As of this writing, the 78 proposals requesting Gemini QuickStart observations are in the hands of the NOAO TAC, which is charged with evaluating the proposals based on scientific merit. The TAC will meet in early May, and the rankings of the various subpanels will be merged for discussion in a "Merging TAC" meeting. The Merging TAC will also consider issues related to technical use of the telescope; the distribution of required observing conditions; and the balance of large, medium, and small programs in making recommendations on a final ranking of proposals to forward to the International Gemini Observatory.
In late June, the International Telescope Allocation Committee will meet in Hilo at the Gemini Observatory to merge the requests from all the partner countries and to make final recommendations on the allocation of observing time, consistent with international agreements governing partner shares. Following the ITAC meeting, a final ranking and observing queue will be formulated by the IGPO.
Information on the final rankings and the observing schedule should be communicated to NOAO shortly thereafter, following which we will contact investigators by e-mail and regular mail as soon as possible. Successful QuickStart proposals will be assigned staff contacts at the Gemini Observatory, who will assist the Principal Investigator in preparing the equivalent of a Phase II observing program.