Call for Proposals

The most recent Call for Proposals from Gemini is for the semester 2012B.

This semester spans the dates August 1st 2012 to DECEMBER 31st 2012. Note the early end of the semester due to the UK's withdrawl from the Gemini telescope.

The UK deadline for submission is FRIDAY MARCH 30TH 2012 at 3PM GMT.

In addition to the Gemini Call for Proposal, you MUST read the information below as it lists the UK specific limitations and requirements for the current Call for Proposals. This semester there are additional limitations due to the early end to the semester for UK programs.

Semester Specific Information

UK Time Allocation

For semester 2012B, the UK has been awarded 249 hours on Gemini North and 175 hours on Gemini South.

The UK oversubscription for semester 2011B was 4.4 for Gemini North and 2.1 for Gemini South.

ITC output by email

To speed up and improve the technical assessment process, all proposers are requested to submit PDF files of their Integration Time Calculator input and output via email. Send all input and output (as listed on the output page) to the address ukgemini AT with the subject "ITC results for proposal XXX" replacing XXX with your proposal submission number.

NEW for 2012B

2012B PIT

There is an entirely new Phase 1 Tool (PIT) for semester 2012B that must be used for all applications. Most notably, a single proposal can now request time from both Gemini North and South so a proposal with the same science goal at both telescopes only need make one application, rather than the two that have previously been required.

The new PIT can be downloaded from this link: 2012B PIT.

2012B limited RA ranges

Due to the withdrawl of the UK from Gemini, the UK has only been allocated time up to December 31st 2012. As such, the RA ranges accessible to UK programs is more limited than that reported on the Gemini websites. The RA range accessible to UK proposals is:

Accessible Restricted Innaccessible
North non-LGS 19h - 9h 17h - 19h 9h - 11h 11h - 17h
LGS 20h - 8h 18h - 20h 8h - 9h 9h - 18h
South 19h - 8h 16h - 19h 8h - 9.5h 9.5h - 16h

e2V CCDs on GMOS-N

GMOS-N has the new e2V deep depletion CCDs. This has been accounted for in the ITC so be sure to update all exposure times accordingly for repeat submissions.

Exchange time

In semester 2012B there will be no Gemini-Keck exchange time.

There will be 4-8 classical nights available for Gemini-Subaru exchange time in 2012B. Due to the cooling system incident and commissioning of Hyper Suprime Cam, there will be limited availability for some instruments and significant downtime on Subaru.

New time allocation procedure

Starting in semester 2011B, Gemini implemented a slightly altered set of observing conditions and method of queue filling the aim of this is to produce more efficient allocation of telescope time, and result in fewer disappointed band 3 PIs.

From here on, only 80% of partners queue time will be allocated to band 1-3 programs; the remainder of the time will be for band 4 or poor weather programs. A new catagory of CC80 has been introduced, which corresponds to one magnitude of extinction, or 40% transparency. The PIT, OT, and other software will be updated to include this category.

Thus, if a partner's allocation in 11B is for example 100 hours, and 10 hours are assigned to classical programs, then 72 hours will be filled by band 1-3 programs at ITAC. The band boundaries will still be drawn at 30% of the initial full allocation, nominally 27 hours in bands 1 and 2, and 18 hours in band 3.

Requirements for UK Proposals

Due to the lack of a UK template for the new PIT, the UK Gemini office will accept proposals adhering to the new general PIT guidelines (recommended, especially for joint proposals), but will still accept those using the old UK specific content guidelines outlined below:

Joint proposals should follow the length and format rules of the Principal Investigator's partner country. The other partner countries will not penalise joint proposals if this format does not exactly conform to their rules.

  • Number of collaborators - a maximum of 12 collaborators.
  • Title - a maximum of 12 words.
  • Summary - a maximum of 200 words.
  • Scientific Justification - a maximum of 1000 words.
  • Technical Information - a maximum of 1000 words.
  • Band 3 Consideration Text - a maximum of 500 words.
  • Figures - one page, see below.
  • Publications from PATT time over last 4 semesters - a maximum of 12 publications.

ALL figures must fit on one page when the proposal is saved as a PDF file using the UK NGO style sheet. Figures can be in any of several formats including PDF (preferred) GIF, JPG, RTF, TEXT. Postscript attachments are not accepted. There is no control over how the PIT places your figures when it saves as pdf. If it does not place all your figures on one page, then you should use another program to produce a single page pdf containing all the figures, and attach this in the PIT.

Further Considerations

Classical programs

Please note the minimum request for classical programs is 1 night. Classical programs must specify the observing conditions that they require to complete their science goals. If good observing conditions are required (better than IQ=85% and CC=70%, or WV=80%) then PIs must also specify a back-up program requiring worse observing conditions than the main program (or indicate that no back-up program is available). The details of the back-up program should be provided in a one page attachment. If the observing conditions at the telescope are worse than required by either the main or the back-up program then the telescope will revert to queue observing. In this case the classical program will not be re-scheduled.

Band 3 tab

PIs who would like their program to be considered for Band 3 (as well as Bands 1 and 2) must fill out the Band 3 tab. This allows the PI to specify a worse set of observing conditions, a minimum useful science time and some Band 3 specific considerations. More advice about Band 3 programs is available.

The minimum science time is the time required in Band 3 to produce a scientifically useful dataset. The Band 3 Consideration Text should briefly outline the Band 3 strategy. For example a PI with a large sample of objects requiring good observing conditions, may decide in Band 3 to observe fewer objects in worse IQ conditions, and that observations of a particular one of these objects would be scientifically useful. In this case the text should briefly describe the science returns from the smaller sample and from the one particular object and the minimum useful time should be the time to observe the one object. In some cases all observations may be required for useful science, in which case the minimum useful time is the same as the total time.

The TAC ranks all the programs, and then, for those that are in Band 3, considers whether they are likely to get observed. The information in the Band 3 tab will help the TAC make this decision, and also allow any changes for Band 3 to be scientifically and technically assessed.

Proposals for multiple telescopes

It is not possible to propose more than one telescope per proposal, i.e only one of GN, GS, Subaru, Keck can be quoted in a single proposal (the PIT now only permits one telescope to be selected per proposal). Proposers wishing to use multiple-telescopes for the same science program are requested to submit copies of the proposal, one for each of the different telescopes required.

PIT - Save as PDF - UK style sheet

PIT allows you to save your proposal as a PDF file, using the buttons on the Summary page. There is now a style sheet for UK proposals, called "UK NGO", that has smaller margins than the default style sheet. Proposals will be circulated to the UK TAC as PDF files created using this style sheet. In particular, proposers should make sure that all their figures fit onto one page (see the Requirements for UK Proposals above for more details).

PIT sections for previous awards

Please fill in the sections in the PIT describing the status of previously awarded Gemini data (reduced, analysed, published), and listing the related proposals submitted to other telescopes.

Check for duplications

Please use the PIT button under the Observations tab to query the Gemini Science Archive for duplicate observations.

Minimum time request

Proposers are advised to set and justify a realistic minimum total time. This is useful for two reasons:

  • If your proposal is ranked on the borderline, there may not be enough time left to give you your full request. Your minimum time justification will help the TAC decide whether it is scientifically useful to give you less than your requested time.
  • If your proposal is joint with other partners, but only the UK ranks it highly, it will help the UK ITAC member decide whether your proposal is scientifically useful with just the UK time.
Note that the UK NTAC does not normally allocate less than the requested time for Band 1 or Band 2 programs.