JWST Proposal Submission Policies

This page describes the policies for JWST Cycle 3 General Observer (GO) and Archival (AR) proposals. GO and AR proposals are solicited in all areas of Astrophysics.  

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Who may submit

Investigators of any nationality or affiliation may submit and be included on JWST proposals. Institutional endorsement is not required for proposal submission. All proposals are reviewed without regard to the nationalities or affiliations of the investigators.

Principal Investigator and Co-Investigators

Each proposal must have a Principal Investigator (PI), who is responsible for the scientific leadership of the project. A Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) option is also available, allowing two or more proposers to share the scientific responsibility of the project. Any other individuals who are actively involved in the proposal should be listed as Co-Investigators (Co-Is). The proposal itself must be submitted through APT, by either the PI or any Co-I. 

Proposals by non-U.S. PIs that have one or more U.S. Co-Is must designate one of the U.S. Co-Is as the Administrative PI. Some U.S. PIs, including students and postdoctoral fellows, may also need to designate an Administrative PI. This person will have overall oversight and responsibility for any budget submissions by the U.S. Co-Is. All proposals have the option of designating a Contact Co-I, who will serve as the contact person for that proposal. However, the Administrative PI remains responsible for oversight of the award, the proper conduct of research, the appropriate use of funds (regardless of whether or not the Administrative PI received support through the award), and the administrative requirements such as the submission of progress reports.

Co-PIs can be identified with appropriate justification clearly specifying the leadership roles and responsibilities of each Co-PI in the Team Expertise section.

ESA and CSA scientists

An agreement between NASA and ESA states that a minimum of 15% of JWST observing time (on average over the lifetime of the JWST project) will be allocated to scientists from institutions in ESA member states. Similarly, an agreement between NASA and CSA states that a minimum of 5% of JWST observing time (on average over the lifetime of the JWST project) will be allocated to scientists from Canadian institutions. It is anticipated that these requirements will be satisfied via the normal selection process, as it has been with the Hubble Space Telescope. 

Institutional endorsement

STScI does not require the signature of an Authorizing Official (AO) on JWST Science GO/AR Proposals. However, some institutions do require AO approval of all submitted proposals. It is the responsibility of each PI to follow all applicable institutional policies concerning the submission of proposals.


Subject to availability of funds from NASA, STScI will provide financial support to eligible U.S. investigators on approved JWST Cycle 3 programs. Budgets are not due at the Cycle 3 GO/AR proposal deadline, but are required by the budget submission deadline, April 11, 2024 by 5:00pm US Eastern Daylight Time.

Canada-based and ESA member-state proposers should seek funding from their respective home institutions or national funding agencies. CSA and ESA employees at STScI are eligible for funding.

See JWST Grant Funding and Budget Submissions and the General Grant Provisions (GGP) for further funding information.

Proposal confidentiality 

Proposals submitted to STScI will be kept confidential to the extent allowed by the review process. For accepted proposals, the following information will become publicly accessible: names of PI, Co-PIs, and Co-Is, project titles, abstracts, description of observations, special scheduling requirements, and details of all targets and exposures. The APT files of approved proposals become publicly accessible in their entirety. The scientific and technical justifications of accepted proposals remain confidential.

Next: JWST Proposal Categories

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