NRAO eNews
October 2008 • Vol. 1, Iss. 5

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NRAO Newsletter   •   April 2008   •   Issue 115

Large Proposals to Use NRAO Telescopes

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. We expect to allocate as much as 25 to 50 percent of available observing time on NRAO instruments to Large Proposals. The final fraction will depend on proposal pressure and scientific merit, as determined by peer review. Large Proposals will be further constrained to a maximum of 50 percent of the available observing time in any LST range during any trimester (configuration for the VLA).

The next Large Proposal deadline is June 2, 2008. This will include all NRAO telescopes (VLA, GBT and VLBA). Beginning June 2008 the Regular and Large proposal calls will be merged to the same trimester (Feb, Jun and Oct). For example, both Regular and Large VLA proposals received on this deadline are primarily intended to be scheduled in the A-array for the observing period of October 2008 through to January 2009. Proposals may request telescope time spanning more than one trimester, and proposals can be submitted for any trimester (or VLA configuration) outside the current call. Due to the EVLA construction project and new instrumentation development at the GBT, the capabilities of these instruments are changing rapidly. We will post updates and restrictions in the “Call for Proposals” issued for each telescope.

Large Proposals should be submitted by the same process as normal proposals for the individual telescopes (e-mail to for the VLBA; the on-line NRAO Proposal Tool for the GBT and VLA). Large Proposals will be allowed a maximum of ten (10) one-sided pages (U.S. letter sized) with 11 point font (minimum) to present the scientific justification and the technical feasibility of the project, including all figures, tables and references. The cover page form is not part of this ten page limit.

A data reduction and release plan 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. Reviewers will be asked to assess the likelihood that useful scientific data products will be produced and made available within a reasonable time period. A modest amount of funding may be allocated by NRAO to assist the delivery of data products to the wider community. Financial support for students is available through the NRAO Student Observing Support Program.

All Large Proposals will first be evaluated and graded as part of the normal proposal refereeing process. These graded proposals are passed to the Proposal Selection Committee (PSC), along with a technical assessment on the feasibility of the project. This panel will be responsible for selecting successful proposals and for making recommendations to NRAO regarding their scheduling. The results will be announced in the NRAO Newsletter and on the NRAO website.

Dale Frail

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