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Last Updated  Sep 06, 2017

The DD ERS programs will be reviewed by a panel of scientists from the international astronomical community, that will make recommendations to the STScI Director. 


How STScI conducts the proposal review

DD ERS programs are selected through competitive peer review. A broad range of scientists from the international astronomical community evaluates and ranks all submitted proposals, using a well-defined set of criteria and paying special attention to any potential conflicts of interest. The review panels offer their recommendations to the STScI Director. Based on those recommendations, the STScI Director makes the final allocation of observing time.

The review panels

All DD ERS proposals will be subject to panel review. There will be four multi-disciplinary panels covering the following example science areas:

  • Exgal1 - The extragalactic distance scale, high redshift universe, galaxy assembly and evolution, lensing and galaxy clusters;
  • Exgal2 -AGNs, black holes, QSOs and gamma ray bursts;
  • Gal1 - solar system, exoplanets, debris disks, cool stars and hot stars, including supernovae;
  • Gal2 – star formation, stellar populations, nearby galaxies, the interstellar medium.

Panelists are chosen based on their experience in one or more of the areas under review. Within a panel, proposals are assigned to individual expert reviewers based on the keywords specified in the proposal (see JWST DD ERS Proposal Science Categories and Keywords for the list of DD ERS Categories and Keywords). These keywords should therefore be chosen with care. Given the breadth of topics within each panel, all proposals should be written for non-specialists.

Proposal evaluation and selection

Proposals will be chosen in research areas spanning the science themes of JWST: first light and reionization; the assembly of galaxies; the birth of stars and protoplanetary systems; and planets and the origin of life.  Proposals will also cover a range of key instrument modes and observing capabilities.  A multi-disciplinary committee of experts will evaluate and recommend a suite of proposals for observation and funding that fulfills the goals of the DD ERS and makes optimal use of the available time.

The JWST DD ERS time allocation committee (TAC) will advise the STScI Director on the projects to be selected.  DD ERS TAC members will be drawn from the US, European, and Canadian astronomical communities. The TAC will be multi-disciplinary, and proposals should be written for a non-specialist astronomical audience.

Evaluation will be based on the following criteria, assessing the potential to achieve the goals of the DD ERS program:

  • The extent to which the project will improve community understanding of JWST science capabilities and guide subsequent JWST observations.

  • The effectiveness in providing deliverables which include quantitative, data-related measurements that will support the development of Cycle 2 proposals.
  • The extent to which science-enabling products will be developed to enrich overall scientific return of the mission.

  • The credibility of the management plan for achieving the project goals in a timely manner, particularly the development and delivery of science-enabling products for the community.

  • The overall scientific merit of the program; its significance to major astrophysical sub-disciplines, and to astronomy in general.

All proposals must demonstrate that the unique capabilities of JWST are required to achieve the proposed science goals.

All proposals must be technically feasible.  Proposals must demonstrate adequate opportunities for execution of observations early in Cycle 1, and flexibility to accommodate possible changes to the start of Cycle 1 science observations.


Next: JWST DD ERS Proposal Science Categories and Keywords



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