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Overview of Gemini Proposal Submission Process

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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 Participants and the instrument availability. The deadline for proposal submission varies with Participant 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.

Proposal Submission

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, Large and Long Program proposals and any proposal that requests time from multiple Participants, known as a joint proposals, must use the Gemini Phase I Tool.

A key part of every proposal is the PDF attachment which contains detailed scientific and technical information about the proposed program. See the Overview below for more information.

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.

Help on the Tool is available via the PIT help page including video tutorials.

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 the total and minimum time for useful science should be specified, as well as the total and minimum Band 3 time if your program is viable in Band 3. These times must include acquisitions, overheads, and all nighttime calibrations (the later is automatically calculated in the PIT).  You may choose how to distribute the time across the Participants 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, an Experimental Design, 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. Attachment of representative ITC results is encouraged. Latex and word templates are available at the Tool download site to generate the attachment, and should be used. Large and Long Programs have additional requirements.
  • 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 Participant(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.

Other Information

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.

Gemini Observatory Participants