Jefferson Lab is commissioning a high-average-power IR FEL during 1998. When driven with its superconducting linac operating in a recirculated mode, the IR Demo FEL is capable of producing kilowatt-level average power in the mid-IR range. With operational experience and hardware changes involving primarily change-out of the optical cavity mirrors, the FEL is capable of covering a wide range of the IR at power levels exceeding 100 watts. This tuning range combined with a unique pulse structure makes the Jefferson Lab FEL a versatile research and development tool for a wide variety of laser applications. A core group of industrial partners has been involved in planning applications using the FEL since 1991. This initial user group was augmented with university partners in 1993 and with participants from several national laboratories in 1996-1997. With the initiation of construction of the FEL and the associated 600 m2 user facility laboratory in 1996, a number of topical user groups were formed to plan and implement the first series of user experiments. The industrial partners have formed user groups planning applications in polymer surface processing, metal surface processing, microfabrication, and electronic materials. University partners have submitted proposals, metal surface processing, microfabrication, and electronic materials. University partners have submitted proposals on basic science topics which complement and planned applied research topics, in addition to proposing experiments in atomic physics, chemical physics and materials science which take advantage of one or more of the unique characteristics of the FEL. A synopsis of the proposed user experiments for the first phase of operation of the Jefferson Lab FEL will be presented.