Survey GO Proposals

Survey programs are designed to increase the observing efficiency by allowing for short "filler" observations when gaps are identified in the scheduling process. Survey proposals can be Small, Medium or Large. They are evaluated together with regular programs in the same size category, but the requested observing time is drawn from a separate pool. JWST Survey programs are analogous to Snapshot programs on the Hubble Space Telescope.

Accepted Survey Proposals are allocated time to cover observations of targets drawn from a large sample. However, there is no guarantee that any individual target will be observed because the observations are placed on the Long Range Plan after the observing sequence has been determined for GO/GTO programs. The number of observations actually executed will depend on the availability of appropriate schedule gaps. In general, only a small fraction of the targets will be observed. We anticipate that up to 200 hours may be available for Survey observations in JWST Cycle 1; the TAC will select programs requesting up to 1200 hours to provide appropriate sky coverage. All accepted Survey programs will terminate at the end of Cycle 1.

There is no commitment on the part of STScI to obtain any specific completion factor for Survey programs.

Survey programs have the following characteristics:

  • Proposers request time to cover observations of a specific number of targets; those targets can be drawn from a larger sample.
  • PIs are not required to give a complete list of all targets and their coordinates at the time of submission. Example observations should be provided at the time of submission. You must specify the number of targets and describe their distribution on the sky, and unambiguously identify the targets (e.g., reference to target lists in papers) or give a detailed description of the target characteristics. Accepted programs will be required to submit a full target list within one month of the notification of acceptance. Survey programs may not be used for targets of opportunity.
  • Observations of any particular target cannot be guaranteed; the point of the Survey program is to have many different options from a class of objects that can be inserted into the observing schedule. Survey Proposals must target sources distributed over a wide range of Right Ascension (given the JWST field of regard) to ensure that potential targets are readily available for scheduling. Examples of programs that are not well suited to Survey Proposals (because they do not help improve scheduling efficiency) are surveys of targets confined to a restricted region (e.g., the LMC) or surveys limited to a few targets (e.g., surveys of two or three specific galaxy clusters). 
  • Moving targets are acceptable.
  • Individual observations should be limited to no more than 30 minutes of science integration time, not counting instrumental overheads.
  • Observations should have minimal constraints to maximize their schedulability.
  • In the case of duplication, Regular GO proposals have priority over Survey Proposals since observations of individual Survey target are not guaranteed.
  • Proposers may not assign priorities to individual observations in a Survey program. Targets will be selected for execution based on the available observatory resources.
  • In general, shorter-duration and spatially well-distributed Survey targets have a higher number of scheduling opportunities and a higher chance of being executed than longer duration and/or spatially clustered Survey observations.
  • Survey Proposals cannot request time in future cycles.
  • Small and Medium Survey Proposals are assessed by the review panels, in conjunction with other GO programs. Survey programs requesting more than 75 hours will be treated as Large Programs, and reviewed by the TAC.
  • Calibration Proposals may also be submitted as Survey Proposals. As with GO Calibration programs, all data obtained will have no exclusive access period unless proposers specifically request and justify an exclusive access period. Successful proposers will be required to deliver documentation and data products and/or software to STScI to support future observing or archival programs. Users submitting Calibration Proposals must contact the appropriate STScI instrument branch (via the JWST helpdesk) to discuss their program prior to submission.

Small and Medium Survey proposals have a default exclusive access period of 12 months. However, because of the potential benefit to the community at large, proposers should consider seriously the possibility of requesting a shorter access period of 3 or 6 months. While this is not a primary criterion for acceptance or rejection, the reduced period can bring additional benefits to any proposal and will be weighed by the reviewers accordingly (see JWST Cycle 1 Proposal Selection Procedures). Large Survey proposals have no exclusive access period. 

Next: Calibration GO Proposals