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Overview of Gemini Proposal Submission Process
Overview of the Gemini Proposal Submission Process
Call for Proposals
Every 6 months, around March 1 and September 1, Gemini will issue a Call for Observing Proposals. The Call will contain information such as the time distribution across the Gemini Partners and the instrument availability. The deadline for proposal submission varies with partner but is typically around April 1 and October 1. Make sure you read the Call prior to writing your proposal. Requests for Director's Discretionary time or Poor Weather time may be submitted at any time, using the Gemini Phase I Tool.
Investigators should use the Gemini Phase I Tool for creating and submitting proposals. Investigators applying for NOAO time using multiple NOAO telescopes for a single program may instead use the NOAO submission form. However, any proposal that requests time from multiple partners, known as a joint proposals, must use the Gemini Phase I Tool.
A new Phase I Tool is released for each semester. Information on how to download and install the Tool is given on the semester's installation page. Differences from previous versions are described on the hot news page.
Overview of the Phase I Tool
The Gemini Gemini Phase I Tool provides an interface via which the Investigator can enter:
- title, abstract, TAC category, keywords, and the investigators' names and institutions.
- targets, either manually, or by catalog look-up.
- observations, which are defined by target, instrument and instrument configuration (a wizard will lead you through a decision tree of modes and their options), observing conditions and observing time. Investigators should use the integration time calculator to determine the integration time needed for your instrument configuration, conditions and required signal to noise. Overheads should be included in the observing time request in the Phase I Tool, as described in the "Overheads" section of each instrument's web page. Time required for calibration should not be included unless you require calibrations that are beyond the baseline calibrations offered for the instrument, described in the "Calibration" section of each instrument's web page.
- Band 3 observations should be defined if your program can be carried out in relatively poor conditions, or can be adjusted to make it viable in such conditions. Information on how to make your program viable for Band 3 is given on the advice for Band 3 page.
- Scheduling constraints if there are time-critical or synchronous observations involved, or impossible dates for classical programs.
- Time request - both your total and minimum time for useful science should be specified, and also the total and minimum Band 3 time if your program is viable in Band 3. You can also choose how to distribute the time across the partners, if this is a joint proposal. This tab also allows you to specify whether or not the proposal contains Targets of Opportunity (ToO) and if so whether these are rapid or standard ToO observations.
- There is a PDF attachment which is submitted with the proposal. This attachment contains the Scientific Justification, Technical Case, a description of how a queue program would be carried out in Band 3 or how a classical program would use poor conditions, justification of any duplicate observations, a publications list, and a description of the use of other facilities and previous Gemini use. More information is given below. Latex and word templates are available at the Tool download site to generate the attachment, and should be used.
- The Tool will highlight errors in your proposal. Incomplete sections or input errors will be described by text in the lower panel. If your targets have poor visibility, the configuration is such that guiding will be difficult, or if there are duplicate observations found in the Gemini Science Archive, then these will be flagged in the columns on the Observations tab.
- Once you are ready to submit a single click on the "Submit this Proposal" button will send the proposal and PDF attachment to the servers of your selected partner(s). Currently submissions cannot be overwritten. Submit your corrected proposal and contact your NGO office to let them know which proposal you want considered, and which omitted.
The PDF attachment
Latex and word templates and style files are available to generate the attachment, and should be used. Proposals requesting time via the NOAO with a US PI should use the US latex template or US word template and style file, others should use the Gemini default latex template or Gemini default word template and style file. Do not change the margins or font sizes, if you do you run the risk of annoying the TAC members! The attachment includes:
- The Scientific Justification, which is limited to one page excluding references. Up to two additional pages can be used for references, tables, figures (no more than three), and captions. This can be a high-level description of the observations and the fundamental problem that they will address. Make sure to include the overall significance to astronomy. The Technical Case can include details such as sample selection, data analysis, etc.
- The Technical Case is limited to one page with no additional figures. This should be a description of how the observations contribute toward the accomplishment of the goals outlined in the science justification. Include information such as why the specific targets were selected, the sample size, the analysis, etc. Also justify the instrument configuration, the exposure times and the constraints requested. Give the input to and the results from the Gemini Integration Time Calculator here. Justify the total and minimum time requested.
- Band 3 and Classical Backup Program descriptions should describe how a queue program would be carried out in Band 3 or how a classical program would use poor conditions.
- Duplicate observations justification. The Tool will automatically inform you of any duplicate observations in the Observations tab. You must justify why the proposed observations are still required.
- Publications by the PI or Co-I which support the proposal should be listed.
- Any applications to non-Gemini facilities that are related to the proposal should be listed. Also list allocations of Gemini telescope time to the PI during the past 2 years using the Table layout provided.
Each instrument's page (in the "Observation Preparation" area) contains advice on how to prepare and check your observations. A brief guide to technically reviewing proposals written for the Time Allocation Committee may also be useful for applicants.
Please contact the Gemini help desk if you need assistance.
Successful PIs will be contacted via email around the middle of June and December, with important information regarding the completion of Phase II. Typically the PI deadline for completing Phase II is the middle of July and January. Successful PIs will find the What to expect once your observations are in the queue page helpful.