Keck Proposal Guidelines

Guidelines for Preparing Keck Proposals

Based on recommendations of the UCO Advisory Committee and TACs.

[Format: 12 point font; single-spaced; one-inch margins]

1. Scientific Justification
The top line of the proposal must contain the PI name, the assigned Keck Cover Sheet Id, proposed instrument(s) and requested number of nights.
Attach a clear, up-to-date discussion of the scientific goals of the proposed observations, including what new science will be learned, its overall astrophysical significance, and how it relates to past work in the field. Prose text should be limited to two pages, with up to two additional pages for figures and references. Up to one additional page describing progress on this project to date (including existing and planned publications) should be included if this is a resubmission. The TAC is instructed not to read any proposal text beyond these page limits.

2. Technical Remarks (2 pages max)
Include the following subsections:

2.1 Targets and Exposures:
Specify targets or fields and their coordinates, magnitudes (if known), exposure times, justification for lunar phase, and justification for number of requested nights.

  • Since the weather losses at Keck are typically low and rare, the PIs should request for only the time they need to complete their experiment. However, if the PI has a compelling argument about why they must inflate their request by the weather losses then the PI could make an argument for its inclusion for the TAC to consider.
  • The PI should explain how the sample was selected including the justification for the sample size and how future allocations (based on the nights needed to complete the experiment on the Cover Sheet) samples fit into the design.

2.2 Backup Program:
Provide a short abstract of backup program(s) for poor observing conditions.

2.3 Supplementary Observations:
If supplementary observations from other observatories (including Lick or space) are needed, please describe. Specify how essential are the other data for completion of program. Make clear the role of non-UC collaborators and list any of their time at other observatories that may be part of this project.

2.4 Status of Previously Approved Keck Programs:
Review status of previously approved programs (not including the current project), including program ID (e.g. U026), Title, PI, number of allocated nights, status of data and analysis, and publications to date. For papers in preparation, list an estimated time to publication. Do not go back more than five years.

2.5 LMAP membership:
The 11/18/2020 changes made to the LMAP policy also require that a PI declare if they are a key member of an active LMAP, ie. if they are listed in the LMAP Management Plan. A brief distinction between the purpose of this proposal and the LMAP should be made.

3.0 Optional, but highly recommended, subsections (2 pages max)

3.1 Path to Science from Observations:
Explain briefly the path from observations to science, including plans for how the data will be taken, reduced, analyzed, and written up for publication. Include a brief description of who will be responsible for which tasks. If theoretical models or other data are needed, specify how these will be acquired.

3.2 Technical Concerns:
When appropriate, specify technical concerns or problems and provide sufficient information on how they will be addressed to enable the TAC to evaluate the feasibility of the project.

3.3 Experience and Publications:
Brief account of the experience of the proposer(s) with instrument and science. Provide no more than a one page list of publications relevant to this proposal that the PI has been involved with. Mark those using Keck or Lick data with an asterisk (*).

3.4 Resources and Publication Timescale:
Please describe what resources (such as computing, personnel, and grant funds) will be applied to this project. What is the expected timescale for publications? Be as specific as possible regarding topics for planned papers.

3.5. Service to UCO:
If you would like to request participation in the The Pilina and Kōkua Initiative then please include a short statement about who on your team would be participating.   Please describe any activities you have carried out in the service of UCO within the last two years e.g. enabling new or upgraded instrumentation, technology development, software development, committee service, fundraising, conference organization, public outreach, etc.