR
Member States at its session held on 21–22 November 2016)

Preface by Director of JINR Victor Matveev

The present Seven-year plan for the development of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research for 2017–2023, after intensive preparatory work and discussions for two years at the meetings of the Programme Advisory Committees and the Scientific Council of JINR has eventually been approved by the Committee of Plenipotentiaries of the JINR Member States at its session held in Kraków, Republic of Poland, on 21–22 November 2016.

Taking into account the scope of its ambitious tasks and projects, which assumes the corresponding high level of international cooperation and integration into the global and first of all the European research programmes, I may say that JINR enters into a new era of its development.

JINR is unique for its time-tested trinity of multidisciplinary basic research, international cooperation, and interplay of research and education.

The research programme of JINR includes elementary particle physics, relativistic heavy-ion physics, advanced physics of superheavy elements and exotic neutron-rich nuclei, precision nuclear spectroscopy, neutrino physics and astrophysics, information technologies and computing, fundamental neutron studies, condensed matter physics and new materials, theoretical and mathematical physics, development of modern equipment and experimental techniques, biophysics and radiobiology. Since the establishment of JINR in 1956, scientists from Europe as well as from Asia, Africa and Latin America have been involved in its activities, which has played an important role in determining the scope and versatility of JINR’s science policy.

The rich traditions of the Institute and its highly qualified personnel make it possible to share the knowledge with younger generations of scientists and engineers. This also guarantees the high potential of fundamental physics research as well as applied science and innovative activities. JINR keeps being attractive for young researchers of different nationalities.

The experience of the past years accumulated by JINR and the modern trends of the world science indicate that the strategy of the development of this centre will be aimed at:

  • realizing new world-class projects at frontiers of modern physics on the basis of high professional standards and traditions;
  • extending international cooperation around the JINR basic facilities, further integration of these facilities into the European and worldwide research infrastructures;
  • attracting new countries to the JINR family;
  • maintaining the general infrastructure and “modus operandi” of JINR at the best internationally recognized level.

In conclusion, I would like to express my confidence that the future development of JINR in accordance with the goals outlined in the present Seven-year plan will further demonstrate convincingly to the world the attractive force of scientific knowledge and the unprecedented strength of the ties that unite the scientific community despite the diversity of nationalities, religions and races.

Director of JINR Victor Matveev


To substantiate the main goals of the Seven-year plan it is worth having a brief look at the development of modern particle physics, nuclear physics, astrophysics, and condensed matter physics. These areas of research are the core of the JINR scientific programme. Being the most fundamental, they provide the basis and methodology of all science that investigates the structure and properties of matter – from nucleons and nuclei to molecules and condensed matter.

The strategic goal of modern particle physics and astrophysics is the formation of a new unified physical view of the World without “famous problems” of the Standard Model, despite the fact that the latter is an outstanding achievement of humankind. This claim has become very solid after the discovery of the Higgs boson and precise Standard Model descriptions of the numerous data at the electroweak scale of the LHC.

The Standard Model is not the final self-consistent fundamental theory. It can be seen as a low-energy limit of some underlining fundamental theory that would work at a broader energy range up to the Planck scale (1019 GeV). The search for this fundamental theory and its experimental verification is a main trend of modern physics. Another, in a certain sense, opposite trend relates to the fact that QCD has yet to explain the quark confinement and other collective phenomena characteristic for strong interactions at intermediate and large distances. The collective behaviour of hadrons is relevant to a whole hierarchy of basic phenomena ranging from colorless hadron (mesons, baryons, glueballs) formation to nuclear reactions and the physics of nuclei, heavy and superheavy nuclei in particular.

Towards a new theory of elementary particles (a new physical picture of the World), the following sources of information are considered most crucial nowadays:

  • Direct search for New Physics at the Large Hadron Collider (supersymmetry, decays of the Higgs boson, extra dimensions, new types of a state of matter, new particles and interactions, etc.);
  • Neutrino physics and astrophysics (as the most intriguing and rapidly developing field of modern particle physics);
  • Cosmology. Explanation of the nature of Dark Matter and Dark Energy;
  • Indirect search for New Physics mainly by means of precision studies of very rare transformations of hadrons and leptons with violation of (flavor) symmetry of generations.

Not being directly connected with New Physics, the Hadron Structure is still a very important and unique source for understanding Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD).

In this regard, the first task of the new phase of LHC experiments is to carry out a comprehensive study of the properties of the Higgs boson for convincing evidence of its Standard Model membership. The second task is to get an answer to the question of the existence (or absence) of New Physics at the TeV scale of energies; a special interest is related to the experimental justification of supersymmetry.

Besides the above tasks, the central problem in particle physics today is the nature of neutrinos i.e. those fundamental properties of neutrinos that determine the specificity of their interactions.

Another fundamental puzzle of Nature is addressing the genesis of the Universe, which concerns today the understanding of inflation, dark matter and dark energy.

One more (indirect) way to search for New Physics is associated with the Physics of Flavor.

The goal here is precise study of processes where fermions from one generation are transformed into fermions from another generation (change of flavor). Flavor Physics is currently a robust and crucial tool for the New Physics search, being potentially sensitive to a much higher scale of energy than achievable with future high-energy accelerators.

In general, the main direction of the New Physics search is “routed” today in the “responsibility region” of the (very) weak interactions. However, an essential element of the Standard Model is QCD, a well-developed quantum field theory of strong interactions. In any hadron process at high or low energy (i.e. LHC or beta decay), QCD is a main source of the formation of particles and inevitable background for the New Physics search. A detailed understanding of QCD effects is strongly requested for a correct interpretation of the experimental data.

Perturbative QCD mainly due to the asymptotic freedom is an effective and well-working theoretical method which describes quark-gluon interactions at large momentum transfers (hard processes). However, Nonperturbative QCD, with its effect of confinement, inevitably presents everywhere at high energy in the form of parton distributions, fragmentation functions and other soft interactions of hadrons.

Nonperturbative QCD is, in fact, an important part of the Standard Model intended to explain from the first principles the dynamical chiral symmetry breaking (which generates about 98% of the visible mass in the Universe), the confinement, and the Entire Nuclear Physics – how hadrons are made from quarks and gluons and how they are producing all the diversity of atomic nuclei, interacting with each other.

These problems are very general and extremely complex, and to solve them one needs extra experimental information related to the search of new physics signatures in laboratory experiments and astrophysical observations as well as from the study of hadron matter properties in collider experiments and in compact stars. In addition to soft nonperturbative QCD processes (e.g. at the LHC), the main hopes for resolution of the long-standing problems of strong interaction physics are connected with the study of heavy-ion collisions at high energy, where the conditions are created for phase transformations in hot and dense hadronic matter.

Step-by-step addressing of the above fundamental issues requires studying a whole set of basic problems that are in the focus of the JINR Seven-year plan.

  1. Neutron beta decay is a key process for precision test of the Standard Model. It is very sensitive to various extensions of the sector of charged weak currents, etc. Ultracold neutron physics is also very important basic research. High-precision measurements of neutron beta decay (lifetime, angular correlations) are very important for determining the key elements of the Cabibbo-Kobayashi-Maskawa matrix and for understanding neutron structure in QCD. The properties of the neutron and neutron- induced nuclear reactions are very important for the study of many astrophysical processes. In particular, cross-sections for neutron capture reactions are crucial for understanding isotope formations in stars, supernovae, etc.
  2. Any information about stable enough and unusual hadron states — glueballs, (super)hyper-nuclei, light nuclei with large neutron excess, double(tetra)-baryons and other cluster configurations in nuclei — is crucial for understanding the QCD phenomena beyond perturbation theory. This important information can be obtained via study of nuclear reactions induced by stable and radioactive ion beams of (exotic) light atomic elements.
  3. Heavy-ion physics is a most rapidly developing area of nuclear physics at low and intermediate energy. Major achievements are the synthesis and study of nuclear, chemical and physical properties of transfermium (Z>100) and superheavy elements (SHE), the formation and study of the properties of light exotic nuclei, study of reaction mechanisms with accelerated ions of stable and radioactive isotopes, etc.

    The prediction of the “island of stability” of SHE is a fundamental achievement of the macro-microscopic nuclear theory. Formation of SHE is a very rare event (pb). Moreover, the position and properties of the island is strongly dependent on a particular nuclear model. To specify the nuclear models it is necessary to study SHE with Z=113–118 and to create new isotopes with Z=119,120. New data are needed about nuclear levels; data on fusion-fission at low excitation is important for determining the lifetimes of nuclei and optimization of their synthesis, etc.
  4. Study of the various characteristics of spontaneous and neutron-induced fission is of primary interest, particularly due to the availability of modern high-intensity neutron sources and due to the fact that nuclear fission is one of the most complex nuclear transformations associated with a profound redistribution of mass and charge of the original nuclei, producing highly deformed and excited fragments, etc.

All these nuclear physics studies improve the nuclear models (and understanding of nuclear structure) with a final goal to connect the models with basic concept of nonperturbative QCD.

In accordance with the main directions of development of modern particle physics and astrophysics these are the following major goals of JINR’s new Seven-year plan:

  • Direct search for New Physics with the LHC: the main goal is to get fundamentally important results concerning the nature of the Higgs boson, the existence or non-existence of TeV-scale supersymmetry, extra dimensions of space and new interactions, the nucleon structure and properties of quark-gluon QCD matter, etc. — by means of full-scale participation in the international multi-purpose experiments ATLAS and CMS at 13–14 TeV.
  • Neutrino programme: research on neutrino astrophysics with unique Baikal-GVD neutrino telescope, basic and applied research with antineutrino beams of the Kalinin nuclear power plant, participation, due to the decisive contributions of JINR, in major international experiments (JUNO, SuperNEMO, NOvA, EURICA, DS, etc.), and establishment of JINR’s corresponding research infrastructure at the most advanced level.
  • in the Flavor sector: the main goal is to continue traditional research at JINR on the flavor physics of quarks and charged leptons by participating in the world’s most important international experiments on the study of rare CP-violating kaon decays (like for example, K→πνν) and search for muon to electron conversion on nuclei (Mu2e and COMET).
  • in Perturbative and nonperturbative QCD studies: the goals are (a) to participate in major international experiments on nucleon and nuclear structure research (COMPASS, BESS-3, PANDA, etc.) with the aim to obtain decisive information for a better understanding of QCD properties, hadron spin structure, etc.; (b) to continue basic research on neutron physics with IBR-2; (c) within an international collaboration on external sources of ultracold neutrons, to measure the key parameters of the neutron — beta decay, electric dipole moment, etc.
  • in Relativistic physics of atomic nuclei (heavy ions): The experimental long-term task of JINR’s megascience project NICA is investigation of hot and dense strongly interacting QCD-matter, search for a mixed phase and critical point in the QCD phase diagram with the main goal to shed light on the poorly explored region of this diagram and clarify the basis of QCD in the nonperturbative regime and other theoretical approaches for the description of strongly interacting matter. To this end, in the nearest seven years, JINR should put the NICA complex into operation, complete the installation of the BM@N and MPD detectors, and reach their design parameters to obtain new results in understanding hot-dense baryonic matter and its phase transitions. The NICA energy is believed to be particularly interesting because it corresponds to maximal net baryon density at the time of “freezing”. At this energy, the system takes the maximum amount of space-time in the form of a mixed phase of quark-hadron matter (coexistence of hadron and quark-gluon phases).
  • in Modern nuclear physics (due to interconnection with QCD and particle physics): the main goal is to enhance JINR’s leadership in the physics of superheavy elements through a qualitatively new-level research at the JINR Factory of SHE on the synthesis and study of nuclear, physical and chemical properties of SHE isotopes, on the study of reaction mechanisms with stable and radioactive nuclei, on the search for new types of atomic nuclei decay, etc. The final, most fundamental aim of this very important nuclear physics study is the connection with QCD basic principles.
  • in Condensed matter physics: the main goal is the development of experimental facilities in order to utilize efficiently the possibilities of the IBR-2 pulsed reactor – one of the three most intense neutron sources in the world. Studying the physics and chemistry of complex fluids and polymers, functional materials, novel physics of nanosystems brings new technological applications in power engineering, electronics, biology, medicine, etc. The lifetime of the IBR-2 reactor by its design is scheduled up to mid-2030s, therefore within this Seven-year plan a concept for a new world-class neutron scattering facility has to be developed.
  • Spectrometer complex of the IBR-2 facility

  • in Information Technology, the main goal is to carry out fundamental promising and advanced research in the field of distributed computing, computational mathematics and computational physics aimed at the creation and use of new computing platforms, the development of new mathematical methods, algorithms and software by addressing urgent problems arising in experimental and theoretical studies. The solution of this task is closely related to a wide range of research conducted at JINR in high-energy physics, nuclear physics, condensed matter physics and nanotechnology as well as radiobiology and biophysics, and several other areas that require application and development of new approaches to modeling physical processes, processing and analysis of experimental data, including application in the studies within the NICA project, in the neutrino programme and in other strategic goals of the Institute. Within the modern computerized world, the advancement of the development in this direction is fundamental for the progress in all the other areas of the JINR research.

Development of the JINR facilities

The main aim of the NICA project is construction of an accelerator complex allowing to conduct research with colliding beams of high-intensity ions (up to Au+79) with the average luminosity L=1027 cm–2 s–1 at an energy range of √sNN=4–11 GeV, also with beams of polarized protons (√sNN up to 26 GeV) and deuterons (√sNN up to 12 GeV) with longitudinal and transverse polarization as well as with extracted beams of ions and polarized protons and deuterons.

For effective use of the NICA complex opportunities, dedicated experimental set-ups will be built and put into operation: BM@N for the extracted beams, and MPD and SPD for the collider.

The following are the stages of construction, commissioning and development of elements of the NICA complex:

  1. Commissioning of the NICA basic elements (in accordance with the schedule: booster – 2017; first configuration of the collider – 2020; design configuration of the collider – 2023). Development of experimental zones and extracted beam channels of the NICA complex (channels for transportation of heavy and light ions, polarized particles, the test channel and associated infrastructure – 2017–2019).
  2. Creation and start-up of an infrastructure for carrying out hadron radiation therapy and other applied research in the fields of radiobiology and radiation-resistant microelectronics based on the VBLHEP accelerator complex – 2017–2023.
  3. The start-up of the BM@N initial configuration for high-intensity light-ion beams extracted from the Nuclotron – 2017.
  4. Completion of the upgrade and commissioning of the BM@N set-up for high-intensity heavy-ion beams extracted from the Nuclotron –– 2019.
  5. Start-up of the MPD Stage I – 2019.
  6. Commissioning of the MPD Stage II – 2023.
  7. Start-up of SPD – 2023.

Full-scale realization of the project DRIBs-III (Dubna Radioactive Ion Beams), as a major part – the start-up of the Factory of Superheavy Elements (SHE Factory) based on a specialized cyclotron, DC-280, together with experimental instruments of a new generation is the major task of the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions for the period 2017–2023.

IBR-2 is JINR’s basic facility for neutron studies of condensed matter, one of the most powerful pulsed neutron sources in the world and the only one in the JINR Member States. The programme for the development in 2017–2023 includes the IBR-2 reactor and the IBR-2 spectrometer complex .

JINR’s traditional research activities in the field of nuclear physics with neutrons will be carried out at a high-resolution neutron source – IREN facility. Further development of the IREN facility in 2017–2023 is connected with improvement of the accelerator’s systems and with modernization of the infrastructure of the experimental hall and pavilions.

The Gigaton Volume Detector (BAIKAL-GVD) Facility in Lake Baikal is an extension of the R&D work on the first phase performed over the past several years by the BAIKAL Collaboration. The second-stage neutrino telescope BAIKAL-GVD will be a new research infrastructure aimed primarily at studying astrophysical neutrino fluxes.


Particle Physics and High-Energy Heavy-Ion Physics

Scientific research in the field of elementary particle physics and high-energy heavy-ion physics can be classified into four interrelated directions – the energy-increasing accelerator direction (the Energy Frontier), the intensity-increasing accelerator direction (the Intensity Frontier), the accuracy-increasing non-accelerator direction (the Accuracy Frontier), and the particle astrophysics direction (the Cosmic Frontier). In view of these general directions, within the framework of the new Seven-year plan, JINR will focus on the following main topics:

  1. Particle physics research, including particle spectroscopy, spin physics, neutrino physics and rare phenomena studies (covering the Energy, Intensity, Accuracy, and Cosmic Frontiers), aimed at extending the Standard Model and discovering new fundamental laws of Nature.
  2. High-energy heavy-ion physics research (Energy and Intensity Frontiers) aimed at establishing unique properties of hadronic matter under conditions of phase transitions between quark and hadronic states of matter.
  3. Development of new-generation detector systems and accelerator complexes, theoretical support of the current and planned experimental investigations, development and maintenance of high-performance telecommunication links and computing facilities at JINR, aimed at providing a comprehensive support for realization of the scientific tasks envisioned by the seven-year plan.

The new Seven-year plan in the field of particle and high-energy heavy-ion physics will be implemented by efforts of four JINR Laboratories (VBLHEP, DLNP, LIT, and BLTP) both on the JINR in-house facility base – the NICA accelerator complex, and within the framework of international partnership programmes at the world’s largest accelerator facilities in the experiments with essential contribution made by JINR staff.

JINR will continue to participate in the development of accelerator subsystems and detectors within the ILC project.

Within the framework of the FLASH and XFEL international projects, JINR physicists participate in the development of diagnostic systems of ultrashort bunches in the linear accelerator, X-ray, large cryogenic systems.


Nuclear Physics

The following main areas of research in the field of low-energy nuclear physics will be further developed in 2017–2023: synthesis of superheavy elements using heavy ions and study of their physical and chemical properties, basic research with neutrons, and applied investigations.

The unique opportunities of JINR’s heavy-ion accelerators and experimental research instruments have led to the establishment of broad international collaborations with research centres of the JINR Member States and other countries.

  • Synthesis of superheavy elements and study of their nuclear properties
  • Investigation of incomplete fusion reactions of massive nuclei
  • Synthesis of new nuclides in the heavy nuclei region and study of their properties
  • Nuclear structure of elements of the “second hundred”
  • Study of mechanisms of reactions with stable and radioactive nuclei, search for new decay modes
  • Nuclear physics with neutrons:

    1. Investigations of the violation of fundamental symmetries in neutron-nuclear interactions and related data
    2. Investigations of fundamental properties of the neutron and UCN physics
    3. Applied and methodological research will include


Condensed Matter Physics

JINR has a unique base for experimental research (the IBR-2 pulse reactor and the DRIBs-III accelerator complex) allowing its scientists to conduct basic and applied research in the field of the physics of condensed state of matter and in adjacent areas – biology, medicine, materials science, etc., aimed at studying the structure and properties of nanosystems and new materials, biological objects, and biotechnologies.

  1. Neutron scattering research methods
  2. Optical methods of research
  3. Applied research with heavy ions

Radiobiological and astrobiological research:

  1. Research on the mechanisms of the induction of molecular disorders of the DNA structure by heavy charged particles of different energies and their repair
  2. Research on the regularities and formation mechanisms of gene and structure mutations in mammalian and human cells under exposure to heavy charged particles of different energies
  3. Research on the mechanisms of heavy charged particle-induced morphological and functional disorders of the retina and different parts of the central nervous system and their repair
  4. Mathematical modeling of the effects of ionizing radiations with different LET at the molecular and cellular levels. Development and analysis of mathematical models of the molecular mechanisms of high-energy charged particle-induced disorders in the CNS structure and functions
  5. Radiation research
  6. Astrobiological research


Theoretical Physics

The studies conducted at BLTP are interdisciplinary; they are directly integrated into international projects with the participation of scientists from major research centres in the world and are closely coordinated with the JINR experimental programmes. Intensive development of the research is planned in nuclear and particle astrophysics, Higgs boson phenomenology, hadron physics under extreme conditions (in connection with the experimental programme of the NICA/MPD project, and experiments at RHIC, LHC and FAIR), lattice QCD calculations. Studies in condensed matter physics will be more tightly correlated with practical problems in the field of nanotechnology for creation of new materials and electronic devices.

  • Quantum field theory and particle physics
  • Nuclear theory
  • Theory of condensed matter
  • Modern mathematical physics
  • Research and education project DIAS-TH


Information Technologies

The aim of the further development of the JINR computing infrastructure is to provide performance of a whole range of competitive research activities at the world’s level at JINR and cooperating centres worldwide both within the JINR programme for scientific research and development, in particular the NICA megaproject, and within the priority research tasks that are performed in cooperation with leading research centres such as CERN, FAIR, BNL, etc.

For the Laboratory of Information Technology, one of the major objectives in the Seven-year plan is the creation of a unified information environment integrating a number of various technological solutions, concepts and techniques. Such environment should integrate supercomputer (heterogeneous), grid- and cloud-complexes and systems in order to grant optimal approaches for solving various types of scientific and applied tasks. The necessary requirements to such an environment are scalability, interoperability, and adaptability to new technical solutions.



Being an international research organization, JINR has a great potential for education and training in the disciplines coinciding with the Institute’s main directions of research. While providing a formal education, like that of a university, is not a purpose of the Institute, graduate and postgraduate students from the Member States can join the various research groups of JINR Laboratories to be trained in physics, engineering, computer science and other fields. It is the responsibility of the University Centre of JINR to ensure the effective use of JINR’s facilities and expertise for education of highly qualified research scientists and engineers from the Member States. To implement this mission, UC shall pursue the following activities in the next seven years.

  • The first priority of UC remains the delivery of a high-quality service to the students from the Member States, who arrive at JINR Laboratories to prepare their BSc, MSc and PhD theses.
  • An important task of UC is to organize educational summer activities for undergraduate students.
  • An emerging activity of UC is the practical training in nuclear physics and accelerator technology for students and young scientists from the Member States.
  • The outreach programmes of JINR aimed at school children and teachers from the Member States is an important part of the activity of the University Centre.
  • Besides teaching and supervision of graduate and postgraduate students, UC is responsible for the academic and technical training of JINR personnel.
  • Since 2016, UC has been running the funds intended for the Association of Young Scientists and Specialists of JINR (AYSS)


Development of the Engineering Infrastructure

The engineering infrastructure of JINR incudes a supply system of energy resources like electricity, heat, cold and hot water, liquid nitrogen; cooling and sewage systems, communication and telecommunication systems and safety system.

  • Supply of energy resources;
  • Communication and telecommunication means;
  • Safety.


Innovation Activities

The strategy for the JINR development is determined by the triad “science–education–innovations”. This strategy has been approved by the JINR Committee of Plenipotentiaries, and it meets the interests of transition to innovative economies in the JINR Member States.

The innovation programme of JINR for 2017–2023 is developed to serve the interests of its Member States and implies a framework of measures to be realized in collaboration with Russian development institutions as well as public and private organizations of the Member States. The innovation programme covers the following scope of goals and activities.

  • Technology transfer and commercialization;
  • Global innovation collaboration.


Human Resources and Social Policy

The Seven-year plan of the development of JINR for 2017–2023 is aimed at providing effective organization of work of the Institute’s personnel, improvement of the system of assessment and remuneration of labour of the scientific researchers and other categories of the JINR staff, attraction of young scientific, engineering, and administrative personnel, and social protection of the staff. The Plan includes the following activities:

  • Human resources;
  • Efficiency of work, improvement of the management system;
  • Salary, social policy;
  • Young Staff at JINR.


Financial Support

Income of the JINR budget is formed from contributions of the Member States. The contributions will be assessed according to the methodology for calculating the scale of contributions approved by the Committee of Plenipotentiaries (CP) in November 2015. There is no increase of the sum of contributions planned for 2017–2019, and increase in the period 2020–2023 will not exceed 2.5%. In determining the increase of contributions for 2020–2023, the necessary minimum requirements for implementing the Institute’s major research projects were taken into account.

In total, the expected volume of the JINR budget revenues from contributions of the Member States for the Seven-year plan is $1 472.2 million.