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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - ALMA Development: A Science Sustainability Program - Cycle 5 Call for Study Proposals

by Lyndele von Schill last modified May 30, 2017 by Dong-Chan Kim

North American ALMA Development Program - Cycle 5 Call for Study Proposals Frequently Asked Questions

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

A.  As part of the NA ALMA Development program, two Calls for Proposals have been 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). More information on the Cycle 5 Calls for Proposals can be found in this presentation from August 2016.

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

A.  A Study does not create something that 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 General Study is limited to $200K and a one-year period of performance. A Strategic Study is limited to $400K and a two-year period of performance. 

Q. Do Appendices Reference Documents and Curriculum Vitae of Key Personnel in the Study Proposal Template count against the 20 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 Study Proposal, but did not submit a Notice of Intent (NOI).  May we still submit a proposal? 

A.  Yes; 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 Proposals. 

Q. Are Notices of Intent binding?

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

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

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

    • 20 page limit

Q. What is the final submission deadline for proposals?

A.  Study Proposals received by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time Zone, May 1st, 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 General Study is limited to $200K and a one-year period of performance, and a Strategic Study is limited to $400K and a two-year period of performance. It is anticipated that up to $$2.5M may be allocated to Strategic Studies and up to $0.5M to General Studies. The number of proposals funded depends upon scientific merit and the level of funding requested by the Proposers. The entirety of available funds will not necessarily be awarded: awards are merit-based

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

A.  Cycle 5 Studies Proposers can expect a final notification by 31 July 2017. 

Q. Can the study completion date be extended beyond 30 September 2018 (or 2019 for Strategic Studies)  if the proposed study needs more time to complete?

A.  Studies 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 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 project. No NA funding can go to entities outside the NA ALMA Operations Partnership.

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.  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.