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The 2017 Request for Proposals for Instrument Upgrades is now open

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The Gemini Observatory consists of two 8-meter telescopes; one located on Maunakea in Hawaii, USA (Gemini North), the other on Cerro Pachón, Chile (Gemini South). The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) is the managing organization of the Gemini Observatory under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF). Gemini Observatory Participant nations are the United States of America, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. For more information, visit the Gemini Observatory website at

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), on behalf of the Gemini Observatories, is seeking to award one or more contracts to perform instrument upgrades with a total budget of 600,000 USD. The baseline plan is to fund one small project (~100,000 USD) and one larger project (~500,000 USD), but other combinations are possible depending on the proposals received. This year Gemini will make available, at its own expense, a Teledyne HAWAII-4RG detector and controller package for any team wishing to use it in its proposed upgrade. Gemini is looking for projects providing new or enhanced scientific capability to one of Gemini’s existing facility instruments.

The solicitation is a Request for Proposals (RFP), issued on July 24, 2017. A pre-proposal conference will be held via videoconference on or about August 21, 2017. Specific agenda and video conference connection details will be provided in the RFP webpage. RFP Documents and related information are available on the 2017 IUP website here.

Contracts can be awarded to profit or nonprofit institutions or companies within the nations that fund the Gemini Observatory (regular or limited term participants). Gemini will accept proposals from individuals outside the partnership who have experience in using the instrument or significant experience in designing/building a Gemini instrument.

Small businesses, minority-owned firms, and women’s business enterprises that meet the minimum qualifications are encouraged to apply. Proposals will be evaluated with evaluation factors provided in the RFP. If a submitted proposal does not include what is required in the solicitation, it will be considered an unresponsive proposal and will not be evaluated for award.

Notices of Intent to submit a proposal are due September 14, 2017. The deadline for proposals will be October 5, 2017. All responsible sources may submit a proposal, which shall be considered by AURA if received timely. AURA expects to begin contract negotiations with the selected team(s) in November, 2017.

To receive updates, notices, and amendments to the RFP, please provide contact information including an email address to Karen Godzyk (

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The 2017 Request for Proposals for Instrument Upgrades is now open | Gemini Observatory


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