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The policies governing the JWST Director's Discretionary Early Release Science (DD ERS) program in Cycle 1 are established in this Call for Proposals.

Late Breaking News

August 1, 2018: DD-ERS Preparatory Funding Budget

We are now soliciting budget proposals for preparatory funding in FY19 and FY20 for the DD-ERS programs. The deadline for these budgets is Thursday, September 13, 2018 (5 p.m. your local time). Budgets must be submitted via

Details on budget requirements, templates, and general funding information can be found on JWST DD ERS Preparatory Funding Budget Requirements and JWST DD ERS Funding and Institutional Endorsement.

March 27, 2018: DD-ERS Formal Budget Proposal Deadline Suspended

Based on recommendations made by the JWST Standing Review Board, NASA is re-scheduling JWST’s launch window for 2021. Given those circumstances, STScI will delay the Cycle 1 GO/AR proposal deadline until no earlier than February 1 2020

A revised proposal schedule will be developed in consultation with the JWST Users Committee, the JWST Project and representatives from the European and Canadian Space Agencies. DD-ERS Budgets are not requested at this time.

February 23, 2018: DD-ERS Formal Budget Proposal Deadline Update

To accommodate ERS investigators who are also submitting proposals for Cycle 1, budget deadline was changed to Monday, April 16, 2018. 

February 12, 2018: DD-ERS Formal Budget Proposal Deadline

Formal budget letters have been sent to eligible DD-ERS investigators. The budget proposal deadline is April 16, 2018, 5pm (your local time)It is expected that these formal budget proposals will adhere closely to the preliminary budgets submitted with the DD-ERS proposals.  See JWST DD ERS Funding and Institutional Endorsement for further information.

August 18, 2017: Submission Help

If you are having trouble submitting please let us know. For more information see: APT Submission Questions.

August 18, 2017: Update on ERS Proposal Preparation for NIRSpec MOS Target Catalogs

Proposals using NIRSpec Multi-Object Spectroscopy should submit a target catalog as described in JWST DD ERS Special Observational Policies and JWST DD ERS Proposal Preparation. Complete the NIRSpec MOS APT instructions (available as of APT 25.2.3), following the NIRSpec MOS template guide. Please note that the MSA planning tool (MPT) is found within APT. No PDF catalog is required. Catalogs uploaded through MPT/APT replace the need for catalogs to be attached to the PDF.  

August 10, 2017: Clarification on Management Plan

There is no formal Management Plan required in the ERS proposal submission. Awarded programs will submit management plans with their formal budgets.

July 24, 2017: Clarification on the Observing Description and the Technical Description

The instructions for the Proposal Narrative have been slightly modified. Proposers should now provide in the PDF attachment a Technical Description of their program, explaining how the requested observations are justified, and contribute to the overall goals described in the Science Justification. See the JWST DD ERS Proposal Preparation section for instructions. The technical description is part of the confidential proposal submission. Note: the proposal templates have also been updated, renaming the "Description of Observations" section to "Technical Description".

The Description of Observations is now a field APT. This field is analogous to the “descriptions of observations” section in HST Phase II proposals, where one would provide a summary description of the observations requested, including targets, instruments, and modes, for reference by program coordinators and contact scientists. This field now appears just after entering the APT Proposal Information. Unlike the technical description, the details provided in this section will be published for accepted proposals. 

July 13, 2017: Clarification on NIRSpec MOS Pre-imaging Data Sources

DD ERS proposers may not apply for NIRSpec MOS programs that require NIRCam pre-imaging to identify targets. Planning for NIRSpec MOS science must be based on catalogs and source information available at the start of Cycle 1, which can include data to be obtained after the ERS proposal deadline. See JWST DD ERS Special Submission Requirements for further information.

June 21, 2017: APT 25.2 Released

APT version 25.2 has been released:

You can read What's New on, and watch training videos on

June 2, 2017: APT 25.1.1 and ETC 1.1 Released

APT version 25.1.1 has been released:

You can read What's New on, and watch training videos on

In addition, JWST ETC version 1.1 features faster performance, new target acquisition modes, improved timing models, and more: see the Release Notes for details.

As a note, when you log in to the ETC 1.1, your old workbooks will be marked "Out of Date":

  • When you load them, they will open in Read-Only mode: this ensures that your version 1.0 results are not overwritten and remain available to you for reference.
  • If you copy an out of date workbook, and load the copy, all its calculations will be automatically updated for you with the current version of the software.
  • For more information, see "ETC 1.1 and Out-of-Date Workbooks"

About this Document

We invite scientists to participate in the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Director's Discretionary Early Release Science (DD ERS) program. We anticipate allocating up to 500 hours to support up to 15 teams in providing early access to substantive, representative datasets to enable full scientific exploitation in Cycle 2 and beyond.

This document establishes the goals, requirements, policies for the JWST Director's Discretionary Early Release Science (DD ERS) program. Notices of Intent (NoI) to propose submissions are requiredonly teams who have submitted NoIs are permitted to submit proposals. Proposers are encouraged to follow the JWST DD ERS Proposal Checklist in preparing to submit their JWST DD ERS Proposal.

Important Dates

The DD ERS Proposal Deadline is 

Friday, August 18, 2017, 8pm EDT

Only teams who have submitted Notices of Intent (NoI) to propose by the 

March 3, 2017

 deadline are permitted to submit proposals in response to this Call. 

The DD ERS Budget Deadline is 

April 16, 2018, 5pm (your local time)

Who's Responsible

Members of the Science Mission Office at STScI are responsible for the oversight of the JWST science program selection process. The members involved include Neill Reid (Associate Director for Science and Head of the Science Mission Office), Jennifer Lotz, Amaya Moro-Martin, Louis-Gregory Strolger, and Technical Manager Brett Blacker.

Where to Get Help

Submit questions to the JWST helpdesk at  Consult JWST documentation at, and see for additional tools and resources. 

Next: JWST DD ERS Proposal Checklist

Science Justification Templates

Templates for JWST DD ERS Proposal PDF attachments: