Keck Telescope Time for LMAP Proposals

UC Keck Telescope Time for LMAP Proposals

NOTE:  the LMAP policies were updated on 8/10/2023 by the UCOAC.   Those changes are highlighted in orange below.   New successful LMAP proposals will have to submit a Collaboration Management Plan to the Director’s Office. See step 9 below.

LMAPs represent the largest commitments of UC Keck time to individual projects. The goal of the policies described here is to help ensure that LMAP projects are maximally successful, once approved by the Time Allocation Committee.

The UCO LMAP web site will include a list of currently active LMAP programs, including project title, PI and Co-I names and campus affiliations, duration (starting and ending years), and abstracts (as entered in the WMKO proposal cover sheet for the original proposal).

Current and Past LMAPs

Purpose of LMAPs:
An LMAP is a program with well-defined objectives that requires a large number of nights to bring to completion. LMAPs will generally be directed toward obtaining a high quality, coherent, homogeneous data set that will allow scientific questions of major importance to be addressed in a thorough, systematic manner. The UC LMAP program allows programs extending for more than one semester to be carried out with multi-year approval from the beginning. The program is not to be open-ended, but must have a well-justified total number of nights required to bring the project to completion. LMAPs normally are defined as those requiring 10 or more nights per semester, though programs of fewer nights may qualify for LMAP status if specifically justified. No more than 30% of the UC Keck time will be devoted to LMAPs.

To obtain approval for an LMAP, a special proposal must be submitted at the outset. The scientific discussion with figures and references should be no longer than 10 pages with a 20 page maximum for the entire LMAP proposal. In addition to the normally-required sections, it must include the following items:

1. A detailed discussion of the specific scientific goals of the program, including justification for the program having LMAP status. Such programs must exploit to the maximum extent possible the full potential of the Keck Observatory.

2. A clear and well-justified statement of the total number of nights needed. This statement must relate the time requested to the specific intended outcomes of the project. Additionally, the proposal should explain and justify the total duration (in years or semesters) over which these requested nights are distributed.

3. For programs lasting more than two years, the program should be structured so that intermediate results will be published before the entire project is completed. These milestones and intermediate results should be discussed carefully in the proposal.

4. The proposal should include both a Personnel and a Data Management Plan. Any significant changes to the Management Plans require that the team resubmit a modified plan along with the required semester update to the TAC.

4a. The Personnel Management Plan should include a list of the key contributors for the LMAP. This list should include their name, affiliation, and role within the collaboration. It is expected that LMAPs will generally involve the collaboration of a fairly large group of Keck-eligible UC PIs. In addition, it is expected that all or most of the Keck observing time requests of the PI and those Co-Is with major involvement in the program, as outlined in the management plan, will be devoted to the LMAP during semesters when the LMAP observations are being done. Any involvement by LMAP key contributors in other Keck proposals submitted over the duration of the LMAP should be disclosed in those proposals. The rest of the text of the management plan should be dedicated to outlining division of labor, expanding on the roles of those listed in the management table, publication leadership, and student and post-doctoral roles (if any) in the LMAP.

4b.   The Data Management Plan should make clear how the data will be reduced and analyzed, who will be responsible for any data reduction or analysis pipelines, and how the final results will be disseminated

5. If results to be obtained with other telescopes are an important part of the project, this should be made clear. Information should be provided that will allow the TAC to judge the likelihood of such data being available.

6. If a new LMAP proposal includes components that are relevant to both the Galactic and Extragalactic TAC panels, it will be evaluated by both panels. The TAC Chairs and UCO Director should jointly discuss the outcome to decide on the final grade taking into account the grades and comments from both panels.

7. When an active LMAP proposal is resubmitted for *continued* observations, the following additional guidelines apply:

7a. First section: LMAP continuation proposals should begin with a summary of progress to date and a list of publications based on nights already allocated to this LMAP program. This progress report should make reference to the specific goals and outcomes of the project as described in the original proposal, and should describe progress on each. The page limit for this progress report is four pages (including figures and references).

7b. Second section: The next section of the continuation proposal should contain, where appropriate, a discussion of how the original proposal’s methods or objectives have changed since its original submission.

Neither the First nor Second sections described above shall count toward the 20-page limit for LMAP proposals.

7c. Third section: For completeness and for the benefit of new TAC members, the third section should consist of the scientific justification and technical sections of the version originally submitted for the initial LMAP proposal.

8. In order to help LMAP PIs and Co-Is obtain funding to support their programs, the UCO Director will, upon request, provide a letter that can be submitted as a supplementary document in NSF or other funding proposals. The letter’s content may include (a) confirmation that the referenced project has indeed been approved as an LMAP by the UC Keck TAC, noting the names of the PI and Co-Is of the project, (b) a description of the anticipated duration and total number of nights allocated to the project, (c) a note that LMAP status represents a projected future allocation of nights which is contingent upon continued successful progress over the course of the project, and is not an absolute guarantee of future telescope time. Following NSF guidelines, the letter should not include any endorsement or praise regarding the quality of the program; it should simply contain factual statements confirming the program’s LMAP status and amount of observing time that has been allocated to it.

 9. It is not the intent of this policy to require specific terms in CMPs, but  to ensure that collaboration policies are known to members and clearly defined.  The plan should include:

  •   Publication Policy indicating how authorship and co-authorship is determined/merited. This should include when this policy will no longer apply, ie. what will the publication policy be once the LMAP data collection is over or proprietary periods have expired. 
  •  How collaboration leadership is structured, e.g. a single PI, committee, rotating spokesperson, etc. 
  •  How membership in the collaboration is determined Code of Conduct for the collaboration members and how issues with code of conduct violations will be arbitrated. 
  •  An acknowledgement that the policy has been shared with all members of the collaboration (including early career researchers.) 
 This plan can mirror or reference other research organization’s plans/codes, e.g. SDSS, AAS, KSM; or can be entirely new.  The Collaboration Management Plan can take as many pages as required, but may be as short as 1-2 pages.   The UCO Director will appoint a group to review the Collaboration Management Plan (CMP) for completeness.  If clarification or changes are recommended by the review committee the LMAP team will have adequate time to respond before the next semester.  The final accepted CMP will be published on the UCO LMAP web pages.