JWST Master Class Workshop
Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)
3700 San Martin Drive
Baltimore, MD 21218
Have questions? Please contact STScI.
STScI will host approximately 25 participants for a 4.5-day, in-depth Master Class workshop in Baltimore, MD on November 18-22, 2019. The Master Class will include topics related to JWST proposal planning, including user tools, instrument modes, example science cases, documentation, and help resources, as well as guidance with teaching these topics to others.
Graduates of the Master Class are expected to give back to the JWST user community in two ways:
- By hosting proposal-preparation training activities at their home institution(s)
- By serving as a local expert for colleagues in the months before the JWST Cycle 1 General Observer (GO1) proposal deadline in Spring 2020
Included for Master Class participants:
- Full travel support to Baltimore for the 4.5 day Master Class at STScI.
- Comprehensive presentation materials, supplies, and local travel support needed for hosting regional training activities (for participants at U.S. institutions).
- Live support from STScI expert staff on the day of your regional event(s).
Individuals selected to participate in the Master Class are expected to prepare for the workshop at STScI, to attend the workshop in person, and to host regional events. Serving as a resource for your local scientific community will be highly rewarding but also requires significant effort. As a participant in the Master Class, you must:
- Prepare for the workshop: Individuals selected to participate in the Master Class are expected to have basic knowledge and familiarity with the primary proposal planning tools and support materials (e.g. APT and ETC). To ensure all participants begin the Master Class with the same foundational knowledge, exercises in advance of the November workshop will be provided. The estimated time to complete the exercises will be ~8-10 hours over the 1-2 months prior to the November workshop. The Master Class will build on this basic foundation to provide participants with a depth and breadth of knowledge they need to train their local community in JWST proposal preparation during the most critical proposal period.
- Attend in person: Participants must be able to travel in person to Baltimore the week of November 18-22, 2019 for the Master Class.
- Host training activities open to your local community: Master Class graduates will be required to host at least one JWST proposal-planning training activity. The training activity must be open to all scientists in their local area in a three-month time frame prior to the proposal deadline, nominally January to April 2020. Possibilities for activities include, but are not limited to, full-day workshops, in-person "office hours" at various local campuses, and multi-session tutorials. Partnering with others to host events is encouraged, especially if motivated by increased reach or if the training activity is in a scientist-dense area.
- Be a resource to your local community: Master Class graduates must also make themselves available as a local expert available to answer questions and provide guidance to general proposers in their region, outside of their official events and up until the proposal deadline. This could be availability via email, phone, or regular office hours so that your colleagues have a local touchstone for simple questions during proposal preparation.
- Provide an impact estimate: Evaluations, using questionnaires to be provided by STScI, should be collected during the local training events and returned to STScI within one month of the proposal deadline. This will help STScI improve the Master Class program for future JWST proposal cycles.
Who should apply:
This call is open to all potential JWST observers, regardless of career stage or research interests. Advanced graduate students/postdocs and those from geographically-remote areas are especially encouraged to apply.
Although not required, we encourage partnered or team applications from geographically-concentrated institutions. In the case of partnered applications, STScI will host one member of the team for the November workshop in person and make a remote connection available for others.
For those from European institutions who are interested in applying, ESA will also host a similar train-the-trainer workshop in Europe in February 2020. You can get additional details from their separate Call for Applications.
Complete an online application and return it by 5 p.m. (ET) on June 03, 2019.
If you are interested in learning more about the Master Class, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
|June 3||Applications due by 5 p.m. (ET)|
Q. I plan to propose for JWST in Cycle 1, but don't have any direct experience with proposing tools at this time. How do I know I have the required level of basic knowledge to apply for the Master Class?
A. If you are willing to do some homework to get up to speed with some of the user tools (mostly APT and ETC) and then share them with your community, please apply.
Q. I have no teaching experience. Can I still apply?
A. The Master Class will train you in presentation and pedagogy. If you are willing to share those skills with your community, please apply.
Q. I am at a small college/university in a relatively remote area with little other astronomy-related interest nearby. I am interested, but should I even bother applying?
A. If you can organize training events that reach your community, then you are welcome to apply! This is not a one-size-fits-all criterion, and we'll be reviewing your Plan for Local Training Activities to see how you serve the needs of your region.
Remember, especially for participants from geographically-underdense areas, local travel support is available if you need to drive to a neighboring town.
Q. There are multiple large astronomy departments within easy driving distance of me. Will multiple people from my area be chosen?
A. We encourage partnered/team applications from areas with high densities of astronomers. One person per team application may attend the Master Class workshop in November, but other team members can view remotely and have access to all resources. Team members can help facilitate individual workshops, host at various venues, and share the organizational responsibilities. We expect this will strengthen inter-institutional relationships while reaching large segments of the JWST community.
Q. What are the minimum requirements to be eligible for this program?
A. The minimum requirements are as follows:
- Master Class participants will be required to complete pre-workshop homework to ensure everyone starts at a certain level. This homework will cover JWST user tools, such as ETC and APT, and will be available to the broader community.
- Interest in proposing to JWST Cycle 1.
- Enthusiasm for training your local community of scientists in JWST user tools.
Remote Participation and Other Opportunities
Q. I can't apply for the Master Class, but I want to attend my local workshop. Where will I be able to find this information?
A. Local workshops will be featured in the Events section of the JWST Observer website. Check back In late 2019/early 2020 to find one near you.
If there are no events accessible to you, here are a few alternative options:
- STScI will host a JWST proposal planning workshop at AAS 235 in January 2020 for general users.
- STScI will make the full suite of training and presentation materials for the Master Class available to the broader community.
- STScI will webcast and record plenary sessions during the Master Class workshop in November.
- The JWST HelpDesk is also an available resource and has (on average) a 24-hour turnaround time for more complex JWST-related questions.
Q. Is there a way for me to run a training workshop in my institute without first attending the Master Class?
A. STScI will make the full suite of training and presentation materials for the Master Class available to the broader community. You are welcome to use that to host your own workshops. Please let us know what you're planning (you can email us at email@example.com). Unfortunately, STScI cannot provide financial support.
Q. I'm unable to travel but I'm very interested in participating in the Master Class. Can I follow the workshop remotely as a Master Class participant?
A. STScI will make the full suite of training and presentation materials for the Master Class available to the broader community. You are welcome to use that to host your own workshops. Please let us know what you're planning.
STScI will webcast and record plenary sessions during the Master Class workshop in November, so the broader community can access the same training as the Master Class cohort. Unfortunately, full participation in the Master Class requires participants to be present for all hands-on training sessions and small group break-outs.
Support from STScI
Q. In the Call for Applications, what is meant by "Live support" for my local event?
A. Live support means STScI staff members will be available to support you and your workshop during your planned local training event(s).
Q. Will participants from outside the U.S. receive full travel support to Baltimore for the Master Class at STScI?
A. Yes, travel costs to the November workshop will be covered by STScI for all participants.
Q. Are there requirements/constraints/restrictions for the travel support for Master Class participants while hosting local workshops? Is there a maximum budget per Master Class participant?
A. Please note the following:
- STScI can only reimburse local travel expenses for Master Class participants from U.S. institutions.
- Travel support may only be used for travel, which means it excludes food and beverage costs.
- Master Class participants who include local travel in their plans will, after selection, work with STScI to estimate travel costs and budget appropriately. In other words, do not let a preliminary plan's travel budget deter you from applying.
Q. Is the workshop open for people outside the U.S. (or outside U.S./Europe/Canada)?
A. Yes, the Master Class program is open to all. Note that ESA will also host a similar train-the-trainer workshop in Europe in January 2020. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply to that program because of its European focus.
Q. The idea of "making myself available" to answer others' questions and issues during the proposal period seems rather open-ended. Since I may want to propose myself, how should I balance this "extra" effort beyond doing the workshop(s) so I am not overwhelmed?
A. Being a local resource outside of your planned training event(s) can suit your needs. We envision it as being responsive on a ~24-hour turnaround. This can be through email, phone, or slack, depending on your preferred method of communication. It is also ok to say "I don't know" and refer people to the JWST HelpDesk.
This does not mean you are on-call 24/7 or excluded from submitting your own proposals. As with everything in life, time management and self-accountability will be required to ensure you fulfill the commitment you agreed to as a participant of the Master Class and also get your work done. For instance, having "office hours" where you make yourself available for a defined timeframe would be a perfectly acceptable way to make yourself a resource.
Q. What is the target timeframe for running workshops?
A. We recommend the time between the release of the Call for Proposals and one month before the proposal deadline as the optimal time for your local training events.
The Application Form
Q. Is there a page limit for the CV?
A. There is no page limit for the CV. Please send your current CV and do not worry about length. Spend your time on the Plan for Local Training Activities instead.
Q. When exactly is the JWST Cycle 1 General Observer proposal deadline and when will the Call for Proposals be released?
A. The JWST Cycle 1 General Observer Call for Proposals will be released in early 2020. Exact date TBD. The proposal deadline is 3 months thereafter.