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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - FY2016

FY2016 NA ALMA Call for Proposals

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  How many Calls for Proposals will be released in 2015?

A.  One ALMA Development CfP will be released in 2015: The Call for Study Proposals (release date: March 16, 2015).

Q What is the difference between a Study and a Project?

A.  A Study does not create something which will necessarily be implemented for ALMA--it may flesh out a concept, or perhaps result in a prototype.

In the context of this Call, a Study is limited to 200k and a one-year period of performance.  A Project (not included in this Call) is limited to $1.5M and a two-year period of performance.

Q. The two forms "Study Proposal Form Template" and "Study Plan Template" ask for similar information. Is it necessary to provide the same information in both forms?

A. The two forms have different purposes, and are routed to independent channels, so cross-referencing is not a viable option. Therefore, you may need to provide similar information in each form.

Q. Do CVs and Appendix A (Reference documents) in the study plan template count against the 20 page limit for the proposal?

A. No. CVs and reference documents are not included in the page count.

Q. A group of collaborators and I would like to submit a Study Proposal to the ALMA Development call, but did not submit a NOI.  May we still submit a proposal?  Should we submit a NOI late, or simply submit the full proposal by the due date with no NOI?

A.  Yes, Study Proposals submitted without a Notice of Intent will be accepted up to the closing date of the Call.  However, submitting a Notice of Intent will ensure that Proposers are included in the mailing list for replies to Proposer's questions and other correspondence related to the Call for Study Proposals.  Please go ahead and submit a Notice of Intent, online, at https://science.nrao.edu/php/alma/alma-development-2015/alma_dev_noi.php.

A proposer's NOI is non-binding.

Q.  How should the Study Proposal package be assembled and submitted?

A.  Assemble in this order, into a single PDF, the following proposal documents:

  1. Completed Study Proposal Form (with signatures)
  2. Study Plan (or NRAO Study Plan for NRAO Proposers)
  3. Submit PDF at: https://science.nrao.edu/php/alma/alma-development-2015/alma_dev_prop.php
      • 20 page limit
      • Times Roman, 12 (or equivalent)
      • Single-spaced
      • Literature Citations are not included in page limit
      • CVs of Principal Investigator and co-Investigator(s) are not included in page limit

    Q. What is the final submission deadline for proposals?

    A.  Study Proposals received by 5:00pm EDT, 12 June 2015, will be accepted.

    Q. Must the Principal Investigator be an astronomer?

    A. There is no requirement that one of the proposing investigators be an astronomer.

    Q. What is meant by “validity date of proposal’?

    A. A Proposal submitted in response to this Call for Proposals shall commit the Bidder until the "Validity Date" of the Proposal.

    Q. Where will the ‘kick-off’ and ‘final review’ meetings take place?

    A. It is expected that these meetings will take place at the successful Proposer’s institution; or by tele/videoconference.

    Q.  When can I expect to hear about proposal decisions?

    A.  Study proposers can expect notification (accept or decline) on August 30, 2015.

    Q. How many proposals do you anticipate funding?

    A. In the context of this Call, a Study is limited to $200K and a 1 year period of performance.  The number of proposals funded depends, in part, upon how much is requested by the Proposers.

    Q. For a software proposal:  are you asking that a software study be defined?  Or developed?

    A. This Call for Study Proposals solicits software studies.  A proposal that included the development of software within the 1 year study period would, however, be regarded as a strong proposal.

    Q. I am interested in proposing a study for development, but not necessarily to follow through with the actual project.  Is it acceptable to simply propose a study?

    A. Yes.  It is understood that it may be infeasible for all Proposers to follow through with production or fabrication, for example.  A “proof of concept” is an acceptable proposal outcome.

    Q. Can the study completion date be extended beyond October 1, 2016 if the proposed study needs more than twelve months to complete?

    A.  Yes; one may make a request for a no-cost extension providing reasonable justification is provided.

    Q. I am not a member of the NA ALMA Partnership or the NA radio astronomy community.  How can I participate in this Call for Study Proposals?

    A. If you intend to propose a joint Study (involving a NA ALMA Partner and/or NA radio astronomy community member and ESO, for example), the NA ALMA Partner (or NA radio astronomy community member) must write and submit the NA ALMA-funded portion of the proposed study.

    Q. What about intellectual property rights?  How will information provided in the Proposal be protected?

    A. The Proposer retains intellectual property rights to their Proposal content. The Proposer may wish to execute a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with the NRAO to protect Proposal content.

    Q. Are Notices of Intent binding?

    A. No; Notices of Intent are not binding.

    Q.  In the proposal, what is the level of detail required for the status of current and prior Studies that received any related support within the past five years?

    A. Note the Study title, the level of support received, and the current status of the Study.  A summary paragraph is sufficient.

    Q. What is the precise meaning of bullet #1 in S3.3 "Selection Criteria"?  What are the NA ALMA Partnership strategic goals?

    A. Please review this document: NA ALMA Development Program: Strategic Objective and Goals as well as the development paths recommended by the ALMA Science Advisory Committee, located here.

    Q. Where can I find a link to the ALMA Front End Technical Specifications?

    We've including a link to the document here.