Proposing for Telescope Time
PROPOSALS ARE DUE at NOON Eastern Time (EST or EDT) on the 2nd Tuesday of April and October, as follows:
|Due Date||for Telescope||Semester|
|Oct 12, 2021||Magellan||A (Jan 16 - July 15)|
|Oct 12, 2021||MMT + FLWO||A (Feb 1 - July 31)|
|April 12, 2022||Magellan||B (July 16 - Jan 15)|
|April 12, 2022||MMT + FLWO||B (Aug XX - Jan 31)1|
1MMT+FLWO normally shutdown most of August; the exact dates depend on activities like re-aluminization.
- SUBMIT USING OUR NEW PROPOSAL SYSTEM https://tdcapply.cfa.harvard.edu/
- Proposals must contain:
- Cover page (include co-I's, their institutions, and a <100 word abstract).
- Scientific Justification & Experimental Design (2 page limit, 12pt font required).
- Figures and Tables (1 page limit)
- Addendum (no page limit, but typically 2-3 pages as described in the Instructions for CfA OIR Telescope Proposals)
- LATEX TEMPLATE for everything (except the Cover page, which is auto-generated). PDF version here.
- If applying for more than one instrument, please submit a SEPARATE proposal for each instrument on each telescope (even if the same telescope). A proposal should contain a request for ONE instrument only. This facilitates bookkeeping and the review process.
- Any proposal requiring more than one semester of time should be marked as Long: long-term proposals must state the number of nights needed for completion and, if continuing, state progress made.
- Large proposals requesting more than 6 nights in a single semester are allowed an extra page for the scientific justification. These will be reviewed more critically.
DISCRETIONARY TIME: To address scheduling flexibility concerns with the new MMT semesters, the TAC will provisionally set aside a few MMT nights for Discretionary Time. Discretionary Time is meant for one-time, unexpected needs. I.e., for an in-coming postdoc who was unable to apply during the normal cycle, or for a thesis result that could be published with a final observation. Long term/target-of-opportunity programs are expected to apply normally. The TAC will review the process and allocate any unused discretionary nights at each TAC meeting. Send inquiries to the TAC Chair wbrown @ cfa.harvard.edu.
REVIEW PROCESS: Proposals are sorted by telescope and by instrument, and then distributed to the Time Allocation Committee (TAC). Proposals are ranked according to:
- Overall scientific merit
- Publication record using CfA facilities
- Availability of time requested
Grades from each TAC member are normalized and averaged to produced rank-ordered lists for each telescope. The TAC members meet to discuss each proposal and assign time, given the time available on a telescope. Finally, the time is scheduled by the observatory staff in consultation with the relevant TACs (e.g. Magellan involves 6 partners).
SCHEDULE NOTIFICATION: PIs are notified by the appropriate observatory (MMT, Magellan, or FLWO) when schedules are complete, typically 1 month before the semester begins. The TAC Chair will then send notes to PIs who were not scheduled time, or to PIs with substantive TAC feedback/concerns.