JWST Call for Proposals for Cycle 1

The policies governing the JWST General Observer (GO) and Archival Research (AR) programs in Cycle 1 are established in this Call for Proposals.

Late Breaking News

The novel coronavirus COVID-19 has changed almost every aspect of our lives. Significant uncertainties persist with regard to how the situation will evolve over the summer and fall.

Under those circumstances, and after consulting with the JWST Users Committee, STScI, NASA, ESA and CSA have decided to delay announcing a formal schedule for JWST Cycle 1 GO/AR proposals.  We anticipate providing a further update on the schedule in mid- to late-July. For planning purposes, STScI is exploring options for a proposal deadline in the fall with the Telescope Allocation Committee meeting in early 2021. The JWST launch schedule is evaluated independently by NASA. 

Recognising the challenges faced by the community, we will give at least twelve (12) weeks notice of the revised Cycle 1 proposal deadline. The JWST Call remains open and all proposal preparation tools and documentation continue to be available.

These remain stressful times for all of us. We wish the best to all members of our community and their families, particularly those affected directly by the pandemic. As always, please contact the jwst helpdesk if you have any questions.

June 9, 2020

  • APT v2020.3 has been released. APT version 2020.3 must be used to submit all proposals for JWST Cycle 1 until a new APT version becomes available. See Changes in APT 2020.3 release for information on the updates.

June 1, 2020

  • Due to the extended open period for the Cycle 1  Call for Proposals, subsequent versions of APT may be released prior to the deadline.  Proposers should use the latest version of APT to submit proposals for JWST Cycle 1 unless directed otherwise in official announcements from STScI.

March 31, 2020

  • ETC has been released. This release provides an improvement to under-the-hood process communication. No changes to any calculated results will occur, nor will you be required to copy out-of-date workbooks. Read more in the Release Notes for ETC Nano Releases article.

March 11, 2020

  • APT v2020.2 has been released. See Changes in APT 2020.2 release for information on the updates implemented in this version. 
  • Information on the currently planned calibration activities for Cycle 1 has been made available. See Explore How the JWST Will Be Calibrated in Cycle 1 page for details. These may be useful in crafting your Cycle 1 proposals, in particular, if you are planning to submit a proposal for additional calibrations, or if your science depends on specific elements of the calibration plan.

February 25, 2020

January 27, 2020

  • Support Letters for Proposed Mission Support: Proposers for observations in support of NASA/ESA missions who intend to include mission support letters should email them separately to jwstreview@stsci.edu no later than May 8, 2020. The letters should not be added or included in the PDF attachment as they would not likely be compliant with the guidelines for the dual anonymous review. When necessary, the letters will be provided to the TAC panels in the Team Expertise and Background review.

January 23, 2020

  • Most proposals can be developed using the current version of the Astronomer’s Proposal Tool (APT v2020.1.1). A final version (v2020.2) for JWST Cycle 1 will be released no earlier than March 10, 2020. This is the reference version for all Cycle 1 proposals. The list of new features in v2020.2 can be found here. The final submission of all Cycle 1 proposals must use APT v2020.2.

  • Proposers should check for potential duplications against existing GTO and ERS programs. See JWST Duplication Checking for instructions on how to check whether a proposed observation would duplicate any existing observations. GTO and ERS teams will update their observations using APT v2020.2, but will not add any new targets or additional observations of current targets. The Late Breaking News section will be used to notify the community of any such changes by March 31 2020. 

  • ETC 1.5.1 will be released 01/27/2020 and will include improvements to the thermal model and cosmic ray treatment. Please, use this version for proposal preparation. 
  • Proposers who intend to request funds for supporting resources, including support for ground-based observations, should make those intents clear in their scientific justifications. The Financial Review Committee may not approve requests to cover costs for resources in budget proposals (from successful programs) that are not justified in the approved science proposals.

About this Document

We invite scientists to participate in Cycle 1 of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The telescope and its instruments were built under the auspices of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Management of JWST's scientific program is carried out by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). JWST observing programs are allocated against wall-clock time, with up to 6,000 hours available for general observers in this cycle, divided by program sizes as 3,500 hours for Small programs (≤ 25 hours), 1,500 for Medium programs (> 25 and ≤ 75 hours), and 1,000 for Large programs (> 75 hours). Observing time has already been allocated for Guaranteed Time Observations (GTO) and Director's Discretionary Early Release Science (DD-ERS) programs. This document establishes the goals, requirements, and policies for the General Observer (GO) and Archival Research (AR) programs in Cycle 1.

The online documentation is the authority and will be updated with the latest information. 

Important Dates

The Cycle 1 proposal deadline is TBD
The Time Allocation Committee meeting date will be scheduled for late July/early August 2020.

The Budget deadline is TBD.

NASA is working towards a March 30, 2021 launch date. Cycle 1 science observations will start with the completion of commissioning, 6 months after launch. Cycle 1 will have a duration of one year. 

Science Justification Templates

Templates for JWST Cycle 1 Proposal PDF attachments:

TemplatesLaTeXMicrosoft WordPDF
For all GO, AR, and GO/DD proposals






Note: The templates have intentionally different margins, to accommodate about the same amount of text per page.

Proposers are encouraged to follow the Getting Started Guide in planning and submitting their proposals. Proposers should also be familiar with the policies on data rights, duplications, and other important topics covered in JWST General Science Policies.

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), Alessandra Aloisi (Head of the Science Mission Office), Claus Leitherer (Head of Science Policies Group), Amaya Moro-Martin, Lou Strolger, Christine Chen, Katey Alatalo, Andy Fruchter, Molly Peeples, Laura Watkins, and Technical Manager Brett Blacker. As delegated by NASA Headquarters, the selection official for JWST proposals is the STScI Director.

Where To Get Help

Submit questions to the JWST helpdesk at jwsthelp.stsci.edu.  Consult JWST documentation at jwst-docs.stsci.edu, and see jwst.stsci.edu for additional tools and resources. 

Next: JWST Cycle 1 Anonymous Proposal Review