|HST Call for Proposals and HST Primer for Cycle 24|
Observations that are no longer proprietary (see Section 1.4.7) are available for analysis by interested scientists through direct retrieval from the HST Data Archive or from the Hubble Legacy Archive (HLA). The retrieval is free and does not involve financial support. The HST Archival Research (AR) Program can, however, provide financial support for the analysis of such data sets. AR Phase I proposals must outline a management plan for analyzing the data (see Section 9.7). Detailed budgets are due in Phase II only (as is the case for GO and SNAP Proposals; see Chapter 11 for details). Proposals for AR funding are considered at the same time, and by the same reviewers, as proposals for observing time, on the basis of scientific merit. Two categories of archival proposals are available, Regular AR and Legacy AR, depending on the size of the funding request. An AR Proposal may be submitted by a non-U.S. PI if there are one or more U.S. Co-Is who request funding (see Section 11.4).
This cycle, we particularly encourage AR Proposals aimed at exploiting the data obtained as part of the Frontier Fields Program, and those designed to exploit UV data under the UV Initiative (see Section 6.3). We also encourage the submission of proposals that combine HST archival data with data from other astronomical missions, such as the datasets maintained at the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST).Please also note that the Hubble Source Catalog (HSC) provides a resource for visit-based WFC3, ACS, and WFPC2 source lists in a single master catalog with roughly 100 million sources. This may be of particular interest to developing Legacy and Calibration AR proposals. A few potential examples of value-added projects that might utilize the HSC are listed in Section 7.4 of the HST Primer.3.4.1 Regular AR ProposalsThe general goal of a Regular AR Proposal is to analyze a subset of data from the HST Archive to address a specific scientific issue. The analysis must improve on the previous use(s) of the data, or the scientific questions addressed must differ from those tackled by the original programs that obtained the data.There is no limit to the amount of funding that may be requested in a Regular AR Proposal. The majority of the awards in recent cycles have been under $120,000, with a median around $50,000. However, STScI actively encourages the submission of more ambitious AR Programs for which larger amounts of funding may be justified. Budget details are not required in the Phase I submission, however the effort detailed in the Management Plan of the PDF attachment (see Section 9.7) should be commensurate with the level of funding to be requested in the Phase II submission. For reference, 19 Regular AR Proposals were approved in Cycle 22, and 35 were approved in Cycle 21.
3.4.2 Legacy AR Proposals
• The main difference between a Regular and a Legacy AR Proposal is that the former aims at performing a specific scientific investigation, while the latter will also create data products and/or tools for the benefit of the community. While Legacy AR Proposals will be judged primarily on the basis of scientific merit, the importance and broad applicability of the products produced by the Legacy Proposal will be key features in judging the overall scientific merit of the proposal.It is a strict requirement for Legacy AR Proposals that the proposed data products be created and distributed to the community in a timely manner. Data products should also be delivered to STScI in suitable digital formats, to allow dissemination via the HST Data Archive or related channels.It is anticipated that Legacy AR Proposals will be larger in scope and requested funds than most Regular AR Proposals. While there is no lower limit on the requested amount of funding, it is expected that most Legacy AR Proposals will require at least $120,000, and possibly up to a few times this amount, to accomplish their goals. Commensurate with the expected scope, Legacy AR Proposals are allowed to be multi-year projects, although this is not a requirement. Multi-year projects will be funded on a yearly basis, with continued funding beyond the first year subject to a performance review. Legacy AR Proposals will be evaluated by the TAC (see Section 6.1.2) in conjunction with Large and Treasury GO Proposals (see Section 3.2.3 and Section 3.2.6). Budget details are not required in the Phase I submission, however the effort detailed in the Management Plan of the PDF attachment (see Section 9.7) should be commensurate with the level of funding to be requested in the Phase II submission. Descriptions of past programs are available on the HST Treasury, Archival Legacy and Large Programs webpage.
The ‘Scientific Justification’ section of the proposal (see Section 9.1) should include a description of the scientific investigations that will be enabled by the final data products, and their importance. The ‘Analysis Plan’ section (see Section 9.6) should describe the plans for data analysis, the data products that will be made available to STScI and the community, the method of dissemination, and a realistic time line.3.4.3 Calibration AR ProposalsCalibration Proposals (see Section 3.2.4) may also be submitted as AR Proposals. AR Proposals are appropriate in cases where the necessary data have already been taken, or for programs that do not require specific data but aim to develop specialized software for certain HST calibration and data reduction tasks. Examples of topics that have been addressed by Calibration Programs of the type discussed here are:For a complete description of the instrument calibration plans/accuracies, and for other potential topics, please see the Scientific Instruments webpage.Users submitting Calibration Proposals must contact the appropriate instrument group (accessible via the STScI Helpdesk; see Section 1.5) to discuss their program prior to submission.
3.4.4 Theory ProposalsThe opportunity exists under the HST Archival Research Program to obtain financial support for theoretical research. Research that is primarily theoretical can have a lasting benefit for current or future observational programs with HST, and it is appropriate to propose theory programs relevant to the HST mission. We particularly encourage submission of Theory Proposals that aim to support analysis of data taken as part of the Frontier Fields Program. In recent cycles, approximately 5% of the total HST proposal funding has been used to support Theory Proposals.A Theory Proposal should address a topic that is of direct relevance to HST observational programs, and this relevance should be explained in the proposal. Funding of mission-specific research under the HST Theory Program will be favored over research that is appropriate for a general theory program (e.g., the NASA Science Mission Directorate Astrophysics Theory Program; ATP). The primary criterion for a Theory Proposal is that the results should enhance the value of HST observational programs through their broad interpretation (in the context of new models or theories) or by refining the knowledge needed to interpret specific observational results (a calculation of atomic cross sections may fall under the latter category). The results of the theoretical investigation should be made available to the community in a timely fashion.As with the other AR Proposals, there is no limit to the funding that may be requested in Theory Proposals. The majority of awards in recent cycles has been under $120,000 with a median around $50,000. Budget details are not required in the Phase I submission, however the effort detailed in the Management Plan of the PDF attachment (see Section 9.7) should be commensurate with the level of funding to be requested in the Phase II submission.Theoretical research should be the primary or sole emphasis of a Theory Proposal. Analysis of archival data may be included, but should not be the main aim of the project. GO or AR Proposals which include a minor component of theoretical research will be funded under the appropriate GO or AR Program.
A Theory Proposal may be submitted by a non-U.S. PI if there are one or more U.S. Co-Is who request funding (see Section 11.4).Award amounts for Theory Proposals are anticipated to be similar to those made for Regular AR Proposals (see Section 3.4.1), for which the majority in recent cycles have been under $120,000, with a median around $50,000. STScI also allows the submission of more ambitious proposals for which larger amounts of funding may be justified. For reference, 27 Theory Proposals were approved in Cycle 22, and 11 were approved in Cycle 21.
The ‘Scientific Justification’ section of the proposal (see Section 9.1) should describe the proposed theoretical investigation and also its impact on observational investigations with HST. Review panels will consist of observational and theoretical astronomers with a broad range of scientific expertise (see Section 6.1). They will not necessarily have specialists in all areas of astrophysics, particularly theory, so the proposals must be written for general audiences of scientists. The ‘Analysis Plan’ section of the proposal (see Section 9.6) should discuss the types of HST data that will benefit from the proposed investigation, and references to specific data sets in the HST Data Archive should be given where possible. This section should also describe how the results of the theoretical investigation will be made available to the astronomical community, and on what time-scale the results are expected.
• In general, any HST data that you wish to analyze must reside (or be expected to reside) in the Archive, and be released from proprietary rights by the start of Cycle 24 (October 1, 2016). All data taken for the Multi-Cycle Treasury Programs and for the Frontier Fields Program are eligible for AR Programs.
• Programs that require funding for Archival Research and also new observations should be submitted as two separate proposals: one requesting funding for the Archival Research, and the other proposing the new observations. The proposals should refer to each other so that the reviewers will be aware that the proposals are part of the same project.
• STScI encourages the submission of AR Proposals that combine HST data with data from other space-missions or ground-based observatories, especially those data contained in the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST). STScI is an active partner of the Virtual Observatory (VO), and MAST is implementing VO technology to make its data holdings available. In particular, the MAST Data Discovery Portal is available at http://mast.stsci.edu/explore. The Discovery Portal is a one-stop Web interface to access data from all of the MAST supported missions, including HST (in particular the Hubble Legacy Archive- HLA, and Hubble Source Catalog- HSC), Kepler, GALEX, FUSE, IUE, EUVE, and Swift-UVOT.
• The data obtained by the HST Treasury Programs, which are described on the HST Treasury, Archival Legacy and Large Programs webpage. Community-contributed high-level science products from imaging and spectroscopic surveys (including GOODS, GRAPES, and GEMS) are available from the MAST High Level Science Product webpage.