Proposals are due Friday, September 24, 2021 4:30 PM EDT.
No. GIs at non-U.S. institutions may submit proposals for observing time only. GIs at non-U.S. institutions are not eligible for funding and therefore may not submit "funding only" proposals, even if they would have U.S. Co-Is.
No. There isno need to "affiliate" with the Swift Science Center, as in previous years. On your proposal (submitted to ARK/RPS), you may give your home institution and submit the forms yourself. For further instructions on submitting a Swift Cycle 18 proposal, see our Cycle 18 Guest Investigator Program Web page.
No. The US collaborator must be the guest investigator in order for him/her to receive funding.
Proposals for funding only will submit a cover page, general form, and scientific justification to Swift ARK/RPS for Phase 1. The general form asks for the "anticipated total budget" and the scientific justification should include a 1-page budget narrative that describes at a high level how funds would be spent and the scale of workforce needed for the project. The Phase 1 proposal will be reviewed for scientific merit. The Phase 1 review will determine the accepted Swift Cycle 18 program. GIs with successful Phase 1 proposals will then be invited to submit a detailed budget proposal for Phase 2. The Phase 2 review will finalize the funding for all accepted proposals. Note that the budget proposed for Phase 2 cannot exceed the anticipated total budget submitted in Phase 1.
The Swift project will provide funds for three broad areas of research: theoretical investigations (GRBs and non-GRBs), follow-up observations (GRBs and non-GRBs), new Swift projects. A "Large Programs" proposal category is avaialble to investigations requesting more than 100 targets or more than 100 ks total exposure time per target. Swift would especially like to encourage the development of rapid IR ground-based response to potentially high redshift GRBs, therefore special consideration will be given to such projects. Proposals to develop these capabilities will be allowed to exceed the average funding level for all other proposals. Cycle 18 will also allow proposals that request changes or additions to current Swift strategies to detect or observe GRBs or to perform innovate Swift analysis. Proposals that request changes to Swift on-board capabilities (e.g., an updated on-board catalog of sources) or operational procedures (e.g., multiple tiled fields) may require special scrutiny during the review process and may require approval before implementation. Investigators who consider such proposals need to consult with the Swift team prior to proposal submission. "Key Projects" are aimed at addressing high-impact scientific questions and will be allowed to exceed the average funding level. "Key Projects" can request up to 2 years of duration.
The total expected program budget is ~$1.4M, with an average funding level of ~$35-40k for funded proposals. Proposals requesting more than the average budget will need to provide a detailed and compelling cost justification. The only exception is for development of rapid IR ground-based response to potentially high redshift GRBs (see next question).
Yes: special consideration will be given to "Key Projects" and proposals to develop rapid IR ground-based response to potentially high redshift GRBs. Budgets for such projects may be in the $100K range, provided they are strongly justified. Please note that "$100K range" is very broad, and could include any budget between $50k and $150K for outfitting a telescope with an IR spectrograph, for example.
Yes. The Swift GI has the added opportunity to propose for GRB ToO proposals for GRBs that were detected with instruments other than Swift (e.g., Fermi, MAXI, etc). Such proposals should be submitted in the category "5. Swift ToO Observations (observation and funding for U.S. GIs)". Please note that you cannot mix GRB and non-GRB ToO targets in one proposal. If you wish to perform both GRB and non-GRB ToOs, you must submit two (or more) separate proposals. GRB ToO observations will have no proprietary data period and all observations will be publically available immediately.
1 Ms. A total of one million second of observing time will be made available to ToO proposals.
No. See the explanation for "Will Swift slew to my non-GRB, non-ToO source autonomously?" below.
There are no restrictions on the number of Highest Priority and High Priority ToOs that can be performed during Cycle 18. Please keep in mind that Highest Priority requests alert a lot of people in the Swift team (and wake them up at night).
Please use 0.0 for the R.A. and Dec coordinates and a genetic target name (e.g., "tidal disruption event", "magnetar").
If you want to trigger on only one target out of a sample of multiple targets, only add one target form in ARK/RPS and make sure that the total observing time matches what you are asking for. Use 0.0 for the R.A. and Dec coordinates and chose a generic name for your target (e.g. "MAGNETAR 1"). Explain your target list in the text of the proposal. Please do not include the full list of possible targets in the submission form.
The probability should be a fraction, from 0.1 (unlikely) to 1.0 (highly likely), and represent the chance that the target will meet the trigger criteria during Swift Cycle 18 (April 1, 2022 - March 31, 2023). This is a required field on the Swift ARK/RPS form. Please insert a realistic value of the trigger probability, as this will be used for planning puroposes.
Proposals for non-GRB Swift observations fall into three categories:
Each type has their own specific restrictions - see the sections in this FAQ on each for further details. In addition, there are limits on monitoring proposals and limits on the length of an observation.
Yes, you can submit as many proposals (observing or funding only) as you would like.
No. Swift does not perform proprietary observations. All observations will be publically available immediately. Non-GRB proposers are eligible for funds to help analyze the observations they propose.
Not during Phase 1. Both the scientific/technical proposal submission will be through ARK/RPS for Swift Cycle 18 Phase 1, including cover page, general form, target forms, and upload of proposal text. Successful Phase 1 proposers will then be told where to submit budget proposals for review in Phase 2. For more info on submitting proposals, see our Swift Cycle 18 GI page.
No. A proposal must be either ToO or non-ToO; it cannot be both. If you wish to perform both non-ToO and ToO observations of the same source, you must submit two separate proposals. Please make sure the proposals have different titles, so they can be easily distinguished (e.g., "ToO observations of SRC-XYZ" and "non-ToO observations of SRC-XYZ") Also, if the proposals should be reviewed together (e.g., if you will trigger the ToO based on results from the non-ToO), then please state in your abstract that one proposal is the companion to the other, and specify the title of the other proposal. We will use that information to make sure they are reviewed by the same panel.
No. A proposal for observation must be one of three types: ToO, non-ToO, or Fill-in. Targets in a proposal must all be of the given type. The ARK/RPS cover page form requires you to select one of these proposal types, and your targets will then be considered in that category.
Monitoring programs are defined as programs requiring two or more observations (or "visits", where each "visit" is a scheduled observation of a particular target) to the same object. No more than 2,000 visits will be accepted in Cycle 18 (total for all proposal categories). Please note the restrictions on the observations lengths and time windows below.
Requested observing time is limited to between 1 ks (minimum) and 40 ks (maximum) per observation. The total time requested for the source may consist of several observations. Use the "Number of Observations" field on the ARK/RPS form to state how many observations, and put the total time (ie., adding up all observations) in the target form. Don't worry if you don't want the total time divided evenly among the observations. For example, suppose you want the first observation of your source to be 40 ks, and 3 later observations of 5 ks each. On the ARK/RPS target form, you would put "num_obs" as 4 (4 total observations); "Total Observation Time" as 55 ksec (40+5+5+5); and in the "Remarks" section, you would put "First observation should be 40 ks, followed by 3 observations of 5 ks each." If the observations are to be constrained by time, phase, or other criteria, fill out the Constraints section of the form. Then, in the scientific justification, you should explain why this observing strategy is necessary for your science.
Also note that a single observation will most likely be broken up over several orbits, and involve multiple pointings, in order to accommodate Swift's schedule. Proposers should not assume continous, uninterrupted viewing of their targets for any observation longer than 2 ksec.
Time-constrained observations are defined as observations that have to be performed within a certain time window. These can be ToOs or non-ToOs, either monitoring or non-monitoring observations, but not Fill-in observations. These include phase-constrained proposals, coordinated observing campaigns with ground- or pace-based facilities, etc. Time-constrained observations are subject to the following limits:
For coordinated and constrained observations, it is the proposer's responsibility to inform the Swift Science Operations Team of the observing time window at least one week before observations commence.
Fill-in targets provide a set of peer-reviewed targets to be used to fill in gaps in the pre-planned science timeline. They were first introduced during Cycle 6 and are a separate proposal category, distinct from ToO and regular non-ToO observations. Please see the next two questions for further details.
No. Fill-in proposals are unfunded. No Phase-2 budget proposal should be submitted for approved Fill-in programs.
Yes. Fill-in Targets:
1 Ms. A total of one million seconds of observering time will be made available for Fill-in targets in Cycle 18.
The lowest. See the last three bullets in the restrictions on Fill-in Targets question, above.
There is no guarantee that Fill-in targets will be observed. See the last bullet in the restrictions on Fill-in targets question, above. However, every effort will be made to observe at least 80% of all Fill-in targets during Cycle 18. During previous Cycles, the vaste majority of all Fill-In targets have been observed.
2 Ms. A total of 2 million seconds of observing time will be made available to the non-ToO GI program during Cycle 18. Note that the Fill-in Target program is separate, and has its own time allocation (1 Ms).
No. Swift GI observations will be performed only as the result of an uploaded ground command through the normal planning process and will not be slewed to autonomously.
Low. GI observations will have a lower scheduling priority than GRBs or ToOs and will be observed on a best-effort basis when time is available in the observing schedule.
No. Because of Swift's observing restrictions, successful GIs should be aware that they are not assured 100 percent of the time awarded. Every effort will be made to observe 80% or more of an accepted program within schedule limitations of the mission.
"Key Projects" aim at addressing major, high-impact scientific questions by making use of the strengths of Swift. Proposals in this category are intended to greatly advance the Swift science program, enhance its breadth of impact, and represent an enduring legacy of Swift results. "Key Projects" may request support for new Swift projects, or theoretical investigations, and request observations of non-ToO targets, and observations of ToO targets. Proposals requesting fill-in targets or support for correlative observations cannot be submitted into this category.
"Key Projects" may require funding in the range of $100,000 per year. Such budget requests will be considered, provided they are strongly justified.
The proposed research plans can be carried out in one or two years. Proposers requesting two-year projects that are selected at Phase 1 should not assume that they have been awarded two years of support; this determination will be made at Phase-2 of the review. PIs of approved multiyear "Key Projects" will be solicited for a progress report that will be reviewed by NASA to determine if appropriate progress is being made toward the proposed objectives. Because of the significant resources allocated to multiyear "Key Projects", those that do not make progress consistent with the proposed investigation could be reduced or terminated.
6 pages for scientific justification, figures, tables, and references. If you are requesting funding, please include a budget narrative ("cost overview") that describes in sufficient detail how the funds would be used and the scale of the workforce needed to carry out the proposed work. The budget narrative has a 1-page limit that does NOT count toward the overall page limit.
The Swift Guest Investigator Program offer opportunities for joint observations with NuSTAR, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, XMM-Newton, INTEGRAL, and the NRAO's VLA, GBT, and VLBA telescopes.
YES, NuSTAR permits the Swift GI Program to award up to 300 ks of NuSTAR observing time. Proposals of high scientific merit will be identified through the peer-reviewed Swift GI evaluation process. The selected proposals will be allocated NuSTAR observing time without additional scientific review, if judged technically feasible. NuSTAR data acquired through the Swift GI Program will have a standard 12-month exclusive-use period commencing at the time of receipt of the processed data by the observer. This period is restricted to 6-months for peer-reviewed ToOs. The Swift Mission Project will make funding available to successful U.S.-based investigators who request NuSTAR observing time through the Swift GI process. No funds will be awarded from the NuSTAR Project for such joint investigations.
YES, the Swift GI Program permits the NuSTAR mission to award up to 300 ks of Swift observing time per year. This award of time shall occur without further scientific review by the Swift mission.The NuSTAR Mission Project will make funding available to successful U.S.-based investigators who request Swift observing time through the NuSTAR GI process. No funds will be awarded from the Swift Project for such joint investigations.
Yes, NRAO permits the Swift GI Program to award up to 5% of NRAO scientific observing time on NRAO's VLA, GBT and VLBA, or up to 200-300 hours per year on each telescope. The allocation of time on the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) is not covered by the current agreement. Only proposals falling in the NRAO Regular proposals and Triggered proposals categories are eligible for observing time through this joint opportunity. Radio data acquired through the Swift GI Program will be property of the proposers for the standard NRAO 12-month proprietary period.
Yes, the Swift GI Program permits NRAO to award up to 300 ks of Swift observing time per year. The award of Swift observing time will be made to highly ranked NRAO proposals and will be subject to approval by the Swift Project. Further details on the Swift/NRAO joint program can be found here.
Yes, proposers interested in making use of Swift time as part of their XMM-Newton science investigation may submit a single proposal in response to the XMM-Newton Announcement of Opportunity. The award of Swift observing time will be made to highly ranked XMM-Newton proposals and will be subject to approval by the Swift Project. Details about the Program elements will be posted on the XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre web site as soon as they become available. No funds will be provided from the Swift Project for such joint Swift/XMM-Newton investigations.
Yes, proposers interested in making use of Swift time as part of their Chandra science investigation may submit a single proposal in response to the Chandra Call for Proposals. The award of Swift observing time will be made to highly ranked Chandra proposals and will be subject to approval by the Swift Project. Details about the Program elements will be posted on the Chandra web site as soon as they become available. No funds will be provided from the Swift Project for such joint Swift/Chandra investigations.
Yes, proposers interested in making use of Swift time as part of their INTEGRAL science investigation may submit a single proposal in response to the INTEGRAL Announcement of Opportunity. The award of Swift observing time will be made to highly ranked INTEGRAL proposals and will be subject to approval by the Swift Project. Details about the Program elements will be posted on the INTEGRAL web site as soon as they become available. No funds will be provided from the Swift Project for such joint Swift/INTEGRAL investigations.
No, Swift observing time awarded through the joint program opportunities lasts for 12 months.
No, NOIs are no longer an option.
All proposals for Phase 1 of Swift Cycle 18 go to ARK/RPS. ARK/RPS will be the sole proposal submission site for all proposals (both those for funding-only and those which include observations). There is no NSPIRES proposal submission for Phase 1.
4 pages total for scientific justification, figures, tables, and references. Key Projects and proposals for correlative GRB observations that intend to bring new or enhanced ground-based IR capabilities online have a page limit of 6 pages. The page limits are discussed in Appendix D.5 of ROSES 2021 "Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory Guest Investigator - Cycle 18". Do not submit a Curriculum Vita, current & pending support, or any other supporting documentation. Please note: if you are requesting funding, please include a budget narrative ("cost overview") that describes in sufficient detail how the funds would be used and the scale of the workforce needed to carry out the proposed work. The budget narrative has a 1-page limit that does NOT count toward the overall page limit.
You may not exceed the Phase 1 "anticipated total budget" in your detailed budget for Phase 2. If your proposal is accepted in Phase 1, you will be asked to submit a detailed budget for Phase 2. This detailed budget cannot exceed the anticipated total budget you input on your Phase 1 general proposal form.
The number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) NASA civil servants that would be supported by this proposal, if approved. This may be a fraction or zero. It is collected for NASA records, and does not affect acceptance of the proposal. This is required for proposal submission.
No. Any proposal relevant to the Swift GI program is relevant to NASA and to the astrophysics strategic objectives outlined in the 2018 NASA Strategic Plan. No proposal will be returned as non-compliant for lack of a "Relevance to NASA" section or statement.
Yes. We highly encourage the use of the LaTeX template or MS Word template for the scientific part of the proposal (i.e., the written text component of the proposal). The style files needed to compile the LaTeX file can be found here. Please note that the templates have a small page margin to maximize the space for your scientific justification. If you use your own template, make sure that you include the same sections as in the template, and that your proposal is readily legible. It is strongly recommended to use a font size of 12pt or larger.
After you hit "submit" in ARK/RPS, you will see a button that says "upload your PDF". Please do not upload a CV or any other supporting documents, just the Scientific Justification as described in the proposal submission guidelines on the Swift GI Information Web page.
If you see your proposal listed on the Recent Activity page, then we have your proposal. If your submission requires any file uploads, there will be a "num_uploads" column. If you've uploaded the correct number of files, the background color of that table cell will be green, indicating you have fulfilled the file uploads requirement. If you desire another means of confirmation, you might want to activate the "Please send an e-mail receipt to me for every data record I submit" checkbox at the bottom of your ARK profile page and then submit to save this change. Now, whenever you submit or modify a proposal or upload a file, you will receive an e-mail detailing the submission. This e-mail confirmation is unnecessary, but it can be a convenient record of your submission.
The ROSES 2021 NRA and the specific ROSES 2021 Appendix D.5 "Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory Guest Investigator - Cycle 18" web pages are available from NSPIRES.
The NRA Proposers Guidebook and any clarifications are found on the NRA Proposers Guidebook page.
Ifyou have questions about any of the above, or similar, items, please do not hesitate to contact the Swift Guest Investigator Program Lead, Dr. Eleonora Troja, via our Feedback form. If you have questions about how to submit a proposal for Swift Cycle 18, please see also our Swift Guest Investigator Program Web page. It contains instructions, links, supporting materials, and help desk addresses for support with proposal submission.