Click for the 2023A NASA Keck Call for Proposals

The call for proposals for NASA Keck time in observing semester 2023A (February 1 - July 31, 2023) is now open for professional research using the NASA allocation for telescope observing time at the W.M. Keck Observatory.

The opportunity to propose as a Principal Investigator (PI) for the NASA time on the Keck Telescopes is open to all U.S.-based astronomers, i.e. those with their principal affiliation at a U.S. institution.

Online Submission Page

Application Procedure

Starting in 2022A, the NASA Keck TAC uses a Dual Anonymous Proposal Review (DAPR) process. Proposers prepare two documents: an anonymized Science Program and a non-anonymized Expertise and Access document.

Highlights for 2023A:

  1. Support Letters No Longer Needed for Mission Support Proposals: Mission Support proposals no longer require letters of support from either the supported flight project or NASA HQ. However, if you'd like your proposal to be considered for Mission Support status, the proposing team must demonstrate that the proposed program meets one or more of the criteria in Section IIb. We have added a section in the anonymized Science Program template for this purpose.
  2. Change in Period of Exclusive Use for NASA Keck Data: Starting with semester 2023A, the default period of exclusive use for NASA Keck data is reduced from 18 months to 12 months. Requests for extensions to this 12-month period must be included in the appropriate section of the Expertise and Access document and meet one or more of the criteria in Section V. Extensions will be approved or denied by the NASA Keck selecting official.
  3. Joint JWST/NASA Keck Programs: This is an advance notice that the JWST Cycle 2 Call for Proposals will include the opportunity to propose for joint programs requiring JWST and NASA Keck observations. This does not affect this 2023A NASA Keck Call for Proposals. See here for more information.
  4. Dual Anonymous Proposal Review (DAPR): Since 2022A, the NASA Keck TAC follows a DAPR process. Proposers now prepare two documents: an anonymized Science Program and a non-anonymized Expertise and Access document. In addition to this Call for Proposals, the following resources are provided to assist proposers with the implementation of DAPR.
  5. Twilight Observing: Keck has a program for acquiring snapshot observations in morning twilight. The available instruments for twilight observing are OSIRIS-NGS (imager only) on Keck 1 and NIRC-NGS on Keck 2. The program is designed to accommodate extra infrared observations during normally scheduled visible observations, when those observations end early and surrender the last portion of the night. Programs designed for longer term (> 1-2 years) will be given priority.
  6. Time Domain Astronomy and Target of Opportunity programs: Observers can propose for both Time Domain Astronomy (cadence) and Target of Opportunity (ToO) programs. See Section IV for important details on cadence requests as well as the number of ToO interrupts allowed each semester.

    Please note that due to ongoing AO upgrades, there may be times in the semester when AO is unavailable for cadence observations. Cadence program PIs are responsible for development of instrument scripts, providing documentation, and training of staff needed to make the cadence program a turnkey operation.

  7. At-Home ("pajama mode") Observing: Keck will continue to support up to two observers for at-home observing: one primary and one secondary observer. Click here for more informaiton. Note that first time observers are required to travel to WMKO for their observations if possible.
  8. Semester Notes and Considerations for Keck/Subaru:
    • Please see the Keck instrument page for outages with the Keck telescopes, NIRC2, NIRSPEC/NIRSPAO, and a number of Subaru instruments.
    • NASA does not allow its observers to apply for time on instruments that have a shared-risk status. This includes KPF, KCWI/KCRM, and KPIC for the 2023A semester. If any of these instruments comes out of shared risk before the end of the semester, an observer can then contact WMKO to be 'upgraded' to the new instrument.
    • Queue observing is preferred for the Hyper Suprime Cam on Subaru, but classical allocations are still accepted. Please check the HSC queue mode website for more details.

Useful Links

(last updated August 16th, 2022 12:49:06)