Large Proposal Policy
NRAO encourages the submission of proposals which require significant amounts of telescope time when justified by the potential scientific payoff. We define a Large Proposal as one which requires at least 200 hours of observing time on one or more of the NRAO telescopes (VLA, GBT, VLBA). We expect to allocate as much as 25% to 50% of available observing time on NRAO telescopes to Large Proposals. The final percentage will depend on proposal pressure and scientific merit, as determined by peer review. Large Proposals will be further constrained to a maximum of 50% of the available observing time in any LST range during any semester (array configuration for the VLA).
Large Proposals should be submitted in response to Calls for Proposals and using the on-line NRAO Proposal Submission Tool. Large Proposals will be allowed a maximum of ten (10) one-sided pages (US letter sized) with 11 point font (minimum) to present the scientific justification of the project, including all figures, tables and references. The cover page form is not part of this 10 page limit.
A plan for data reduction and data release is a mandatory part of the justification for any Large Proposal. The maximum proprietary period is one year, but the proposers are free to specify any shorter time interval. Science reviewers will be asked to assess the likelihood that useful scientific data products will be produced and made available within a reasonable time period. The proposal can request financial support for students through the NRAO Student Observing Support Program. A modest amount of other funding may be allocated by NRAO to assist in the delivery of data products to the wider community.
All Large Proposals will first be evaluated and ranked as part of the normal proposal review process. These ranked proposals are passed to the Time Allocation Committee (TAC), along with a technical assessment of the feasibility of each proposal. The TAC will be responsible for recommending Large Proposals to NRAO. Approved Large Proposals will be announced as part of the NRAO Science Program. To facilitate access to data products by the wider community, each approved Large Proposal must provide a web link for the NRAO Large Proposals page.