JWST Cycle 1 Proposal Deadline Extension Request

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing significant, and often unpredictable, disruption to almost all aspects of everyday life in 2020, including scientific research and researchers. As a mitigating step, following the recommendation of the JWST User Committee (JSTUC), proposers may request an extension of the proposal deadline to 8 pm Eastern time on December 3, 2020 if they are faced with unexpected events that occur shortly before the primary deadline, 8 pm Eastern time on November 24, 2020.

These extensions are designed to “level the playing field” for those impacted adversely by changing circumstances close to the deadline. Most proposers are expected to conform to the nominal schedule.

Criteria for granting an extension

  • The JSTUC identified this process as a contingency mechanism to help alleviate the impact of hard-to-plan-for events that occur shortly before the primary deadline including, but not limited to, illness, changes in childcare status, or an unexpected change in teaching schedules.
  • Extensions are granted on a proposal-by-proposal basis. An initial version of the proposal must be submitted prior to the request.
  • The extension should be requested by the Principal Investigator (PI), unless that is precluded for reasons described in the submission. The request must identify the proposal number.
  • The unexpected circumstances must have a major impact on the proposal preparation. Extensions will not be granted if there is a reasonable expectation that the PI could have taken steps to adjust their preparation schedule to account for the issue(s) in question.


Proposers must complete an initial proposal submission through APT, which includes the following minimum information:

  • Information for all Investigators
  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Science Category
  • Science Keywords
  • Draft Science Justification PDF Attachment

All other nominally required fields in APT are optional for this initial submission. While APT may show red “error” X’s on some items, these can be ignored for the initial submission. Please indicate in the "Submission Comments" field that this is an extension request. See this knowledge base article, or contact the JWST Help Desk for assistance.

With this information complete, proposers should then request an extension by email  to jwstreview@stsci.edu. The request must specify the proposal number (generated by APT), and describe the circumstances that justify granting an extension, including why it was not possible to take account of those circumstances in developing the proposal. Requests will be subject to review by the STScI Director; a formal response will be given on whether the extension is approved. 

In general, requests should be submitted by 8 pm Eastern time on November 19 to allow sufficient time for review. However, we recognize that this may not be possible in all cases and appropriate consideration will be given to extenuating circumstances. Proposers requesting an extension must make that request prior to the November 24thprimary deadline.

The initial proposal submission must include at least the full list of investigators, the proposal abstract, and the science category as well as science keywords. This information is crucial in allowing STScI staff to start the process of verifying the panel assignment and selecting reviewers. A draft scientific justification will need to be attached to allow the proposal to be submitted via APT. Proposers granted an extension will be able to modify all submitted materials until 8 pm Eastern time on December 3.

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