Policy 11 - Protection of Science Programs Associated With Guaranteed Time

The individuals and teams defined in Policy 9 are entitled to protection for their proposed observations so that they will, in fact, be able to obtain JWST data from such observations before General Observers obtain similar data on the same targets. With this goal in mind, STScI will require observing time proposals to be submitted by all holders of JWST guaranteed time. The scientific objectives of these proposals, for investigators selected through the AO process, must fall within the purview of the original response to the AO 01-OSS-05.  Exceptions to this policy directive must be approved by NASA HQ. 

Each person holding guaranteed time shall submit a proposal describing the set of scientific programs that will be executed during the 12 months after commissioning using the guaranteed time. These proposals, including a target list, identifying specific observations of specific targets, will be submitted to the STScI Director, no later than 7 months prior to the call for Cycle 1 GO Proposals; any modifications made with respect to prior proposals must be justified explicitly. Only scientific observations using specific instrumental configurations on specific targets for specific integration times will be protected. Duplication policies are defined in the JWST Duplicate Observations Policy and will be made available to JWST observers 5 months prior to each call for proposal. GTO programs for a particular cycle may only use instrumental modes available to GO observers in that cycle. There will be no protection rights for entire classes of objects, (e.g., quasars), nor for broad scientific programs (e.g., morphological classification of galaxies in all observable clusters of galaxies).  GTOs may propose to use a portion of their time for "targets-of-opportunity," such as supernovae, novae, comets, etc. provided such a proposal is consistent with their original science goals, sufficiently specified that other similar phenomena may be pursued by GOs and compliant with the duplication policy.

The specific details of proposal submission, content, and format will be developed by STScI. Conflicts between different GTOs, arising from requests for nearly identical observations on the same target, shall be resolved by the STScI Director. The Director shall notify the appropriate GTOs of such conflicts and encourage them to work out their own solutions. If this method fails, the STScI Director, shall apply the following priority system to resolve the conflict:

Priority 1 - GTOs utilizing their own instrument to pursue programs described explicitly in their original AO proposal to NASA for which they were granted guaranteed time or in the appropriate NASA-ESA-CSA agreements or in the ESA or  CSA equivalent documents;

Priority 2 - IDSs and TS who pursue programs described explicitly in their original proposal;

Priority 3 - GTOs pursuing programs described explicitly in their original proposal that desire to use other JWST instruments than their own.

Although this priority structure should be employed in general, the STScI Director may seek advice concerning conflicts from the Telescope Allocation Committee (TAC).

The list of protected programs for the first science year must be finalized by a date to be determined by the STScI Director but no less than two months before the Call for Cycle 1 GO proposals, and will be circulated with the instructions to astronomers who wish to submit GO proposals.  If the specific programs in this protected list have not been carried out within the first science year, they will be executed in the following year unless they are specifically withdrawn prior to the solicitation for the following cycle. In the latter case, GOs may propose to make these observations. If the current cycle GTO programs are subsequently ruled to be duplicative of selected GO programs the affected GTOs will be permitted to change their program to remove the duplication.

Each GTO will submit plans for the second and third years in a similar fashion (e.g. in sufficient time that the information is available for the next round of GO selection). Details of the timing and other requirements for modified proposals will be developed by the STScI. These provisions apply to all NASA selected GTOs.  NASA and ESA agree that the above provisions will apply to the ESA members of the NIRSpec Team established by ESA. NASA and CSA agree that the above provisions will apply to the CSA members of the FGS/TFI team established by CSA. NASA and the European MIRI PI agree that the above provisions will apply to the European MIRI team members.

Approved by:

Edward J. Weiler, Associate Administrator, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters.  1/5/2010

Paul Hertz, Chief Scientist, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters. 12/30/2009

Jon A. Morse, Director, Astrophysics Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters.   12/7/2009

Eric P. Smith, JWST Program Scientist, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters.  11/30/2009

In accordance with Contract NAS5-03127, Statement of Work, Section A.4, A.5, the following guidelines are policies promulgated by the NASA Associate Administrator (AA) for the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) with regard to the implementation of the JWST science mission. Any reference to JWST Program or Project refers to the NASA JWST Program or Project unless explicitly noted otherwise.

Notable updates

Originally published