Observing > Prop Eval & Time Alloc

Proposal Evaluation and Time Allocation

by Davis Murphy last modified Aug 04, 2017 by Dana Balser
Semester News

Proposals to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), the Green Bank Observatory (GBO), and the Long Baseline Observatory (LBO) for the scientific use of its telescopes are evaluated on the basis of scientific merit and technical feasibility using a panel-based proposal review system.  This joint process is run by the NRAO in accordance with it’s policy of non-discrimination and inclusion.  A panel-based proposal review system is used to ensure that scientifically knowledgeable peers representing the broad diversity of the community at large provide expert proposal evaluations. We believe that inclusiveness and broad representation of our users produces the most compelling scientific program.  Please see the memo on Gender-Related Systematics in the NRAO Proposal Review Processes.

Proposals to use one, or a combination, of the GBT, the VLA, or the VLBA/HSA are submitted with the Proposal Submission Tool  (PST).

Three proposal types can be submitted for the standard deadlines of 1 Feb and 1 Aug each year: Regular, Large, and Triggered.  (NRAO policy regarding Large proposals may be found here.)  Director's Discretionary Time (DDT) may be submitted at any time and are reviewed by the observatory scientific staff on the basis of the proposals' scientific merit and technical feasibility.  DDT proposals are for Target of Opportunity proposals or Exploratory Time.  A number of tools are available to support proposal planning; e.g., sensitivity and exposure calculators, and a Proposal Finder Tool (PFT) that may be used to search cover sheets of proposals previously approved for time on NRAO/GBO/LBO telescopes.

The NRAO has agreements with HST, Chandra, Fermi, and Swift for Joint proposals where telescope time on NRAO’s North American facilities may be granted by these external telescope allocation committees (TACs). Reciprocal agreements exists for HST, Chandra, and Swift where the NRAO TAC may grant time on these external facilities. Since ALMA is an international partnership, it has an independent international proposal review process coordinated by the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO).