JWST Cycle 1 Proposal Policies and Funding Support

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This page describes the policies for JWST Cycle 1 General Observer (GO) and Archival (AR) proposals. GO and AR proposals are solicited in all areas of Astrophysics.  

Proposer types and submission eligibility

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.

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. 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 PI remains responsible for oversight of the award, the proper conduct of research, the appropriate use of funds (regardless of whether or not the PI received support through the award), and the administrative requirements such as the submission of progress reports. Up to two Co-PIs can be identified with appropriate justification clearly specifying the leadership roles and responsibilities of each Co-PI.

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 continue to be satisfied via the normal selection process, as it has been with the Hubble Space Telescope. 

STScI does not require the signature of an Authorizing Official (AO) on JWST 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.

Funding support and funding eligibility

Subject to availability of funds from NASA, STScI will provide financial support to eligible U.S. investigators on approved JWST Cycle 1 programs. Budgets are not due at the Cycle 1 GO/AR proposal deadline, but are required by the budget submission deadline, May 20, 2021.  

“U.S. investigators” (including postdocs and graduate students) are defined as named PI’s or Co-I’s who are:

  1. U.S. citizens residing in the United States, or abroad if salary is being paid only by a U.S. institution.  (STScI funds are not intended to support U.S. investigators who live abroad full-time even if they do not receive a salary from a non-U.S. institution.  Investigators in this status may not affiliate with a U.S. institution merely for the purpose of requesting STScI grant funds.), or
  2. U.S. permanent residents and foreign national investigators working in the United States if salary is being paid only by a U.S. institution.

STScI funding cannot be used in any way to support research efforts by non-U.S. investigators or institutions.  Regardless of where they reside, an investigator who has a formal or contractual affiliation (funded or unfunded) with a non-U.S. institution is considered a “non-U.S. Investigator” and may not apply for funding.

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 Cycle 1 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.

Data rights and duplications

Depending on the Proposal Category (see JWST Cycle 1 Proposal Categories), observers may have exclusive access to their science data during an exclusive access period. For Small and Medium GO Proposals, this period is normally 12 months following the date on which the data are archived. At the end of the exclusive access period, the data become available without restriction through the MAST Archive.

Submitters of Small and Medium GO Proposals who wish to request a shorter exclusive access period of 3 or 6 months, or who are willing to waive their exclusive access rights altogether, should specify this in the ‘Special Requirements’ section of the proposal (see APT Special Requirements). Because of the potential benefit to the community, particularly (but not exclusively) in the case of Survey programs, proposers should give this serious consideration (see JWST Cycle 1 Proposal Selection Process).

Data taken under the Treasury, Calibration, and Large Program categories will by default have no exclusive access period. Any request for non-zero exclusive access periods for programs in these categories must be justified in the APT Special Requirements and will be subject to review by the TAC. 

Observations taken as part of the GO program cannot duplicate those specified by Guaranteed Time Observations (GTOs) or the Director's Discretionary Early Release Science (DD ERS) program unless there is an appropriate scientific justification. Generally, an observation is considered a potential duplication if it is on the same astronomical target or field, with the same instrument in the same mode, with the same spectral resolution and spectral range, and an on-target exposure time within a factor of 4 of the previously-scheduled observation. Duplicate observations must be justified explicitly in the proposal. Proposers should refer to the JWST Duplication Policy for the complete description of the policy requirements.

Next: JWST Cycle 1 Proposal Categories

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