Large or Synoptic Approved Programs (LSAP)
- Observer Information
The LSAP program allows large programs extending for more than one semester, or for a large block of contiguous time within one semester, to be considered and carried out if the TAC approves. LSAPs should be directed toward obtaining a high quality, coherent, homogeneous data set that will allow important scientific questions to be addressed in a systematic manner. An LSAP must have well-defined objectives that can be used to evaluate progress semester-by-semester and to assess overall scientific impact after the project is completed. For programs that extend more than one semester, approval will be granted for a multi-semester time period with continued support of the project for its intended lifetime, contingent on TAC approval of progress toward the stated objectives. The program is not to be open-ended, but must have a well-justified total number of nights required for completion. If the nights are to be contiguous, the justification must be particularly strong.
LSAPs normally are defined as those requiring 20 or more nights per semester. Although no strict limits are in place, it is anticipated that no more than 1/3 of the total UC Shane nights will be devoted to LSAPs. There is not a firm requirement for multi-campus participation or multiple co-Is, but it is expected that LSAP proposals that involve a collaboration of several UC astronomers will have a better chance of success.
For a program to be accepted for LSAP status, it must be of high scientific merit and very well justified. Therefore, the proposal page limits are larger and there are additional issues to be addressed. The LSAP scientific discussion with figures and references can be up to 8 pages if desired, with a 15 page maximum for the entire proposal. Along with the normally-required sections, an LSAP proposal must include the following:
1. A detailed discussion of the specific scientific goals of the program, including justification for the program’s proposed LSAP status. Such programs should exploit to the maximum extent possible the full potential of Lick 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 description of the scientific team should be more thorough than usual, making clear who will be responsible for what, how the data will be reduced and analyzed, and how the final results will be disseminated.
5. It is expected that all, or most, of an LSAP PI or Co-I’s Lick Shane observing time requests will be devoted to the LSAP, during semesters when the LSAP observations are being done. However, occasional proposals for relatively small projects on clearly distinct subjects may also be submitted.
6. 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.
7. If a new LSAP 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.
8. When an active LSAP proposal is re-submitted for *continued* observations, the following additional guidelines apply:
8a. First section: LSAP continuation proposals should begin with a summary of progress to date and a list of publications based on nights already allocated to this LSAP 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).
8b. 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 15-page limit for LSAP proposals.
8c. 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 LSAP proposal.
9. In order to help LSAP 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 LSAP by the UC Lick 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 LSAP 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.