Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

Fermi Guest Investigator Program

The submission deadline for stage-I Fermi Cycle-14 Guest Investigator proposals is February 19, 2021, 16:30 EST. Results of the selection process are expected to be announced in the late May/early June 2021 timeframe.

Proposals must be submitted using the ARK/RPS online proposal submission facility.

New for Cycle 14

A Fermi-TESS joint program opportunity is available starting in Cycle 14. The details of thie joint program are described in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Fermi and TESS missions. A link to the MOU can be found below. For additional details please refer to the Fermi appendix to the 2020 ROSES NRA, and feel free to contact the Fermi Science Support Center help desk with any questions.

The recent announcement by NASA HQ that all NASA GI/GO programs will transition to a Dual Anonymous Peer-Review process includes Fermi and this policy is in effect for Cycle 14 and beyond. Guidelines for preparing a dual-anonymous proposal are described in the Fermi appendix (D.6) to the ROSES 2020 NRA (sec. 2.2.2) or at this website. Please review them carefully. Failure to comply with these guidelines could result in the disqualification of a proposal.

Requests for continued funding of multi-year Large Projects, i.e. proposal of type "Progress Reports", are a exception to the dual-anonymous requirement. Progress reports should be prepared and submitted as in past cycles.

Joint Observation Programs

Multiwavelength observations made in conjunction with Fermi scientific investigations have the potential to enhance the scientific return of the mission and advance the field. The Fermi project has thus established a number of joint observation programs. The Fermi GI program can award optical, radio, X-ray or gamma-ray observations through Fermi's joint programs with NRAO, NOAO, VERITAS, and INTEGRAL. Note that only a single year of joint-program observations can be awarded through the Fermi GI Program regardless of the duration of awarded Fermi support. There are a number of important technical and policy details regarding these joint programs and prospective proposers are strongly encouraged to refer to the respective MOUs:

http://fermi.gsfc.nasa.gov/ssc/proposals/nrao.html,
http://fermi.gsfc.nasa.gov/ssc/proposals/noao.html,
http://fermi.gsfc.nasa.gov/ssc/proposals/veritas.html
http://fermi.gsfc.nasa.gov/ssc/proposals/integral.html, and
http://fermi.gsfc.nasa.gov/ssc/proposals/tess.html

Proposers to the Fermi program may also apply for high-end computing resources in support of their research.

Again, please note that the joint-observation programs awarded through Fermi are for one year only. We encourage all perspective proposers to consider taking advantage of these joint-program opportunities.

Important - Please Read

In recent proposal cycles about 2-5% of the submissions failed to comply with the formatting requirements that are clearly stated in the Fermi NRA, and reproduced below. Please avoid having your proposal be penalized or out-and-out rejected by following the straight forward and reasonable format requirements.

Excerpted from the Fermi NRA: "Proposals should be single-spaced, typewritten, English-language text, using one column, and using an easily read font size of 12-point or larger and no more than 15 characters per horizontal inch. No smaller font should be used in the subsections of the proposal, including references, however, figure captions can be in fonts as small as 10-point. In addition, the proposal shall have no more than 5.5 lines per inch of text. Pages should have at least one-inch (2.5 cm) margins on all sides. Proposals not conforming to the format above will be declared noncompliant and rejected without any further review."

Schedule for Fermi Cycle 14

Final Cycle-14 call for proposals (ROSES D.6) released  
Proposals Due February 19, 2021
Proposal Peer Review May 2021
Stage-2 Proposal Solicitation June 2021
Final Selections Announced July 2021
Fermi Cycle 14 Begins August 4, 2021
Cycle-14 Grants Issued ~Oct/Nov 2021

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, VERITAS, TESS, 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.

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.

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, INTEGRAL, or TESS 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.