New Opportunity: GNIRS Science Campaigns
NOAO is pleased to announce a pilot program aimed at encouraging long-term proposals for major science campaigns capable of exploiting the powerful capabilities of the new Gemini Near-Infrared Spectrograph (GNIRS).
The goal of this pilot program is to provide opportunities to schedule observations with high scientific potential that require significant blocks of time on Gemini. Successful campaign science proposals will be awarded 15 to 20 nights over the next two to three years. Proposers must agree to make all Gemini data and ancillary information available publicly following a minimal proprietary period (less than six months), a requirement similar to precedents set by the NOAO Survey Program and the SIRTF Legacy Program, among other examples. The scientific merit of these proposals will be evaluated by the Time Allocation Committee (TAC). However, the observing time to support proposals of this magnitude will come from the pool of discretionary time available to the NOAO Director. The Director will use the following criteria in making final time awards:
- intrinsic scientific merit as evaluated by the TAC
- breadth and quality of the scientific team and its demonstrated track record
- enhancement of undergraduate education through involvement in research
- potential value of the archival database to other users
- plans to manage data reduction and archiving, and deliver data products, in a timely fashion
In assembling teams to carry out these programs of scale, Principal Investigators are particularly encouraged to involve scientists and students from four-year liberal arts colleges. NOAO has played an important role historically in providing these scientists and their students with access to facilities. As NOAO transitions to an era when fewer opportunities are available for training via “contact nights” on smaller facilities, we are seeking innovative ways like this to continue to provide opportunities for faculty and students located at institutions that have traditionally produced first-rate students who pursue PhDs in astronomy.
Watch for the 2004B Call for Proposals for more details on this opportunity. For more information on GNIRS, see www.noao.edu/ets/gnirs/manuals.htm.
This announcement originally appeared in the December, 2003 NOAO Newsletter.