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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Development Cycle 5

by Lyndele von Schill last modified Oct 06, 2016 by William Randolph

North American ALMA Development - Cycle 5 Call for Project Proposals

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  How many Calls for Proposals will be released in Cycle 5?

A.  Two NA ALMA Development Calls for Proposals will be released in Cycle 5: The Call for Project Proposals (release date: October 10, 2016), and the Call for Study Proposals (release date March 01, 2017).

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 Cycle 5 Calls, A Study is limited to $200K and a one-year period of performance. A Strategic Study is limited to $400K and a two-yer period of performance. A Project is typically limited to $3M and a two-yer period of performance. Some Project awards may be larger and may be granted an extended period of performance.

Q. Do Appendix A (Reference Documents) and Appendix B (Curriculum Vitae of Key Personnel) in the Project Proposal Template count against the 100 page limit for the proposal?

A. No; Reference Documents and CVs are not included in the page count.

Q. A group of collaborators and I would like to submit a Project Proposal to the ALMA Development call, but did not submit a Notice of Intent (NOI).  May we still submit a proposal? 

A.  Yes; Project Proposals submitted without a Notice of Intent will be accepted up to the Deadline (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 Cycle 5 Project Proposals. A proposer's NOI is non-binding.

Q.  How should the Cycle 5 Project Proposal package be prepared and submitted?

A.  Cycle 5 Proposals shall be composed of a single document, formatted in accordance with the Project Proposal Template. Be certain that your Proposal includes signatures.

    • 100 page limit

Q. What is the final submission deadline for proposals?

A.  Project Proposals received by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time Zone, 30 January 2017, will be accepted.

Q. Must the Principal Investigator be an astronomer?

A. No; the PI need not be an astronomer (nor do co-Investigators).

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

A. A Proposal submitted in response to this Call for Proposals commits 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. How many proposals do you anticipate funding?

A. In the context of this Call, A Project is typically limited to $3M and a two-year period of performance (contingent upon Federal funding and the National Science Foundation's budget). The number of proposals funded depends upon scientific merit and the level of funding requested by the Proposers.

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

A.  Cycle 5 Project Proposers can expect a provisional acceptance notification, or decline, on 30 May 2017. Final Notification of Awards will be made on 01 December 2017.

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

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 project completion date be extended beyond 02 January 2020 if the proposed project needs more than twenty-four months to complete?

A.  Yes; one may propose longer-duration projects although such a proposal must be of exception merit. Conventional projects may be granted 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 Project Proposals?

A. If you intend to propose a joint Project (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 project.

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. IP rights to the Project results are subject to the terms and conditions of the Subrecipient Agreement.

Q. Are Notices of Intent binding?

A. No; Notices of Intent are non-binding.

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

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