Proposal Help

General Instructions

To apply for CfA time on the MMT, Magellan, or Ridge Telescopes (1.5-m and1.2-m), the CfA must be your primary affiliation and you must be resident at a CfA facility. CfA staff on leave or sabbatical may also apply for time.
Check our observing policies.

Web submission start to end:

  1. check the instrument status page to find out which instruments are actually available this semester (and sometimes, when they are available).
  2. If you do not have an account already, please click the "Sign up" link in the navigation bar (on top of every page) or press the "Sign up" button on the homepage and follow the prompts. Select a username, enter your email address and make sure that your first and last name are correctly spelled (they will be printed on proposals).
  3. If you signed up already, please click on "log in" in the navigation bar or press the "Log in" button on the homepage. Enter your username (or email address) and password. If you forgot your password, press the "I forgot my password" button on the homepage.
  4. use the "Create new proposal" button to create a new proposal. Fill in at least the required information and "Save". You can add missing or modify any information later on. Just click on "Proposals" in the navigation bar and then on the title of your proposal. This will take you to the "Proposal Update" page which is the main "working horse" for getting your proposal ready. On the "Proposal Update" page you create a cover page, upload the scientific justification and create and review the TAC pdf. The TAC pdf is exactly what the Time Allocation Committee will see and rate. Be sure to read the Instruction for CfA Telescope Proposals (PDF download).
    • Complete the proposal information
    • Process the abstract by creating a cover page and be sure you have corrected any TeX errors.
    • Upload a scientific justification (pdf). You can use TeX or any word processor which can produce a PDF or Postscript file. If you use TeX, please use dvips -Ppdf -o file to generate better computer viewable fonts.
    • Create and Review the TAC pdf until everything looks like you want it to be. If so, you are ready to Submit
  5. If you want to keep a copy, print out the TAC pdf. You can do this any time.
  6. Be advised: SCHEDULED time may differ from ALLOCATED time. For a variety of reasons, the Observatories are not always able to schedule the telescopes with the exact time allocations approved the TAC.
There is a submit button now! If you need to change you proposal after you submitted it, you have to recall it first.

For assistance with the submission process, send an email to the Telescope Data Center Staff.

Cover Page

Enter general information about your proposal, such as telescope, instrument, investigator(s), and the amount and type of time requested in the Web proposal form. Together with the abstract, this will become the cover page of your proposal.

The cover page target list is a two line entry that summarizes the number of objects and ranges in their magnitudes and coordinates.


Proposal and Addendum