Calls for Proposals, Deadlines and Schedules

Shane, APF and Nickel Telescopes Mountain Hosted Schedule

Latest Shane Call for Proposals
Call for Proposals

To: Observers on the Lick Observatory Shane 3-M Telescope

Date: September 15th, 2022

Semester 2023A (February 1st, 2023 through July 31st, 2023)

Deadline: Thursday, October 13th, 2022, 5:00 PM Pacific Time

Proposal Information

This is the Call for Proposals for the Shane 3m telescope at Lick Observatory.

Lick Observatory’s scientific impact manifests itself in several ways: Lick and the Shane 3m telescope can undertake observing programs that require substantially more observing time than is available at 8-10m telescopes. Lick provides a testbed for new and improved technologies, both in instrumentation and in observing techniques. Moreover, graduate students and postdocs can write their own observing proposals and lead their own programs, gaining valuable experience in scientific planning and leadership.

Proposals for large and/or long-term programs on the Shane 3-m telescope are encouraged. Guidelines for the structure of such proposals can be found at:


Ambitious long-term programs help Lick Observatory increase its scientific impact. Programs such as these are becoming ever more important as a way to keep Lick scientifically fruitful in the current era of 8-10 meter telescopes, by taking advantage of Lick’s greater access to telescope time.

Proposals for use of the 3-m Shane reflector will be submitted online in a process very similar to that used for UC Keck proposals.

Submitting an application is a two-step process: on-line creation of a proposal cover sheet and uploading a pdf-format file with the Scientific Justification and other support materials.

Step 1: Create a proposal cover sheet and be assigned a Proposal ID#. Go to the web page below, enter the information required for the form, submit the form and note the assigned proposal ID#, which is required in Step 2.

Step 2: Prepare a file with the following sections:

  1. Scientific Justification (2-page limit),
  2. References and Figures (2-page limit),
  3. Targets and Exposures,
  4. Supplementary Observations Required from other Observatories,
  5. Technical Remarks,
  6. Path to Science from Observations,
  7. Status of Previously Approved 3-m Programs, including a complete list of publications that have resulted from your previous observing time at Lick over the past 5 years.

Create a pdf-format of this document and upload it at the submission web page:

Graduate Student Applications: Graduate students are eligible to apply for 3-m observing time. A letter must accompany each proposal from the faculty sponsor stating the student is qualified to carry out the project. Please email the letter to, and be sure the subject line says “Graduate Student Shane Proposal.”

Graduate student observing projects requiring a large number of nights or nights spread over several semesters must be thesis-related; the first proposal must be accompanied by a letter of support from the student’s thesis adviser.

Remote observing is supported for the Shane Telescope. With the exception of UC Merced and UC San Francisco, all UC campuses maintain at least one remote observing room. General information and caveats for those considering remote observing may be found here:

For details about reserving one of these rooms on your campus for your Lick observations, please contact your local astronomy (or physics) department or the support astronomers at Lick (email to

Lick observers (astronomers, postdocs, students) are not permitted to observe remotely until they have completed an on-site checkout at Lick Observatory plus a separate remote-observing checkout. These are described further in the Lick remote observing policy page:

Please contact the Lick support astronomers ( to arrange the necessary checkouts.

Other useful links:

Shane 3-m Telescope Manual:

Guidelines for preparing 3-m proposals:

Remote Observing Policies and Procedures:

Instruments available are:

Kast Spectrograph – Dual channel optical spectrometer:

Hamilton Spectrograph – High-resolution optical echelle spectrometer:

Adaptive Optics – Natural and Laser guide star adaptive optics systems. The AO system for the Shane 3m (known as ShaneAO and ShARCS) is available for the general user community. Note: Proposals which use the Natural Guide Star mode are particularly encouraged due to the fact that the reliability and power available in the current dye laser is low. While refurbishment is underway for the Laser we have not completed that effort, thus, operations with Laser guide star will be done on a best effort basis.  Staff limitations at Mount Hamilton may limit the number of Laser Guide Star nights that can be scheduled, including limiting Laser work to 7 hours per night due to staffing issues.

Links to information about Shane AO and ShARCS are the following:

Latest Automated Planet Finder (APF) Telescope Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals

To: Observers on the Automated Planet Finder (APF) 2.4 m telescope
From: , UCO Director
Date: Sep 14th, 2022
APF Observing Requests — Semester 2023A
(Feb 1st, 2023  through Jul 31st, 2023)

Deadline: Oct 13th, 2022 at 5:00 pm PDT

The APF is now by default a queue scheduled telescope. Because of this policy:

  • Requested nights should be “clear” nights with no correction for weather, only science observation time and overheads will be charged to a program.
  • The TAC will be allocating time based on the expected 900 hours of clear time for UC proposals.
  • Queue priorities will be set based on TAC grades.
  • We welcome all proposals for high resolution, R~100,000, spectroscopy of stars as well as proposals for precision radial velocities of GKM stars.
  • We encourage proposals to request additional time for your program on the cover sheet, in case other programs cannot be executed or the APF is undersubscribed.
  • The exposure time calculator and online documentation has been updated to reflect the new, higher performance of the facility after re-coating the primary mirror.

Proposal Information:
1. The first page must include an abstract – see Proposal Submission Requirements
2. Select Cadence for queue observing on the cover sheet – see Proposal Submittal Instructions
3. Pure classical nights must be justified – see Proposal Submittal Instructions
4. Please assume 10 hours per night for calculating total requested time 
5. Large, or Synoptic Approved Programs (LSAPs.) are now an option. These include the traditional Long Term programs, so a program requiring data over multiple semesters – see Large or Synoptic Approved Programs (LSAP) 
6. Large, multi-semester programs (LMAPS) are programs that require multiple semesters and need >25% of the available time – see APF LMAPS
7. Proposal ranking will determine queue ranking – see Understanding the APF Queue and Time Critical Observations, ToOs, and Proposal Ranking
8. Time critical observations will be given higher queue ranking but must be justified – see Time Critical Observations, ToOs, and Proposal Ranking

9. TOO programs can submit targets during the night starting in 2022A – see Time Critical Observations, ToOs, and Proposal Ranking


Information about the APF telescope can be found at:

For the 2023A semester, 900 hours will be available in the APF queue for UC proposals.

The time will be scheduled in two different modes at the request of the observers.
The observer can (1) ask for their targets to be inserted into the queue operated by the University of California Observatories (Cadence), or (2) ask for specific nights and conduct observations as they wish (Classical). Classical requests need to be justified.
All time requests should be in hours. The cover sheet should list the request in nights, assuming 10 hours per night, with fractional nights as appropriate. The TAC will allocate grades to the proposals and those grades (A, B, C) will determine the relative priority on any given night, with guaranteed or purchased time being granted A time.

The queue will be run on all nights, except for the whole or half nights allocated to specific classical programs. The queue software is capable of handling multiple programs per night. The target list and the data files for a given observer will be private to the PI unless otherwise requested. A given program can be executed on any given night the queue is running, with the balance of observing time monitored over the course of the semester to match the allocated amount. Simple cadence requirements, ranging from multiple times a night, to once a month can be met and the total observations can easily be supported.

Regarding data reduction pipelines, there are currently two options for data reduction pipelines but both are optimized for precision radial velocity work of cool stars using the Iodine cell as a reference. If you would like to use either of these, please contact Brad Holden ( before submitting your proposal.

Latest Small Telescope Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals

To: Observers on the Lick Observatory Small Telescopes

From: Bruce Macintosh, UCO Director

Date:  September 21st, 2022

Semester 2023A (February 1st, 2023 through July 31st, 2023)

Deadline: Thursday, October 20th, 2022, 5:00 PM Pacific Time

Proposal Information

Important Information for Nickel time in 2023A:

We are negotiating the use of 50 nights of Nickel time most of which will fall in the 2023A semester. This will likely include re-coating the primary and secondary in February 2023 (expect 1 week of down time for each with a week between to allow synoptic programs to continue) and several 5-8 night runs during bright time from March – July.    

SuperLOTIS (Commissioning) Opportunity for 2023A:

SuperLOTIS is a 24-inch robotic queue schedule imaging telescope located at Kitt Peak.   While currently idle, we expect that in 2023A we may have an opportunity to work with the University of Arizona to commission a new very blue sensitive camera. This work should be considered to be “shared risk” and “commissioning” during 2023A.  PIs interested in contributing to the commissioning efforts should contact Deputy Director Matthew Shetrone <> with your interest. The UC Super-LOTIS web page ( is currently out of date with information about the system from before 2018, but we will update it as information about the proposed system is available.

 Information about the Nickel:

The Nickel 1-meter (40-inch) telescope and Direct Imaging Camera (CCD-C2) are equipped for remote operation and are available for such use. Only observers with experience observing locally with the Nickel telescope and Direct Camera are eligible to observe remotely. New observers require a local checkout at Mount Hamilton and a supplementary remote checkout on their first night of actual remote observing, to be conducted via video-conferencing.

Applying for time with the Nickel telescope requires firstly a submission of a cover sheet followed by a scientific justification. You can access the online cover sheets for the Nickel telescope at along with instructions on how to submit the accompanying science description.

After submission of the cover sheet the main text of the proposal should be prepared as a PDF file and uploaded via the webpage:

To access this page it will be necessary to enter the cover sheet ID number that is assigned at the preceding cover sheet submission stage. The Shane Proposal Guidelines at: can be followed in preparing a science description for a Nickel proposal. In summary, this ideally comprises a Scientific Justification (up to two pages in length), Technical Remarks that specify the program objects and anticipated exposure times, an acknowledgement of any supplementary observations from other observatories that are part of the program, a review of the status of proposals awarded time at Lick Observatory telescopes in the past two years, and a list of papers from the past five years that have used data from Lick Observatory telescopes (not the Keck telescopes). Graduate students are encouraged to apply for Nickel time; a letter from the thesis advisor should be attached indicating that the student is in good academic standing.

Remote observing with the Nickel telescope must be done from one of the mainland approved sites. Proposals for remote observing must specify the facility from which the observer will be working and include a list of up to four filters and the order in which they are to be installed. In all other ways, the remote proposal process is the same as for local observing.

If you plan to submit a remote observing proposal, please consult the following web pages before preparing your proposal.

Remote Observing Policy:

Remote operation of the Nickel 1-m Telescope and Direct Imaging Camera:

The Support Astronomers have created a web page that describes the procedure for the home observing mode:

The online proposal system for all telescopes in this call is also described at:

You can also find the online cover sheets at:

Important: The CAT will only be offered on a restricted basis. Users who wish to apply for CAT time should contact the UCO Support Astronomers ( before submitting a request.

Please make a realistic estimate of the number of nights you will need for your program. Include enough information in your requests so that we fully understand the scientific aims of your proposed program and, specifically, what observations you plan to make.

Note:   Late proposals will be excepted but will be constrained by available time and resource support.   Please contact Deputy Director ( for more information.