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NA ALMA Cycle 8 Call for Study Proposals

by Aaron Evans last modified Dec 11, 2020 by Nicholas Gelles

The Cycle 8 call for North American Development Studies Proposals deadline is extended by one week owing to difficulties brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.  

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) invites interested parties to submit proposals for Studies of Upgrades for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). The call for proposals is open to the North American (NA) ALMA Operations Partnership, which is defined as the community of astronomers and scientists in related fields from North American ALMA partner countries. Studies will be funded for Cycle 8 for 1 year up to $250,000 per individual award. Priority will be given to those Studies which align with the ALMA Development Roadmap (ALMA Memo 612) and the ALMA 2030 strategic vision. Study topics of particular interest to the NA ALMA Partnership include larger bandwidths and improved receiver sensitivity, longer baselines, increasing wide field mapping speed, phased array feeds, and improvements to the Archive.

Questions about this Call for Proposals

Questions related to this Call for Proposals should be submitted via

A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page is available, and will be updated as questions are received and answered.

Coordination Meeting - January 16, 2020

Coordination Meeting Page

Submitting a Notice of Intent (NOI)

Proposers are requested to submit a Study Proposal NOI by March 16, 2020. This will ensure that all Proposers are included in the Cycle 8 mailing list. A NOI is non-binding. Please submit your Notice of Intent HERE.

Preparing a Cycle 8 Study Proposal

Details regarding the preparation of a Cycle 8 Study Proposal can be found in the following documents:

Cycle 8 Study Proposal Documents
Call for Cycle 8 Study Proposals Cover Letter PDF
Call for Cycle 8 Study Proposals - Instructions PDF
Cycle 8 Study Proposal Template Word

NRAO Employees must submit a New Ideas Notification Form,  which must approved by the Director before proceeding with preparation of a formal Study Proposal. Prospective NRAO Proposers are encouraged to prepare and submit the New Ideas Notification Form as soon as possible. NRAO Proposers will follow the standard NRAO proposal development process, and the proposal document set must be approved by the Director's Office, AUI, and NSF prior to submission. Please allow adequate time for this process and receive authorization from the Director's Office before proceeding with preparation of a formal Study Proposal. The NA ALMA Development Program Manager will assist each PI with this process.

Submitting a Cycle 8 Study Proposal

Submit the completed Cycle 8 Study Proposal (with signatures), in “.pdf” format, online at this webpage.

Cycle 8 Study Proposals received by 11:59pm EDT, 08 May 2020 will receive full consideration. Individual organizations and institutions may submit multiple proposals. Each proposal, however, must comply fully with all of the applicable requirements, including content and submission by the deadline.

Call for Cycle 8 Study Proposals Schedule

Release of Call for Study Proposals 2019 December 19
Informational Meeting
2020 January 16
Notice of Intent 2020 March 16
Proposer's Questions Submitted 2020 April 13
Proposal Deadline 2020 May 08
Notification of Awards 2020 August 14
Study Start Date 2020 October 01
Study Completion Date 2021 September 30

Supporting Documents & Links

ALMA Development Documents
ALMA Development Roadmap ALMA Development Working Group PDF
Major Science Themes in the 2020-2030 Decade PDF
ALMA Development Strategic Goals & Objectives Link
ALMA StandardsDocument No.
ALMA Product Assurance Requirements ALMA- PDF
ALMA Quality Management Systems ALMA- PDF
ALMA SpecificationsDocument No.
ALMA System Electromagnetic Compatibility Requirements ALMA- PDF
ALMA Environmental Specifications ALMA- PDF
ALMA System Technical Requirements ALMA- PDF
ALMA ProceduresDocument No.
ALMA Design Reviews - Definitions, Guidelines and Procedures ALMA- PDF
ALMA Product Tree ALMA- PDF
ALMA Post-award documents (relevant for proposal-writing)
FFATA Subrecipient Profile Questionnaire PDF
ALMA Development Subrecipient Agreement PDF
Mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement PDF
Subrecipient Representations & Certifications PDF
ALMA Documents from Earlier Calls
Report from the ALMA Development Working Group November 3, 2008 PDF
Principles for the ALMA Development Program

April 22, 2020

ALMA Development Studies Implementation Plan November 2019 PDF


Previously and Currently funded Studies and Projects