Call for Proposals for SMA Large Scale Science and ASIAA Key Projects
Notice for 2021B:
Due to commitments to previously approved Large Scale programs as well
as ongoing maintenance, repairs, and improvements, we are not
accepting SMA Large Scale Science proposals through the SAO pool. A decision
on whether ASIAA Key Projects will be accepted from eligible PIs will
be made soon.
Opportunity for Large Scale Science and Key observing programs with the SMA
The SMA invites proposals for large resource observing projects dedicated
to answering major astrophysical questions having significant
scientific impact. These are projects requiring observing time of
order 100-1000 hours that can make efficient use of the sensitivity,
field of view, and u-v coverage of the SMA, and can take advantage of
particular strengths of the SMA such as its wide bandwidth, large
field-of-view and flexible scheduling. For a description of the
current capabilities of the SMA, please refer
to Array Status and
Technical Information. Projects requiring less than 100 hours of
observing time should propose in response to a standard
Call for Proposals.
SMA Large Scale Science proposals may be submitted to the SAO
pool by scientists from the worldwide astronomy community in addition
to those affiliated with SMA partner institutions. Accepted Large
Scale Science proposals will likely be observed over multiple
semesters, and multiple large scale observing programs may run
concurrently. However, the total amount of time allocated to
large-scale projects will not exceed 40% of SAO's available observing
time in any semester.
ASIAA Key Science proposals may be submitted to the ASIAA pool
by researchers in Taiwanese institutions, including ASIAA Hawaii.
Key Science description, which provides up-to-date information on
the ASIAA Key projects progam, including important review steps and
fraction of time available.
SMA Large Scale Science and ASIAA Key projects are subject to
extensive review and should therefore include a strong scientific
justification, and follow a phased proposal development, submission,
and review process as described below.
Prospective PIs of Large Scale Science and ASIAA Key project proposals
may submit a Notice of Intent (NoI) at any time. The NoI must include a
brief scientific justification, an estimate of the time and observing
conditions required to perform the observations and the rationale for
the use of the SMA as opposed to another facility. In addition, it
should provide a list of expected Co-I's in order to avoid conflicts
of interest in seeking expert reviewers.
The PI or a designated Co-I may be encouraged to make a comprehensive
presentation, in person or virtually, at the Center for Astrophysics
(CfA) or ASIAA, as appropriate. Presenting the proposed project to the
broader scientific community and SMA technical experts will help to
further develop scientific and technical aspects of the proposal. The
SMA science meeting regularly held at the CfA is an ideal forum for
these presentations. This process is expected to result in a robust
The full proposal should:
- Further develop the scientific justification in the context of the
current state-of-the-art and any on-going programmes in the field and
explain the legacy science value to the community.
- Justify the time and configuration requests through detailed
estimates of expected source strength and spatial
- Describe the methods required to achieve the science
- Identify those team members who will perform data reduction and
analysis, and those who will provide theoretical support to the
- Demonstrate that sufficient resources are available to the team
to enable the highest quality publications, presentations, and other
data products to be made available to the wider astronomical
- Provide a timetable and propose methods for dissemination of
results to the community.
Proposals are submitted through the My Projects page under each individual PI's
SMA Project Account. The proposal should not exceed seven pages,
comprising up to four pages of scientific and technical justification,
up to two pages of figures, tables and references, and a one-page
management plan. In addition, details of the observing plan and
schedule should be included as an addendum to the proposal.
To ensure timely review, proposers of large-scale projects should
consult with the SMA TAC chair to ensure sufficient lead-time for
discussion and proposal development, and the external review process
described in the next section, so that the external reviews can be
completed by the next regular proposal deadline. To prepare and allow
time for this process, a
Notice of Intent is first required,
in advance of the submission of a full proposal.
Due to commitments to previously approved Large Scale programs, we are
not accepting SMA Large Scale Science proposals through the SAO pool
It is TBD if ASIAA Key Projects will be accepted for 2021B from eligible PIs.
The deadlines for ASIAA Key Projects for consideration in the
2021B cycle are:
Notice of Intent for ASIAA Key Projects: TBD
Full submission deadline: TBD
Proposals will be evaluated by expert external reviewers solicited by
the SMA SAO or ASIAA TAC Chairs on an ad-hoc basis. The primary role
of the external reviewers will be to provide written reviews assessing
the scientific merit of the proposal. These written reviews will aid
the SMA TAC in its comprehensive scientific and technical review of
the proposal. At this point, the expert reviews will be available to
the TAC members to guide their individual evaluations and the review
of the large-scale, key and regular proposals will be merged. All
proposals, including the large-scale and ASIAA Key projects, will be
assessed and ranked following the standard TAC process for regular proposals.
Successful proposals will be assigned observing time and will be
scheduled for observing on a semiannual basis, in coordination with
the time allocation for regular SMA proposals.
The PI is responsible for assembling a project team with sufficient
scientific and technical expertise to ensure completion of the science
goals and timely publication and dissemination of results.
Due to the large commitment of SMA resources, it is a requirement that
the SMA Large Scale Science and ASIAA Key projects be monitored, and
adapted if necessary, to ensure successful completion of the science
goals. The PI should therefore maintain regular contact with the
appropriate SMA TAC chair (either for SAO or ASIAA) and the PI or a
designated Co-I should plan to spend significant time at the SMA, in
Cambridge, Taipei, or Hilo. This will help ensure that the
observations are satisfactory or modified as appropriate, and that the
data analyses remain concurrent. For multi-semester projects, a
progress report will be required at the end of each semester. This
report should detail the progress with observing, data reduction, and
preparation of publications, and note any changes to the project
strategy. Each semester during the course of the project, the PI or a
designated Co-I should make a presentation at an SMA science meeting.
A PI may lead only one SAO large-scale proposal at a time.
The proprietary period for the data is 18 months from the
completion of observations. Reduced data products should be released
within this time period unless an extension has been agreed upon.
For smaller programs (less than 100 hours)
our regular proposal
procedures continue to apply and proposals for very small projects
may be submitted at any time as filler projects.
Questions may be addressed to sma [hyphen] largescale [at] cfa [dot] harvard [dot] edu.
Last updated: 2021-Aug-13 by Mark Gurwell