The Swift's Guest Investigator (GI) Program, part of NASA's Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) Announcement, provides opportunities for Guest Investigators (GIs) to carry out basic research relevant to the Swift Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) mission. Beginning in Cycle 17, all Phase-1 proposals submitted to the Neil Gehrels Swift Guest Investigator Program will be evaluated following a dual-anonymous peer review process.
Proposals are due Friday, September 25, 2020, 7:30 PM EDT.
It is anticipated that up to $1.4M (depending on the available budget) will be available through this solicitation for the support of proposals at a ~$35-40k average award level. Proposals requesting funds need to include a budget narrative. As during previous cycles, the detailed cost evaluation will be deferred until Phase 2 (budget review). The funding amount requested in the Phase 2 cost proposal may not exceed the amount proposed in Phase 1. Funds will be released to successful U.S. PIs after the start of FY22 (October 2021).
The Phase-1 proposal review will be done in a dual-anonymous fashion.
Dual-anonymous peer review (DAPR) means that not only will the proposers not know who their reviewers are, but the reviewers will not know who the proposers are, at least not until after they have evaluated the scientific merit of the proposal. This implementation of DAPR will be based on that employed by STScI in the evaluation of Hubble Space Telescope observing proposals in recent cycles, in that the names of team members will ultimately be revealed to the peer review panel after all of the proposals have been reviewed for scientific merit. At that time the peer reviewers will have the opportunity to comment on the qualifications and capabilities of the team. The selection official will take into consideration the assessment of the team's qualifications when making the selection.
The primary motivation for reviewing proposals in a dual-anonymous fashion is to minimize unconscious bias in the review process. PIs should consult the Guidelines for Anonymous Proposals document in the "Other Documents" section of the Swift solicitation on NSPIRES for instructions on writing proposals appropriate for a dual-anonymous reviews.
The experience from the Hubble Space Telescope dual-anonymous reviews is that revising previous proposals to be compliant requires some thought but is straightforward in most cases.
The scientific justification can be generated using the software of the PI's choice, as long as it is converted to PDF format before submission. However, the font size and margins should meet the proposal style format requirement described in the ROSES Summary of Solicitation. Specifically, the text body font size should be no smaller than 15 characters per inch. Figure captions and references may be smaller but must be legible. A 12 point font size is recommended. Proposers may use the LaTeX template or the Word template for the scientific justification. When using these templates, the user should double-check that the top, botton, right and left margins are at least 1 inch on US letter size paper (8.5" x 11"). Proposals must not contain hyperlinks to additional material other than references to public information that do not identify the PI, Co-Is or their institutions.
This document will be distributed to the review panel after all proposals have been reviewed and rated, only for programs which are in the selectable range. This is to allow the reviewers to assess the team capabilities required to execute a given proposed science investigation. If there are clear, compelling deficiencies in the expertise required to see through the goals of the proposal, the panel may decide to flag the submission accordingly, and provide a detailed justification in its comments to NASA. This review may not be used to flag "up" proposals for having strong team qualifications, nor may it be used to re-evaluate or upgrade proposals.
Notices of Intent (NOIs): NOIs are not an option.
Cycle 17 will be a 2-Phase review: Phase 1 will consist of the scientific/technical peer review of all proposals. GIs that are successful in Phase 1 will be invited to submit detailed budgets for review in Phase 2, provided the GI is eligible for funding (i.e., is at a US institution).
No NSPIRES proposal submission during Phase 1: All proposals, whether for funding-only or for observation, will be submitted to ARK/RPS. Only Phase-2 budget proposals of accepted proposals will go to NSPIRES.
Time-Constrained Observations: Time-constrained observations 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 space-based facilities, etc. Time-constrained observations are subject to the following limits:
There are no restrictions on the maximum number of highest- and high-priority ToOs that will be performed during Cycle 17. The previous limitation that no more than 500 time-constrained observations could be performed has been removed. There is no limit to the maximum number of time-constrained observations that will be accepted in Cycle 17.
For coordinated and constrained observations, it is the proposer's responsibility to inform the Swift Science Operations Team (by sending a ToO request) of the observing time window at least one week before observations commence.
Observation Length: Requested observing time is limited to between 1 ks minimum and 40 ks maximum per observation (i.e., a single visit to the target). Because Swift has no continuous viewing zones, all observations longer than 2 ks are likely to be broken into several visits by the Swift science planners.
No more than 2,000 visits will be performed during Cycle 17 (total of all proposal categories).
GRB ToOs: GIs can propose for GRB ToOs that are detected with instruments other than Swift (e.g., MAXI, Fermi, IPN).
Estimates of ToO trigger probability: In order to help both the reviewers and Swift's schedulers, the target forms for proposed Swift ToO observations require a realistic trigger probability for each source. This is the probability that the proposed source will meet its trigger criteria during Cycle 17.
Theory Proposals: Theory proposals are not restricted to GRB investigations and will be considered provided that they address the degree to which the investigations directly advance Swift science goals.
Changes to Swift Operations: Cycle 17 allows proposals that request changes or additions to current Swift strategies or to perform innovative Swift analysis (GRBs, and non-GRBs). Proposals that request changes to Swift on-board capabilities or operational procedures may require special scrutiny during the review process and may require approval by the Swift team before implementation. Investigators who consider such proposals need to consult with the Swift team prior to proposal submission.
Correlative Observations (GRBs and non-GRBs): Proposers can request funding to conduct correlative observations at other wavelengths in support of Swift observations. When applicable, proposers are encouraged to explicitly state the proposal number of their accepted observing proposals, the total amount of time awarded, and the period of performance.
Key Projects: The "Key Projects" category was introduced in Cycle 12. "Key Projects" are intended to greatly advance the Swift science program, enhance its breadth of impact, and represent an enduring legacy of Swift results. Proposals in this category must explicitly explain and strongly justify why the proposal represents a Swift "Key Project", and cannot be carried out as a regular GI program. Proposals in this category may request support for new Swift projects, theoretical investigations, observations of non-GRB non-ToO targets, and observations of ToO targets. 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. "Key Projects" proposals may also require funding in the range of $100,000 per year. Such budget requests will be considered, provided they are strongly justified. A six-page limit for the scientific justification applies to proposals submitted in this proposal category. Proposals requesting fill-in targets or support for correlative observations cannot be submitted into this category.
Proposers should address how the use of their facilities will complement the Swift science program. The extent to which the proposed research will enhance the science return from Swift will be considered in the proposal evaluation process. Proposals who request funding for correlative observations need to clearly demonstrate in their proposal that such data will be rapidly made available to the public.
Special Consideration for correlative observations of high redshift GRBs: To encourage the development of rapid IR ground-based response to potentially high redshift GRBs, special consideration will be given to such projects. Proposals to bring new or enhanced ground-based IR capabilities online may require funding substantially above the average award (e.g., in the ~$100k range). Such budget requests will be considered provided they are strongly justified. In the case of these proposals alone, proposers are allowed to exceed the average $40k budget range.
Fill-In Proposals: No funding will be provided for proposals in the "Fill-in" category, therefore no Phase-2 budget proposal is requested. There is no limit on the number of fill-in targets a proposer can submit. UVOT grism observations are not part of the Fill-in program, and can not be requested through proposals in this category.
Page Limit for Proposals: "Key Projects" and proposals for correlative GRBs observations that intend to bring new or enhanced ground-based IR capabilities online have a page limit of 6 pages + 1 page for the budget narrative. Proposals in all other proposal categories have a 4 page limit + 1 page for the budget narrative. No supporting materials (e.g., CV, current and pending support, etc.) are permitted.
Duplication policies: an observation is a duplication of another observation if it is on the same astronomical target or field, and it is performed with the same instrument. It is the responsibility of the proposers to check the proposed observations against the catalog of previously executed observations (see the Swift Archive) or accepted programs (see below). If any duplications exist, they must be identified and justified in the proposal.
UVOT Filter Justification: UVOT observations are specified by an observing mode, which divides the requested observing time appropriately among a group of filters. In an effort to conserve UVOT filter wheel rotations, proposers who wish UVOT observations taken in filters other than "filter of the day" (either the U, UVW1, UVM2, or UVW2 filter that is chosen by the science planners on each particular day) need to provide a strong justification for the choice of the filters. If no strong justification is provided, all observations will be performed in "filter of the day" mode. A list of the available UVOT modes can be found here.
Budget Narrative: Proposers must submit a budget narrative that explains in sufficient detail how the proposed funds will be used to achieve the goals outlined in the proposal. The budget narrative should be anonymized and has a 1 page limit that will not count toward the above page limit.
Release of Funds: Funds will be released to successful U.S. PIs after the start of FY21 (October 2020).
Joint Swift/XMM-Newton Program: 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.
Joint Swift/Chandra Program: 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.
Joint Swift/INTEGRAL Program: 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.
Joint Swift/NRAO Program: 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. Radio data acquired through the Swift GI Program will be property of the proposers for the standard NRAO 12-month proprietary period. The Swift Program permits NRAO to award up to 300ks of Swift observing time per year. For further details, please read the Swift/NRAO Memorandum of Understanding.
Joint Swift/NuSTAR Program: Starting from Cycle 14 the Swift Guest Investigator program can award up to 300 ks of NuSTAR observing time through a joint program with the NuSTAR mission. Observing time under this program will be awarded only to proposals that require use of both observatories to meet the primary science goals. Proposers are strongly encouraged to carefully read the Swift/NuSTAR Memorandum of Understanding.
|ROSES 2020 NRA||NSPIRES web page with links to ROSES 2020 announcement and all amendments, plus links to NRA Proposers Guidebook, NASA Science Plan and more.|
|ROSES 2020 Appendix D.5 "Neil Gehrels Swift Guest Investigator Cycle 17"||NSPIRES web page with links to the ROSES 2020 Appendix D.5 with all details of the Swift Cycle 17 elements.|
Investigations are to be carried out in the 17th year of Swift's public observations, i.e., April 2021 through March 2022.
What the Swift GI program is:
|Time available for non-ToO targets:||2 Msec|
|Time available for Fill-in targets:||1 Msec|
|Time available for ToO targets:||1 Msec|
|Time available for Large Programs:||1 Msec|
|Total anticipated funding for all GRB investigations and non-GRB observations:||up to $1.4M|
The table below gives the available proposal categories:
|1.||Theoretical GRB and non-GRB Investigations||Funding only|
|2.||Correlative GRB observations involving new or enhanced IR capabilities for investigating high-z bursts||Funding only|
|3.||Other correlative investigations (GRB and non-GRB)||Funding only|
|4.||New Swift GRB Projects||Funding only|
|5.||Swift ToO observations of GRB or non-GRB targets||Funding+observations|
|6.||Swift non-ToO observations of non-GRB targets||Funding+observations|
|7.||Swift Fill-in targets||Observations only|
|ROSES 2020 NRA Released:||February 14, 2020|
|Notices of Intent due:||Option not available|
|Phase 1 Proposals Due:||September 25, 2020, 7:30 PM EDT|
|Phase 1 Proposal Peer Review:||Early December, 2020|
|Phase 2 Budget Proposals Due:||February 2021|
|Swift Cycle 17 Begins:||April 1, 2021|
|Swift Cycle 17 Ends:||March 31, 2022|
Proposers are urged to read carefully the Description of the Swift Guest Investigator Program in the NASA Research Announcement NNH20ZDA001N. Below we distill the highlights.
Note: the ARK user account used to enter this information will automatically be recorded as the proposal PI; please file the proposal from the PI's ARK account.
The proposal PDF file submitted via ARK/RPS should only include:
Proposals must be received by September 25, 2020, 7:30 PM EDT.
If you have difficulties submitting your proposal or have technical questions about the Swift mission, see our Getting Help section. Proposals submitted after the proposal deadline will not be considered.
If you have questions about the Swift GI program, see our Swift GI Program FAQ. If you don't find the answer there, or have questions about the Swift instruments, mission, or simulation tools, contact the Swift Help Desk via our Feedback form.
The Swift Cycle 17 Peer Review will take place in the Washington DC metropolitan area in early December 2020. The exact date and location are still to be determined at this point. Reviewers must have a PhD at the time of the Peer Review. If you feel you are qualified to be considered as a reviewer, please contact the Swift GI Lead, Dr. Eleonora Troja, by sending an email to the HEASARC Peer Review Mailbox and mention that you are interested in being a reviewer for Swift Cycle 17.