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Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

Fermi Guest Investigator Program

Cycle-6 Program Update

08/06/2013

The final Cycle-6 selection process has been completed and 49 new guest investigator grants will be issued this month. Cycle-6 officially began on August 4, 2013.

06/11/2013

Phase-2 (budget) proposals for the Fermi Cycle-6 GI Program are due on June 24, 2013. Please refer to the instructions below for preparing your phase-2 proposal.

5/16/2013

The selections for the stage-I Fermi Cycle-6 GI program have been finalized. The notification letters and peer review evaluations will be sent by NASA HQ to all proposers in the near future. A list of the cycle-6 stage-I selections is now posted on the FSSC web site.

4/25/2013

The Fermi mission is facing budget constraints in FY14 that will affect the GI program. The project team is working to minimize the impact of these cuts.

Cycle 6 of the Fermi GI program will proceed as planned, but with a modest reduction. Results of the Cycle-6 GI stage-I proposal review will be announced during May 2013. We apologize for any inconveniences resulting from this delay. We will fund all previously approved multi-year proposals that have met the requirements specified in the NRA, thus honoring all our current commitments.

Fermi Cycle 6 Guest Investigator Program Phase 2 Proposal Submission Information

If you have been asked to submit a budget for your Cycle 6 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; please note that the requested funding for CoIs on foreign-PI proposals is expected to be substantially less than funding requested for U.S. PI proposals.
  • 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.
  • For investigations with more than one U.S. CoI on a foreign-PI proposal, only a single budget proposal from a designated "budget PI" may be submitted.
  • 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 2012. 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. Specifically, the total budget need not be provided as a separate file.

Schedule

NSPIRES website live June 7, 2013
Stage 2 budget proposal due date June 24, 2013
Award Initiation (FY13/FY14) August 2013/December 2013
  • 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.

Fermi Cycle-6 Proposal Deadline

The deadline for proposals to participate in the Fermi Cycle-6 Guest Investigator program is January 18, 2013 at 4:30 PM EST. Proposals should be submitted through the ARK/RPS remote proposal submission system. Further details are available in the Fermi Amendment to the 2012 ROSES NRA, and in this web page.

New for Cycle 6

The Fermi project is pleased to announce two new joint programs starting in Cycle 6 as noted in the Fermi Amendment to the 2012 ROSES NRA. One is with the VERITAS collaboration. This program is intended to support collaborative efforts to jointly observe high-energy gamma-ray sources with VERITAS and Fermi. Successful proposals will be selected on a competitive basis via the Fermi Cycle 6 proposal review. Details of the program are described in the VERITAS-Fermi Collaborative Agreement. Further information is available at the FSSC website. As there are a number of technical and programmatic constraints involved with the Fermi-VERITAS program, we are recommending that perspective proposers submit a brief notice of intent (NOI) to propose that would be jointly reviewed by the FSSC and a VERITAS collaboration member. The goal of such NOIs is to identify any possible issues that may affect your proposal and to provide constructive feedback in advance of your final proposal preparation.

The other new joint program involves the Arecibo Observatory. Under this joint program up to 300 hours of observation time using the 305-m dish will be made available to successful proposers to the Fermi Guest Investigator Program for coordinated scientific investigations. The details of this agreement bear some similarity to the highly successful Fermi-NRAO joint program agreement, but there are a number of technical and programmatic issues unique to Arecibo that proposers should take into consideration. Details of this agreement are available on the FSSC website.

A new GBM data product, intended primarily to facilitate studies of very short duration transients such as terrestrial gamma-ray flashes, will be available during Cycle-6 and beyond. In nominal operation the Fermi GBM will be continuously recording and sending to the ground time-tagged events (TTE) with 2-micro-second accuracy. This new operating mode will produce continuous TTE files in addition to the intervals currently available around a GBM trigger. Additional details are provided on the Fermi Science Support Center web site.

A new LAT data product, which provides significant new analysis capabilities for short duration transients such as gamma-ray bursts and solar flares, was also recently introduced. These data provide enhanced acceptance, especially at low energies, but with high background contamination. These data and associated response files are now routinely being provided for a time interval around selected transient events. For more details please see: http://fermi.gsfc.nasa.gov/ssc/data/analysis/documentation/Cicerone/Cicerone_Data/LAT_DP.html.

Schedule for Fermi Cycle 6

Announcement (as part of ROSES 2012) October 22, 2012
Fermi-VERITAS NOIs Due November 19, 2012
Proposals Due January 18, 2013
Proposal Peer Review March/April 2013
Stage-2 Proposal Solicitation May 2013
Final Selections Announced June 2013
Fermi Cycle 6 Begins mid August 2013

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 January 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 and NOAO facilities or on the Suzaku 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 Suzaku, NRAO, Arecibo, NOAO or VERITAS observing time.

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

Additional 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 Suzaku, NRAO or NOAO observing time.

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). There is also an ARK/RPS form to summarize your proposed management plan and schedule. 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 Suzaku, NRAO, Arecibo, VERITAS or NOAO observations must be added 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.

Proposals should be single-spaced, typewritten, English-language text, using one or two columns, and using an easily read font size 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.

PIs of Large (multi-year) projects approved in previous cycles must submit a progress report annually on the Phase 1 proposal due date (rather than on the anniversary of the award date). A Large project may be funded for a total of 3 years. PIs of Regular proposals that were approved for 2 years in the previous cycle need not submit a progress report for Phase 1.