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Proposal assessment criteria

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Assessments of Fast Turnaround proposals can be brief, but should address the strengths and weaknesses of each proposal (please avoid simply restating the proposal or giving only a single sentence that does not address specifics). This page gives some guidelines and examples of helpful, appropriate comments.

The proposals should be assessed to the best of the reviewer's ability using the following criteria, in descending order of importance:


  1. The overall scientific merit of the proposed investigation and its potential contribution to the advancement of scientific knowledge.
    • Is the overall topic one of interest or of use to the astronomical community?
    • Does the proposal clearly explain how important, outstanding questions in the relevant field will be addressed by the proposed observations?
    • If the proposal is speculative, exploratory, or for a “pilot” study (all of which also are acceptable uses of the FT), is it well justified?

  2. The suitability of the experimental design to achieve the scientific goals.
    • For example, is the sample well chosen? Will the expected signal-to-noise ratio and spectral resolution permit the relevant quantities to be measured?

  3. The likelihood of the team being able to bring the proposed research to a successful conclusion.
    • Has good use been made of any previous Fast Turnaround allocations?

  4. The benefit of rapid response to the proposed program.
    • Note that this is the least important assessment criterion. Programs that are urgent in some way (e.g., the target is setting) may be given a higher score. However, proposals that are not urgent should not be downgraded. In the review text there is no need to comment that a proposal is not urgent.

Technical feasibility of the proposed observations (e.g. whether the required S/N can be achieved in the stated exposure times, whether overheads have been correctly taken into account) will be determined by Gemini staff. In assigning grades to proposal reviewers should not take feasibility into consideration. However, comments on technical aspects of the proposals may be made if the reviewer so wishes.