The NASA Keck proposal review process uses a Dual Anonymous Proposal Review (DAPR) format. The DAPR conceals the proposers' identities from the Telescope Allocation Committee (TAC) and, as has always been the case, NASA Keck TAC member identities remain anonymous. The NASA Keck proposal review process is managed for NASA by the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI) at Caltech/IPAC.
These guidelines are intended to assist proposers in preparing their DAPR proposals and help ensure a fairer proposal evaluation process. These guidelines do not replace the Call for Proposals which should be read for complete details on applying for NASA Keck time.
NExScI understands that dual-anonymous peer review represents a major shift in the evaluation of proposals, and as such there may be occasional slips in writing anonymized proposals. However, NExScI reserves the right to return without review proposals that are particularly egregious in terms of the identification of the proposing team. The NASA Keck Selection Official (NExScI's Executive Director) will determine the severity of any writing slips.
NExScI further acknowledges that some proposed work may be so specialized that, despite attempts to anonymize the proposal, the identities of the Principal Investigator and team members are readily discernable. As long as the guidelines are followed, NASA/NExScI will not return these proposals without review.
After proposal submission, you will receive a confirmation email that has two versions of your proposal attached: the anonymized Science Program with the anonymous coversheet information, and the non-anonymized version including the Expertise and Access document with the non-anonymous coversheet information and the WMKO coversheet. If you see errors in either, you may resubmit your proposal up until the proposal deadline.
After the proposal deadline and before the anonymized proposals are sent to the TAC members for review, NExScI staff will check the submissions to ensure that they follow the DAPR guidelines. NExScI staff will not change/alter any information (either in the PDFs or in the information entered on the submission website) without the explicit permission of the proposal PI. The NASA Keck Selecting Official will make the final decision on the severity of the violation of the DAPR guidelines and determine if the proposal will be reviewed or returned.
The proposing team identities for the top-ranked proposals will be shown to the TAC only after the science and strategic evaluation grading and ranking of all proposals has taken place. This information will be used by the TAC to determine if the team is qualified to complete the proposed program. This information will be in a separate non-anonymized Expertise and Access document (see section below) that will also include information on the PI and team's institutional access to Keck and/or Subaru time (if applicable).
Proposals are submitted through the online website. A complete proposal will have:
Proposers are required to write the proposal abstract and the main proposal in an anonymized format that does not explicitly identify the team members or their institutions. Use of this template, provided in Word and Latex is required.
Below are some guidelines to help with the anonymization process.
It takes some effort by authors to anonymize their PDF submissions. As the guidelines show, grammar and structure are expected to be different than in NASA Keck proposal submissions prior to 2022A. Take sufficient time to prepare the proposal, especially if you plan to resubmit a proposal from a semester prior to 2022A.
As part of the DAPR process, NExScI is requiring that proposers submit an Expertise and Access (E&A) document in addition the anonymized Science Program. The E&A document is non-anonymized and this template in Word or Latex format, containing the following sections, must be used. See the Call for Proposals for detailed information on the sections in the E&A document.
The one-page team expertise document should include the team's expertise in the following: Keck instrumentation, data reduction and analysis/modeling, and observational experience. For proposals with a large number of Co-Investigators, it is not necessary to report on the qualifications of every team member, only those conducting or leading major aspects of the proposed study. This does not need to be a bio of the team members.
An example of the Team Expertise section of the E&A document is:
Dr. Jane Doe has expertise in Keck data reduction for HIRES, the prime instrument for the proposed observations. Dr. Doe is an expert in exoplanet transit events and has led several past Keck programs resulting in 5 papers published on detecting planetary transits with Keck HIRES. Dr. John Doe is an expert in computational simulation of planetary transits. Sarah Smith is a graduate student working with Dr. Jane Doe.
PIs and Co-Is applying for NASA Keck time may have access to Keck/Subaru time through their own institutions. This information can also be included in the anonymized Science Program, however in that document, it must be written in a way that does not identify any team members.
The online submission site includes a question about the level of access to Keck/Subaru time of the proposing team and how that time is being used (or not) for the proposed program. This access must be more fully explained in this section of the E&A document.
If no team members have access to Keck/Subaru time through their home institutions, please state that in this section.
Here are some examples:
"The team has access to telescope time on the W. M. Keck Observatory, which will enable spectroscopic follow-up of the galaxies in the sample. The NASA time requested for this proposal is to gather complementary imaging data that could not be accommodated through access to their own TAC."
"The PI is a graduate student at an institution with Keck access that does not allow graduate students to apply for Keck time through their TAC."
"Neither the PI nor any of the Co-Is have access to Keck through non-NASA partners."
Please summarize the PI's and key Co-I's current involvement on existing Keck research programs to inform the reviewers of the status of completed and planned observations, data analysis, and publications. A similar summary should be made for other relevant large or space-based telescope time that has been awarded during the past two years.
Starting with observing semester 2023A, the default period of exclusive data use for NASA Keck data is 12-months. Requests for extensions to this default period must meet the criteria and information in Section V of the Call for Proposals
Web Curator and NExScI Cognizant Official: Dr. Dawn Gelino
(last updated July 13th, 2023 13:44:51)