Urgent Call for Semester 16B

This is a call for urgent proposals. For regular calls for proposals, please see the facility home page.

Semester Information

Semester start of observing 2016-08-02 00:00 UT
Semester end of observing 2017-02-02 00:00 UT

The East Asian Observatory invites requests for urgent observing at any time with Principal Investigators (PIs) from its partner regions (China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan) or from eligible PIs in the UK and Canada. Please check the eligibility requirements to see if you are eligible to submit as PI.

Urgent Requests should clearly describe the following:

  1. The urgency for the observations, and why a response to the regular, semi-annual call for proposals is/was inappropriate.
  2. The time span over which observations may be made or the specific times at which they must be made.
  3. The timescale for analysis of resulting data and for publication thereof, which ought to be proportionately urgent.

The above information should appear in the Scientific Justification section of the proposal, itemized as above, please.

If approved, proposals will be graded with respect to the approved projects in the current semester and executed via the JCMT’s flexible observing scheme.

Available Instruments

Important Notes

Content of Proposal

Proposal authors are expected to provide separately both a Scientific and a Technical Justification for their proposed observations. These justifications should be substantiated with results from our integration time calculators to show that the proposed observations will reach the necessary noise limits for your science goals. The calculators are integrated into our proposal submission system, and you should use them to save your calculation(s) to your proposal.


Overheads for pointing, focusing, and calibrations should not be added to the time request. These activities will be accounted for separately. Calibration observations (e.g. focus, pointing, flux calibrators) and other unavoidable overheads (e.g. receiver tuning) are not charged to science projects and instead are charged to an observatory accounting code. There is therefore no need for applicants to provide calibration overhead estimates in their proposals. The observatory will perform regular and appropriate calibration observations to ensure that all science data obtained are sensibly calibrated.

  • Spectroscopically, this involves observations of one of our spectral line standards at one of about ten different line frequencies. If your observing frequency is one of these, then you’re decidedly in luck. In any case, the calibration allows you to assess the performance of the instrument. We will perform such an observation at least once per program unless a previous calibration is still appropriate, and more often if circumstances change or if more than a couple of hours pass.
  • For continuum work, calibrators will be observed at both operational wavelengths of SCUBA-2 (450µm, 850µm) at appropriate times and airmass to meet the general needs of the science program.

If a proposal demands more unusual or more frequent calibrations then this needs to be clearly stated in the proposal and the time for these calibrations requested explicitly. If you have queries about what our default calibrations might be or what extra overheads are generated by your calibration requirements please get in touch with us.

Previous Proposals

The proposers should provide information on any previous, successful JCMT allocations, including any papers published as a result or the status of the project. The success of previous projects can be taken into account when awarding time, so it is in your interests to provide full information on this. A section is included within the proposal submission system for this information.

Data Available from the Archive and Large Programs

We expect all proposers to check that there are not already existing public data that meet your science needs, or conflicting large programs, before you submit your proposal. To help you with this, we have built in a clash tool which you can use to search for potential “clashes” between your proposed objects and available data sets. It also provides a link to an archive search for each target position. It is your responsibility to ensure you comment sufficiently on why any matching data does not meet your needs — e.g. because it does not reach sufficient depth, or because is not at the right frequency, or because the observations were not of sufficient quality.

Flexible Scheduling

The overall philosophy of observing at JCMT is to match observing programs to the weather — see the Flexible Observing Guidelines for more information — so data can be acquired for a project at any time, even without the applicants being in attendance at the telescope. A summary was also given at the January 2015 Workshops.

Please use the “Members” section of the proposal form to express your willingness and ability to travel and observe. Observers are invited on the basis of their project demands and TAC ranking, and will receive additional priority when in attendance. Observers are needed to staff the observatory each night that a TSS is present at the telescope, although we now also operate JCMT remotely on some nights; affected observers should still attend in order to retain their enhanced priority.

Further Questions