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Fermi Guest Investigator Program

Cycle-11 Stage-I Proposal Selections

The Stage-I selection process has now been completed. A list of the selected proposals is now available. The PIs of these proposals should review the review materials below and instructions in their forthcoming selection letters on regarding procedures for submitting a stage-II proposal.

Information regarding past selections including a historical summary of the GI program is available on this web site for anyone interested.

Fermi Cycle 11 Guest Investigator Program Stage 2 Proposal Submission Information

If you have been asked to submit a budget for your Cycle 11 proposal you will be required to use the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES). The submission deadline will be posted at a later date.

Both you and your institution must be registered with NSPIRES. Because of the time this may take, register now, and if you think you are registered, check now to make sure your registration is current.

Guidelines for Preparing a Successful Stage 2 Budget Proposal

  • The total budget request can be no higher than the budget "cap" specified in your Stage-1 selection letter.
  • The assessment of the appropriate level of funding for an investigation will be based upon the factors specified in Appendix D.6. These include the perceived scope of the investigation and other sources of support relevant to this request.
  • Budget proposals from U.S. PIs and U.S. Co-Is on foreign-PI proposals will be considered in the Stage 2 review, but the cap specified in the NRA applies.
  • Sub-grants from NASA to separate non-government institutions will not be issued - the PI institution is responsible for the issuing any sub-awards to Co-I institutions.
  • The "budget PI" on the Stage 2 (budget) proposal may differ from the "science PI" on the Stage 1 (science justification) proposal. If so, please state this clearly in the budget narrative and provide the name of the science PI on the appropriate webform.
  • You may not use grant funding to bring a visiting foreign collaborator to work with you.
  • Fermi GI funding may be used for facilities, detectors or computers dedicated to the collection and archiving of multi-wavelength data relevant to Fermi.
  • A duly registered Authorized Official of your institution must submit your budget proposal via the NSPIRES web site (http://nspires.nasaprs.com/) following the instructions in the Summary of Solicitation of ROSES 2016. This almost definitely means that you cannot start working on your budget submission on the due date!
  • All forms are submitted electronically.

Elements of a Successful Stage 2 Budget Proposal

  • The abstract of the investigation as submitted in Stage 1 (i.e., do not resubmit the entire science proposal)
  • A summary of the budget justification (12-pt minimum font with reasonable margins), not to exceed two pages for "regular," or three pages for "large" proposals and including: a) a breakdown of the work assignments for all funded investigators, including a justification of any major purchases including workstations, b) a list with justification of proposed scientific travel, c) publication costs, and d) any cost sharing applied to this project. Please be specific when requesting funds for travel, giving the proposed destination as well as the estimated costs form registration fees, airfare, lodging, meals, etc. for each trip. Please identify the science PI if different from the budget PI.
  • A listing of any current and pending support, noting grant/contract titles, and a short synopsis of currently ongoing work
  • Budget details should be prepared according to the guidelines of the PI or Co-I institution, detailing the requested any itemized expenditures
  • For large or multi-year proposals please provide a detailed budget for each year proposed. Note however that only current year amount (once approved in the budget review) constitutes a commitment by NASA. Continuation of funding for subsequent years will be contingent upon the demonstration of satisfactory progress and available funding.
  • All required government certifications
  • A 1-2 page CV for each PI or Co-I requesting support.
  • All information that is not submitted through a webform may be uploaded in a single PDF file.


NSPIRES website live June 8, 2018
Stage-II Proposals Due June 22, 2018
Stage-II Selections mid July 2018
Grants Issued (FY17/FY18) August 2018/October 2018
  • The NSPIRES web system provides assistance; note that the NSPIRES helpdesk is staffed 8am-6pm EST. Since NSPIRES' technical support may not be aware of the Fermi-specific aspects of Stage 2, please contact the FSSC if you receive instructions that differ from those provided here or in the letter inviting you to submit a budget.
  • Technical questions should be directed to the FSSC helpdesk.
  • Policy questions should be directed to NASA HQ.
  • Many issues relevant to the GI program are discussed on the FSSC FAQ page.

Overview of Fermi Guest Investigator Program

The Fermi Guest Investigator Program provides funding for direct analysis of Fermi data, for supporting observations in other wavebands, for complementary theoretical studies, and more. The deadline for proposals is typically in February of each year.

Fermi PIs can propose to:

  • Analyze GBM or LAT event data from the beginning of science operations
  • Analyze higher level data released by the LAT: lightcurves of bright or transient sources; and a point source catalog.
  • Carry out pointed LAT observations. However, proposers should be aware that very strong science justifications will be required in view of the probable low additional scientific benefit of such observations see the Fermi Users' Group (FUG) analysis at http://fermi.gsfc.nasa.gov/ssc/proposals/pointing_analysis/. Pointed observations will follow the same open data policy as sky survey data, i.e., they will become public immediately.
  • Support correlated observations of gamma-ray sources at other wavelengths that are directly relevant to Fermi.
  • Perform theoretical studies of gamma-ray sources.
  • Obtain observing time on the NRAO, Arecibo, VERITAS, NOAO facilities or on the INTEGRAL satellite in support of Fermi-related science (refer to these URLs for details).

Fermi proposals may be submitted by investigators at both US and non-US institutions, but only PIs or Co-Is sited at US institutions may receive funding from NASA. Proposals without any investigators sited at a US institution will be evaluated (such an evaluation may assist an investigator obtain funding from a foreign funding agency), may result in a pointed LAT observation, or may be awarded observing time through our joint program agreements.

There are two proposal classes: (1) Regular proposals with research plans that can be completed in one year, and (2) Large proposals whose research plans are more expansive and may take up to three years to complete. Regular and Large proposals have distinct page limits and budget caps and annual reporting procedures. Please refer to the Fermi appendix of the ROSES NRA for details. The large majority of selected proposals are expected to be among the Regular proposal category.

As a resource to proposers list of the titles and abstracts of programs selected in previous mission cycles is available here.

The Fermi GI Process

The Fermi GI Review is typically held in the spring, and results are communicated to the Principal Investigators several weeks later. Additional interested reviewers are always welcome. If you would like to be considered as a reviewer, please send an e-mail to the HEASARC Peer Review mailbox.

If accepted, the Principal Investigator will be notified to submit Phase 2 budget proposals through NSPIRES. Details of the submission will be provided in the proposal acceptance letter.

Supporting Materials for Submitting Fermi Proposals

  • The NASA NRA Proposers Guidebook contains generalized instructions for submitting proposals to NASA.
  • The Third LAT source catalog and a preliminary version of the Fourth LAT Catalog available on the FSSC web site as is a comprehensive suite of documentation in support of Fermi data analysis.
  • Once again, prospective proposers are encouraged to contact the Fermi Science Support Center help desk with any questions regarding the preparation and submission of Fermi Guest Investigator Proposals.

Additional Details

Fermi's proposal process will have two Phases. In Phase 1 you will submit a cover page and a scientific justification; the cover page (generated by a webform) will include a maximum budget cap and the scientific justification should include a brief management section that describes the resources required (e.g., FTE). The page limit for this section is 4 pages for a Regular proposal, and 6 pages for a Large proposal. An additional page describing technical details of your proposed NRAO, Arecibo, VERITAS, NOAO or INTEGRAL observations is required if you are applying under the joint proposal opportunity. A peer review panel will review your Phase 1 proposal, and you will submit a Phase 2 budget proposal only if your Phase 1 proposal has been tentatively accepted.

Documentation for Past GI Programs

This information is retained for historical reference only. Please refer exclusively to the documents pertaining to the current proposal cycle in preparing your proposal.