1.5 The Help Desk at STScI

STScI has a Help Desk whose staff, together with affiliated responders from the various instrument teams, can quickly provide answers on any HST-related topic, including questions regarding STIS and the proposal process.

If you have questions about the phase II implementation of your approved STIS program, usually it is best to reach out to your Contact Scientist (CS). If you do not have a CS, you may send a request to the Help Desk asking for one to be assigned to your program. If your program has already executed, if you are working with archival data, or if you are unsure about whether or not you have a CS, you should direct all inquiries to the Help Desk, at https://hsthelp.stsci.edu.

The Help Desk staff have access to all of the resources available at the Institute, and they maintain a database of previous inquiries so that frequently asked questions can be quickly answered. (The answers to many frequently asked questions can also be found in the knowledge base on the help desk website.) The Help Desk staff can also provide hard copies of STScI documentation, including Instrument Science Reports and Instrument Handbooks (though this service may be unavailable during the pandemic). In any case, electronic copies of documents are available via the Web.

Questions sent to the Help Desk will receive at least a preliminary response within two working days. The Help Desk staff will do their best to fully answer the question, but if the staff on duty cannot provide an answer, they will contact the appropriate expert(s) at STScI to obtain and deliver the answer.  By sending your request to the Help Desk, you are guaranteed that you will obtain a timely and appropriate response.
To contact the HST Help Desk at STScI, we encourage users to access the new web portal, where one can both access the knowledge base and submit questions directly to the appropriate team of experts.