[ASA] 2021B Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) Call for Proposals
lucyna.chudczer at astronomyaustralia.org.au
lucyna.chudczer at astronomyaustralia.org.au
Tue Feb 16 20:56:34 AEDT 2021
2021B Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) Call for Proposals
The main proposal deadline for the AAT in Semester 2021B (1 August 2021 - 31
January 2022) is:
16 March 2021, at 17:00
Australian Eastern Daylight Time (UTC + 11 hrs)
Proposals to the Australian Time Allocation Committee (ATAC) must follow the
stralia.org.au> ATAC Policies and Procedures and should be submitted with
the AAT's online application system Lens ( <https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/UETMC81V0PT2Zq2Au1r2OF?domain=lens.datacentral.org.au>
https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/UETMC81V0PT2Zq2Au1r2OF?domain=lens.datacentral.org.au ), which will open on 1 March 2021.
Applying for AAT Telescope Time through ATAC
ATAC accepts Australian and non-Australian proposals and allocates both Open
Time and Paid Time on the AAT. A proposal is Australian if at least half of
the proposers and the lead proposer are based at Australian institutions;
otherwise it is non-Australian. Open Time is only available to Australian
proposals. There is no charge to Australian astronomers for the use of Open
Time. Paid Time is available to both Australian and non-Australian
proposals. Inquiries regarding the terms and conditions for AAT Paid Time
can be made to Astronomy Australia Limited (
<mailto:info at astronomyaustralia.org.au> info at astronomyaustralia.org.au).
ATAC will rank all Open Time proposals by scientific merit, and time will be
allocated on this basis (subject to practical constraints) until the
available Open Time is fully allocated. More details are available in the
stralia.org.au> ATAC Policies and Procedures document.
1. COVID-19 pandemic update
We anticipate that all astronomers will need to observe remotely using one
of the remote observing stations or from home. The latter is restricted to
experienced observers and requires a good internet connection. Exceptions to
observe in person from SSO will be granted on a case-by-case basis. Any
changes to this policy will be advertised on
.au> the AAT web pages.
2. AAT is operated by a consortium of Australian universities
Since 1 July 2018, AAT operations have been managed and funded through a
consortium of Australian universities, led by the Australian National
University (ANU). Operating procedures for AAT observations following the
transition have changed little, with the exceptions that successful
applicants are expected to cover their own travel and accommodation costs to
the observatory and will have more limited expert assistance on site.
3. Proposal preparation
* Time available for new proposals: accounting for existing Large
Programs, Director's time, instrument commissioning and Paid Time
allocations, there are expected to be at least 90 nights available for new
proposals in Semester 21B (31 dark, 24 grey, 35 bright).
* Due to the reduction in expert assistance at the telescope,
proposers are required to describe the relevant experience and expertise of
the team with the instrument(s) being applied for. Observers are encouraged
to liaise with the Observatory staff sufficiently in advance of their run to
gain such training as is needed for their run.
* There are currently two Large AAT Programs: the DEVILS survey and
the GALAH survey. DEVILS has been allocated 11.5 dark nights at certain RAs,
and GALAH has been allocated 35 bright nights. New programs with targets
outside of these RAs are more likely to be scheduled. The RA information for
Large AAT Programs is available at
* Based upon historical weather trends, about 33% of time is lost to
bad weather. Proposers are therefore required to multiply their time
requirement by a factor of 1.5 to allow for time lost to weather.
4. Anonymous proposal review trial
The AAT Consortium places a high value on equity and integrity and it
commenced a trial of an implementation of the dual-anonymous proposal review
process for regular proposals in 2020B. The trial will continue in 2021B. In
this process, the identities of the proposing team are concealed from
reviewers. The goal is to enable reviewers to focus on the science, not the
scientist. Several studies have shown that a reviewer's attitude toward a
submission may be affected, even unconsciously, by the identity of the lead
author or principal investigator (see the
Anonymous-Double Blind Review Annotated Bibliography). Proposers are
required to anonymise their proposals following the guidelines below.
Sufficient care should be used, especially if resubmitting a proposal from a
previous cycle or other submission. Lead investigators should avoid directly
disclosing their identity in the science or technical justification
Names and affiliations will not be included in the proposals generated for
the ATAC reviews.
* Anonymity Guidelines for Proposers.
These guidelines will help conceal the identities of the proposers and
ensure a fairer proposal evaluation process.
a. Do not include author names or affiliations anywhere in the proposal
text. This includes but is not limited to page headers, footers, diagrams,
figures, or watermarks. This does not include references to past work, which
should be included whenever relevant (see below).
b. Referencing is an essential part of demonstrating knowledge of the
field and progress. When citing references within the proposal, use third
person neutral wording. This especially applies to self-referencing. For
example, replace phrases like "as we have shown in our previous work (Doe et
al. 2010)" with "as Doe et al. (2010) showed..." Do not refer to previous
projects using AAT or other observatories in an identifying fashion. For
instance, rather than write "we observed another cluster, similar to the one
we are proposing under AAT program #XXXXX," instead write "AAT program
#XXXXX has observed this target in the past..."
c. We encourage references to published work, including work citable by
a DOI. It may be occasionally important to cite exclusive access datasets or
non-public software that may reveal (or strongly imply) the investigators on
the proposal. We suggest proposers use language like "obtained in private
communication" or "from private consultation" when referring to such
potentially revealing work.
d. Do not include acknowledgements, or the source of any grant funding.
Examples of re-worked text can be found on the
stsci.edu> The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) website.
A strict compliance with these guidelines is required. Feedback on these
changes are welcome and should be sent to the ATAC Technical Secretary (aat
- at -
5. Instrument availability and upgrades
* Available AAT instruments include: 2dF+AAOmega, 2dF+HERMES, KOALA
and Veloce. Veloce was provisionally accepted in 2020 and will be offered on
a shared-risk basis until it reaches full acceptance.
* Target of Opportunity mode is available with 2dF+AAOmega,
2dF+HERMES and KOALA. The Target of Opportunity policy is available at
.au> https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/uYtiCnx1jniPqDP1CP388h?domain=aat.anu.edu.au. Semester 2021B will
be the last semester ToO observations will be offered.
* Additional instrumentation status information is available at
6. Lens proposal submission system
All proposals should be submitted with the AAT's online application system
<https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/UETMC81V0PT2Zq2Au1r2OF?domain=lens.datacentral.org.au/> Lens, which will be opened on 1 March
2021. This system is a user account-based system, which allows for improved
security and better tracking of past and current proposals. There is a
FAQ available for Lens online, or available via the FAQ tab in Lens itself.
Lens system has recently been transitioned into Data Central. Any issues or
bugs encountered by proposers should be reported to Simon O'Toole (
<mailto:simon.otoole at mq.edu.au> simon.otoole at mq.edu.au ).
All new users must register with the system.
Note that users cannot be added to proposals if they are not registered in
Lens. Please ensure that all investigators on a proposal have registered
well before the deadline!
For any queries or comments, and the additional user support please contact
Shona Madoc, AAL Program Administrator at
<mailto:lens_support at astronomyaustralia.org.au>
lens_support at astronomyaustralia.org.au.
7. Remote observing
All observations are now done remotely due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Observers who are not experienced with their requested instrument may need
to find additional help or prior training, which may require eavesdropping
on other observations that use the same instrument. If a visit to the
Observatory is required, it must be approved by the RSAA Director.
Remote observing stations are available at ANU, ICRAR, Swinburne, UNSW,
USQ, UQ and Australian Astronomical Optics (North Ryde). The Observatory is
open to establishing new remote observing stations.
How to Apply for AAT Time
Proposal submission details
Prepare your main proposal offline, including an abstract, target list,
science case, and technical justification. The science case and technical
justification together should be in PDF format, no more than three pages
total, with two pages for the science case and one page for technical
justification. Those three pages should include all references and figures,
use 11pt font (or larger), and have at least 10mm margins. Numerical
referencing should be used (e.g. "as shown by .", instead of "as shown by
Smith et al. (2017)" ). Colour figures are accepted. Other document formats
will not be accepted.
Instrument status and policies
All ATAC applicants should check the latest version of
stralia.org.au> ATAC Policies and Procedures, the latest
.au> Instrumentation Status for the AAT and recent
.au> Policy Announcements. Those seeking long term status should refer to
.au> Long-term Programs page. For further clarification on any issue, please
contact the ATAC Technical Secretary (aat - at -
Full technical details, outlining how you derived your time estimates,
observing constraints, and any special requests should be included in the
scientific case (preferably under a separate section heading).
Important: Proposers should demonstrate that their team has the skills and
experience with the required observing modes to effectively conduct the
proposed observations. Please include this information under a separate
heading "Team Expertise and Background". Note that ATAC will conduct their
pre-grading without access to this section. Once the ranked list is set,
ATAC will be given access to the "Team Expertise and Background" information
associated with each proposal recommended for implementation. At this point,
proposals may only be flagged for downgrade (resulting in a non-selection of
the proposal), if a team is clearly unqualified to undertake the work
Proposals should be written so that the content and significance is
understandable by astronomers with different backgrounds. Proposals should
also be written using the Anonymity Guidelines.
If your proposal seeks time on two instruments, outline carefully the
relative requirements of the different instrument set-ups, including the
split in observing time between the instruments.
If the observations are essential to the completion of a student's PhD
thesis, then a full explanation must be given in the science case. Special
consideration may be given to proposals involving PhD students when
attempting to schedule proposals near the scientific ranking cut-off.
After including overheads (detector readout, calibrations and telescope
slewing), observers are required to multiply their time request by 1.5 to
account for bad weather.
A list of the principal targets (field centres for 2dF programs) should be
prepared as a separate PDF document. The target list should contain target
name, RA (h m s), Dec (d m s), target brightness, and priority. There is a
2-page limit for this target list PDF file. Other document formats will not
If feasible, please provide a list of backup targets that can be observed in
the weather conditions that are worse than required for the principal
targets. Any backup project must use the same instrument as the main
project. More information on backup considerations can be found in
.au> Guidelines for AAT Observers.
Submitting your proposal
When your proposal details are ready, submit your application to ATAC
through Lens, the AAT's online proposal submission system. As noted above,
this is a user-account-based system and all investigators on a proposal must
The AAT Consortium requests all publications based upon data obtained
through the AAT include the following acknowledgement:
Based [in part] on data obtained at Siding Spring Observatory [via program
XXX]. We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which the AAT
stands, the Gamilaroi people, and pay our respects to elders past and
Dr Lucyna Kedziora-Chudczer | Program Manager
ATAC Technical Secretary
Astronomy Australia Ltd (Sydney Office)
P: +61 2 9372 4842
E: lucyna.chudczer at astronomyaustralia.org.au
<mailto:lucyna.chudczer at astronomyaustralia.org.au>
AAL is committed to equity and diversity and endeavours to create an
environment in which every individual is treated with dignity and respect.
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