[ASA] 2019A Anglo-Australian Telescope Call for Large Program Proposals

Travis Stenborg travis.stenborg at astronomyaustralia.org.au
Wed Aug 29 14:01:31 AEST 2018

2019A Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) Call for Large Program Proposals



Background:   The AAT Consortium aims to provide opportunities for
astronomers to make effective use of the AAT's unique capabilities to
address major scientific questions through Large Programs using any of the
following general-user instruments at the AAT: 2dF+AAOmega, 2dF+HERMES, or
KOALA. (NB: Veloce is not being offered for Large Programs in the round.)


This Call:   The AAT Consortium is issuing this request for Large Program
proposals to commence in Semester 19A and receive an initial allocation of
time through to (at most) the end of Semester 20B. All proposals will be
evaluated by the Australian Time Allocation Committee (ATAC). Ambitious
projects are encouraged; in some past semesters, Large Programs have been
allocated almost 50% of the available time. Existing AAT Large Program
commitments are listed at https://aat.anu.edu.au/science/observing/long-term


Deadline:   Proposals for Large Programs should be submitted to ATAC by 22
September 2018, at 17:00 (Australian Eastern Daylight Time; UTC + 11 hrs).


Submission:   All proposals should be submitted with the AAT's online
application system Lens, which will open on the day this call is made.
Non-standard page limits and section headings will apply as outlined below.



The case for a proposed Large Program must include:


1. A major, compelling and feasible scientific program. The proposal should
focus on key questions that the observational data would address, but should
also outline anticipated secondary uses of the data by the broader
community. 'Major' in this context will generally mean programs requiring 50
nights or more (there is no set upper limit), possibly extending over
several semesters. The science will be expected to be ground-breaking and
not just incremental. Proposers need to discuss what their program will
achieve in comparison with other on-going and future programs on similar
timescales. The scientific program should be described in no more than 5
pages (including figures, tables, and references).


2. An observing strategy describing the provision of the input target
sample, the detailed plan for the observations (number of nights including
the standard allowance for weather, cadence of time-critical observations,
and total duration of the project), the proposed instrumental setups,
constraints on weather conditions or timing of observations, signal-to-noise
or other figures of merit required to achieve the science goals, and any
special support needed for the observations. The number of targets, required
data quality, sensitivity limits and other relevant information should be
rigorously justified. Programs requiring multiple visits to the same field
should present a strategy for updating targets to achieve optimum
efficiency. The observing strategy should be described in no more than 2


3. A management plan outlining the collaboration involved in the program,
the sharing of responsibilities for scientific management; the planning of
observations; the carrying out of observations; data reduction; quality
control at each of these stages; data release to the community and
compliance with International Virtual Observatory Alliance standards; and
finally, data analysis and exploitation by the proposing team. Specifically,
the plan should address the following issues.


a. Data reduction procedures and requirements: what are the team's specific
data reduction needs and their capacity to support these needs?


b. Funding: what resources have been secured (or are being secured) to
support team personnel, and what is the duration of this funding?


c. Observing management: what observing experience (directly applicable to
the AAT instrument to be used) do team members have, and how many have
indicated a willingness to participate in observing runs? The AAT Consortium
expects all Large Program teams to be self-supporting at the AAT, with a
team of observers who are already trained in the operations of the
instrument(s), and able to train other team members to the required level of
competence, without additional support from AAT staff. Large Program teams
are expected to assist the Observatory in maintaining Instrument User
Manuals, and in monitoring the long term performance of the instruments they


The plan should outline the roles of all team members and how members
contribute to carrying out the program. Proposers may also wish to suggest a
publication strategy, including the process for determining authorship. The
management plan should be described in no more than 2 pages.


4. A project timeline, including the observational and analysis aspects,
with milestones and regular reviews by ATAC during the program.


5. An outreach plan. Proposers should plan for significant public outreach,
and the proposal should explain the broader impact of the project. The
timeline and outreach plan, together, should be described in no more than 1



Teams:   Proposers are encouraged to form broad collaborations across the
Australian and international communities in support of their programs. The
Principal Investigators for Large Programs will generally be expected to
commit to the project as the prime focus of their research over the
program's duration. Proposers should also familiarise themselves with ATAC's
Policies and Procedures (see
https://aat.anu.edu.au/science/observing/policies) and the existing AAT
Large Program commitments (see


Selection:   The number of Large Programs to be awarded time will be
determined by ATAC with a preference for a small number of very high quality
programs delivering high impact science as quickly as possible. Within these
guidelines, ATAC will award time based on considerations including the
relative scientific merit and impact of Large Programs, long-term programs
and standard programs; the quality of the management, publication and
outreach plans; and the phasing of programs to provide a steady rollover of
Large Programs for the longer term. A panel of independent expert referees
will be asked to provide comments on the proposals; proposers will be given
the opportunity to respond to the referees' comments. ATAC will, at its
discretion, seek progress reports (which may be refereed) at various stages
of the project.


Anyone considering submitting a Large Program should contact the SSO
Director ( director.sso - at - anu.edu.au ) to discuss their plans.


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