Application Procedure for the Keck 2020B Semester
Online Electronic Submission
All proposals should be submitted online following the instructions below and adhering to the
Call for Proposals.
All proposals for the 2020B semester and the relevant supporting letters must be received before
4 pm Pacific, March 19, 2020.
This deadline is rigorously enforced.
Mission Support Letters
general mission support
proposals must be requested from NASA HQ by March 5, two weeks before the submission deadline.
All proposers should carefully read the
Call for Proposals
before writing their proposal. Proposals that do not include all information specified will have the omission(s) reflected in their TAC scores and, in some cases, be rejected outright.
Frequently Asked Questions
Information for 2020B Proposals:
Proposers should submit a PDF of their proposal using the
Online Proposal Submission Form.
which includes the following fields:
A text box for you to enter an abstract for your proposal. The abstract does not need to be repeated in the body of the proposal.
A text box for you to state why public data already in the Keck Observatory Archive are insufficient to meet the science goals of the proposal. Please see the
Call for Proposals
for more information and instructions.
Shortly after proposal submission, you will receive an email acknowledgement with an attached copy of the PDF submission as received at NExScI. Please email
if you do not receive the confirmation email or experience problems. Information on the NExScI cover page may be made public for accepted proposals.
Evaluation and Notification:
NASA will follow the guidelines in the Call for Proposals in evaluating proposals and assigning observing time. Scientific justification and strategic importance will be the primary selection criteria, except in the case of mission support proposals, for which programmatic criteria will also be evaluated. The review process will consist of a science review by the NASA Keck TAC and, possibly, a technical review by the WMKO staff. Final selection is made by the selecting official, the NExScI Executive Director, based upon the recommendations of the TAC. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their applications in early June or early December depending upon the semester. Successful applicants
are encouraged to intiate communications with the WMKO technical staff to ensure that valuable Keck telescope time will be used efficiently from your first time on the telescope.
Subject to availability of funds, Principal Investigators of programs awarded time by the NASA Keck Selecting Official will receive limited research and travel funding with the amount determined through formulaic means. Successful Target of Opportunity and twilight observing proposals do not receive financial support since the observations may never be triggered. NExScI will manage the Keck PI Data Awards (KPDAs) and will contract with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to administer the disbursement of most of the funds. The funding instrument used by JPL will, in most cases, be a Research Support Agreement (RSA) depending on the size of the award and the PI's home institution. An RSA is a simple Fixed Price, Advance Paid, subcontract provided through JPL that is used for basic research funding where scientific reports and technical data are the only deliverables; RSAs can be awarded to educational and non-profit institutions. JPL is unable to issue grants.
The only required reporting for KPDAs is a final report outlining the work completed and any resulting publications. Using this
for your final report will ensure that all relevant information is included. Failure to submit a final report in a timely manner may be grounds for rejection of observing proposals or withholding of funding in subsequent years. Final reports can be
Publications including NASA Keck time should include the acknowledgment found
Notification of publications should be sent to
All PIs are advised to consult the
Special Instrument Notes
provided on the Keck Observatory web site. Note that Keck I and Keck II have different eastern and western telescope limits which affects the times that objects are available for observing.
Web Curator NExScI Cognizant Official: