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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - 2014

by Lyndele von Schill last modified Mar 16, 2015

FY2014 NA ALMA Call for Proposals

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  How many Calls for Proposals will be released in 2013?

A.  There are two ALMA Development CfPs released in 2013: The Call for Study Proposals (released May 1st) and the Call for Project Proposals (released June 3rd).

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

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.  A Project does create something which will be implemented on ALMA.  It will therefore need a wider circle of approvals, documentation and almost certainly more effort.

For example, a Band 1 Study might produce a prototype, but to be implemented on the Array, it would require wider approval.   To become a project, a development item must go through the ALMA Development Steering Committee, which will review it and recommend (or not) inclusion in the ALMA Development Plan.  The Director then, with Board consent, decides on its inclusion in the Plan.

In the context of this Call, a Study is limited to $200K and a 1 year period of performance.  A Project is limited to $1.5M and a 2 year period of performance.

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 in May.  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 (July 12).  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-2014/alma_dev_noi.php.  A proposer's NOI in 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-2014/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.  How should the Project Proposal package be assembled and submitted?

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

  1. Completed Project Proposal Form (with signatures)
  2. Project Plan (or NRAO Study Plan for NRAO Proposers)
  3. Submit PDF at:  https://science.nrao.edu/php/alma/alma-development-2014/alma_dev_prop.php
    • 100 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 COB ET on Friday, July 12, 2013, will be accepted.  Project Proposals received by COB ET on August 16, 2013 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, 2013.  Project proposers can expect notification on October 4, 2013.

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.  A Project is limited to $1.5M and a 2 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 30 September 2014 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

Q. We would like to write a proposal for improving the ALMA archive.  What are the project's plans for archive development, and how might we fit into this?

A.  The ALMA science archive working group advises on the development of the ALMA archive within the project. This answer contains their professional opinions, but not official ALMA requirements; whether or not a proposer decides to following these recommendations will have no effect on the review of the proposal.