JWST Filling Out the APT Proposal Form

This article provides a walk through of the various parts of the Astronomer's Proposal Tool (APT), and the software through which JWST proposals are developed and submitted.

On this page

As described in JWST Proposal Checklist, a proposal consists of a completed APT proposal form and an attached PDF file. This article describes the items that must be filled out in the APT proposal form; this information is also available from the context-sensitive help in APT. Not every item described here needs to be filled out for every proposal. For example, some items are only relevant for observing proposals, while others are only relevant for archival proposals. APT will automatically let you know which items need to be filled out, depending on which proposal type you choose. JWST Preparation of the PDF Attachment describes the items that must be addressed in the attached PDF file.



Introductory material

 Title

The title of your proposal should be informative, and must not exceed two printed lines. Please use mixed case instead of all upper case.

Abstract

Write a concise abstract describing the proposed investigation, including the main science goals and the justification for requesting observations or funding from JWST. The abstract must be written in standard ASCII and should be no longer than 20 lines of 85 characters of text. This limit is enforced by APT.

Category 

Select one of the following categories:

• GO—General Observer Proposal
• Survey—Survey Proposal
• AR—Archival Research Proposal


Proposals for Director’s Discretionary Time submitted outside of the normal review cycles should select:

• DD—Director’s Discretionary Time Proposal

Legacy

(This item appears in the APT form only for AR Proposals)

Mark this keyword if you are submitting an AR Legacy Proposal.

Theory

(This item appears in the APT form only for AR Proposals)

Mark this keyword if you are submitting an AR Theory Proposal.

Cloud Computing

(This item appears in the APT form only for AR Proposals)

Mark this keyword if you are submitting an AR Cloud Computing Studies Proposal

Data Science Software

(this item appears in the APT form only for AR Proposals)

Mark this keyword if you are planning to request funding for the development of software products that will be made available to the community for the purposes of analyzing JWST data.

Calibration

Mark this keyword if you are submitting a Calibration Proposal. This keyword can be set for both GO and AR Proposals.

Treasury

(This item appears in the APT form only for GO Proposals)

Mark this keyword if you are submitting a GO Treasury Proposal.

GO-Archival

(This item appears in the APT form only for GO Proposals. Once checked, the set of flags for AR proposals will appear.)

Mark this keyword is your proposal combines a request for new data with significant archival research.

Cycle

For a Cycle 3 Proposal, enter "3" (this is the default).



Expandable Menus

Make sure to mark the APT coversheet appropriately using the menus that expand out on the Proposal Information page, such as "Explain unschedulable observations", "Supply Meteoroid Zone Justification", "Request custom time allocation", "Future Cycles", and "Coordinated telescopes", providing all the requested information.  If these fields are not marked and filled out in the APT coversheet those requests might not be met, even if they are described in the proposal. 




Requested Resources

Science Time and Charged Time

(This item appears in the APT form for GO and Survey Proposals)

APT calculates the Science Time and the Charged Time. The Science Time is the amount of time that the instruments spend on sky, observing targets, while the Charged Time also includes all of the instrument and observatory overheads needed to support the science observations. Long-Term Proposals should provide a year-by-year breakdown of the hours requested using the "Future Cycles" pull-down menu where "Next Cycle" corresponds to Cycle 4 and "Third Cycle" corresponds to Cycle 5. If this field is not marked and filled out, the Long-term request might not be met, even if it is described in the proposal. The APT file should only contain the observations corresponding to the current cycle. APT files for time awarded in Future Cycles will be requested at a later time. 

Request Custom Time Allocation

To request custom time allocation, please follow instructions here



Exclusive Access Period

(This item appears in the APT form only for GO and Survey Proposals)

Enter the requested exclusive access period (formerly known as a proprietary period), of either 0, 3, 6, 12 (months), that will apply to all observations in the program. The default exclusive access period is 0 for Large and Treasury GO Programs, and 12 for Medium GO Programs, and 12 months for Small GO and Survey programs. See JWST Data Rights and Duplications for more information. The benefits of or need for a non-default exclusive access period must be discussed in the "Special Requirements" section of the proposal.

 


Scientific Category

Specify one Scientific Category from the list below. Please adhere to our definitions of these categories. If you find that your proposal fits into several categories, then select the one that you consider most appropriate. If you are submitting a Calibration AR Proposal, then choose the Scientific Category for which your proposed calibration will be most important. STScI reserves the right to re-assign proposals to categories to ensure the highest chance of the proposal being reviewed by the proper expertise.

• SOLAR SYSTEM ASTRONOMY: This includes all objects belonging to the solar system (except the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Moon), such as planets, minor planets, comets, asteroids, planetary satellites, and Kuiper-belt objects.

EXOPLANETS AND EXOPLANET FORMATION: This includes all objects belonging to extrasolar planetary systems, and observations of their host stars, as well as all studies of circumstellar and proto-planetary disks.

• STELLAR PHYSICS AND STELLAR TYPES: This includes stars of all temperatures and evolutionary phases, including pre-main sequence stars, supernovae, pulsars, X-ray binaries, CVs, and planetary nebulae. It also applies to ISM and circumstellar matter in the Milky Way.

• STELLAR POPULATIONS AND THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM: This includes resolved stellar populations in globular clusters, open clusters or associations, and the general field of the Milky Way and other nearby galaxies. Studies of color-magnitude diagrams, luminosity functions, initial-mass functions, internal dynamics and proper motions are in this category.

• GALAXIES: This includes studies of the initial mass function, stellar content and globular clusters in distant galaxies, galaxy morphology and the Hubble sequence, and low surface-brightness galaxies. Starbursts, IR-bright galaxies, dwarf galaxies, galaxy mergers and interactions may fall under this heading. This category also includes studies of gas distribution and dynamics in distant galaxies. Starbursts, IR-bright galaxies, dwarf galaxies, galaxy mergers, and interactions may also fall under this heading if the emphasis is on the ISM. 

THE INTERGALACTIC MEDIUM AND THE CIRCUMGALACTIC MEDIUM: This category includes the physical properties and evolution of absorption-line systems detected along the line of sight to quasars, inflow and outflow of gas to the CGM/IGM, and other observations of the diffuse IGM, and the spectroscopy and imaging of damped Ly-alpha systems. This category will be merged with Galaxies to form the panels.

SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES AND ACTIVE GALAXIES: This encompasses active galaxies and quasars, including both studies of the active phenomena themselves, and of the properties of the host galaxies that harbor AGNs and quasars. The definition of AGN is to be interpreted broadly; it includes Seyfert galaxies, BL Lac objects, radio galaxies, blazars, and LINERs.

LARGE-SCALE STRUCTURE OF THE UNIVERSE: This includes studies of the structure and properties of clusters and groups of galaxies, strong and weak gravitational lensing, galaxy evolution through observations of galaxies at intermediate and high redshifts (including for example, the Hubble Deep Fields), cosmology in general, the structure of the universe as a whole, cosmological parameters, the extra-galactic distance scale and reionization.

Proposals in these Scientific Categories will be reviewed by panels of the same names.

Alternate Category

If your science goals straddle two separate science categories, users have the option to add an alternate category which will allow keywords from both categories up to a limit of 10 total keywords, thus providing more flexibility in where the proposal will be assigned for review.

Keywords

From the list of Scientific Keywords (see Appendix - Scientific Keywords), please select those that best describe the science goals of the proposal. Your choice here is important. Based on the keywords that you specify, your proposal will be assigned to specific reviewers during the proposal review. Please give as many keywords as possible, but not more than five. You must give at least two.



Coordinated Telescopes

Proposals with Coordinated Observations should provide the requested information regarding the Partner Observatory using the "Coordinated Telescopes" pull-down menu.

ALMA Hours

(This item appears in the APT form only for GO Proposals)

If you are asking for both JWST and ALMA observing time then list the requested number of ALMA hours. You should also provide detailed information on the ALMA observations in the "Coordinated Observations"  section of the proposal. If you are not requesting any new ALMA observations, then enter "0" here.

Chandra ksec

(This item appears in the APT form only for GO Proposals)

If you are asking for both JWST and Chandra observing time then list the requested number of Chandra kiloseconds. You should then also provide detailed information on the Chandra observations in the "Coordinated Observations" section of the proposal. If you are not requesting any new Chandra observations (or if you have Chandra time that has already been awarded), then enter "0" here.

HST Orbits

(This item appears in the APT form only for GO Proposals)

If you are asking for both JWST and HST observing time then list the requested number of HST orbits. You should then also provide detailed information on the HST observations in the "Coordinated Observations" section of the proposal. If you are not requesting any new HST observations (or if you have HST time that has already been awarded), then enter "0" here.

NASA Keck Nights

(This item appears in the APT form only for GO Proposals)

If you are asking for both JWST and NASA Keck observing time, then list the requested number of NASA Keck nights. You should also provide detailed information on the NASA Keck observations in the "Coordinated Observations" section of the proposal. If you are not requesting any new NASA Keck observations, then enter "0" here.

NOIRLab Nights

(This item appears in the APT form only for GO Proposals)

If you are asking for both JWST and NOIRLab observing time then list the requested number of nights on NOIRLab telescopes. You should then also provide detailed information on the NOIRLab observations in the "Coordinated Observations" section of the proposal. If you are not requesting any new NOIRLab observations (or if you have NOIRLab time that has already been awarded), then enter "0" here.

The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) is now NOIRLab. Proposers may see references to both NOIRLab and NOAO as this change propagates.

NRAO Hours

(This item appears in the APT form only for GO Proposals)

If you are asking for both JWST and NRAO (VLBA, VLA or GBT) observing time then list the requested number of NRAO hours. You should then also provide detailed information on the NRAO observations in the "Coordinated Observations" section of the proposal. If you are not requesting any new NRAO observations (or if you have NRAO time that has already been awarded), then enter "0" here.

XMM-Newton ksec

(This item appears in the APT form only for GO Proposals)

If you are asking for both JWST and XMM-Newton observing time then list the requested number of XMM-Newton kiloseconds. You should then also provide detailed information on the XMM-Newton observations in the "Coordinated Observations" section of the proposal. If you are not requesting any new XMM-Newton observations (or if you have XMM-Newton time that has already been awarded), then enter "0" here.



Proposal PDF Attachment

List the location on your computer of the PDF file to be attached to your submission. This file should contain the items described in JWST Preparation of the PDF Attachment.



Proposal Observing Description 

Describe in 1 to 2 paragraphs the observations requested in this proposal, indicating targets, instruments, modes, and any special requirements. This section should provide an overview of the proposed observations for reference by the program coordinators and instrument scientists, who will be reviewing and implementing the observations. This observing description will be publicly available for accepted proposals, unlike the Technical Justification section of the PDF attachment, which always remains confidential.



Team Expertise and Background

Selecting the arrow to the left of the items in the Tree Editor of APT will show subordinate sections that can be selected to enter additional information. For Proposal Information, this includes Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator information (see below), and the Team Expertise and Background selection. The Team Expertise and Background selection provides a free-format text box to enter the relevant information. The suggested length is one page. See JWST Anonymous Proposal Reviews for details on what information to provide here. Please note: the box supports ascii text. Special text markup and LaTeX characters will not show correctly.



Investigator Information 

Principal Investigator

Enter the first and/or last name of the PI. Please use standard ASCII. Entering the first few letters (at least two) and pressing enter or tab will bring up a window containing a list of matches from our proposer database. Clicking on your entry will supply APT with the address information. For U.S. PIs, the institutional affiliation is defined as the institution that will receive funding if the proposal is approved.

If you are not in the database, click on "Add a New Investigator". If you are in the database, but the address information is incorrect, click on "Update This Address." Both clicks will take you to the MyST web page so you can be added to, or update information in, the database. Once you have entered your information into MyST, you must redo the database search and supply APT with the updated information.

APT will not compromise the anonymous status of the proposal. It will keep investigator and institutional information, as well as the separate Team Expertise and Background section, from the TAC and Panels until they are requested by an authorized person to be utilized in a last sensitivity check.

Contact

If one of the CoIs (or another individual) is to serve as the contact for a proposal, then the Contact keyword box should be checked. The Contact is the person the Principal Investigator has designated to receive all (non-budgetary) questions/information on the proposal and to be the official voice for the team. More than one CoI may be designated as the Contact. Once designated, only the coIs identified as Contact may make Change Requests in an approved proposal so that conflicting requests are not made.

For Large and Treasury Programs, we will contact the proposer within 1-2 weeks of the submission deadline if we need to verify our understanding of the appropriate scheduling constraints. If a Co-Investigator is to serve as the contact for this verification, then the Phase I Contact box should be set accordingly. Any person may be designated as the Contact.

Co-Investigators

Co-investigators (Co-Is) can be added in APT as necessary. Once a program is approved, a Co-I can only be added with prior approval from the JWST Science Policies Group. By default, APT will provide one blank Co-I template. Please add other Co-Is or delete as necessary. There is a limit of 999 Co-Is on any proposal. For each Co-I, enter the name and select the correct person from the list of database matches. As for PIs, new investigators or address updates should be submitted via MyST. For U.S. Co-Is the institutional affiliation is defined as the institution that will receive funding if the proposal is approved.

If a proposal has a non-U.S. PI and one or more U.S. CoIs, then you must select the US Admin CoI box (in the PI form), then select one of the U.S. CoIs.  This indicates which U.S. CoI will be the Administrative PI for overseeing the grant funding for U.S. investigators (see JWST Proposal Submission Policies). Proposals with a US PI are optionally allowed to designate a Co-I to be the US Admin PI. (e.g., if the PI is a grad student not allowed to hold a grant by their institution). 



Targets

JWST observing proposals must specify all of the proposed targets (except for Survey proposals) in the Astronomer's Proposal Tool. See the APT targets page for more details.



Observing Summary

(This item appears in the APT form only for GO and Survey Proposals)

An APT observation is the basic proposal design element, consisting of one astronomical target and one JWST observing mode using a corresponding APT observation template. See the APT Observations page for more details.

Special Requirements

Special requirements in APT are defined parameters used to constrain observation scheduling for scientific reasons, or to indicate other situations requiring specific actions. See the APT Special Requirements page for more details. All Special Requirements must have a scientific justification, discussed explicitly in the PDF portion of their proposal. Special requirements may only be added under exceptional circumstances after a proposal is accepted for execution.

Verifying Special Requirements

Certain special requirements can force observations into the portion of a target's visibility that is within the Micrometeoroid Avoidance Zone (MAZ). In this case, APT will flag the observations. If the observations are flagged, then proposers should re-evaluate their special requirements to determine whether the observations can be made outside the MAZ. If the observations can only be obtained using the special requirements, then proposers must provide a justification in APT, using the "Supply Meteoroid Zone Justification" pull down menu in the Proposal Information page. See the APT Micrometeoroid Avoidance article for more information.


Next: JWST Preparation of the PDF Attachment




Notable updates


Originally published