4.1 Phase I and Phase II Proposals

The first steps in preparing an HST program are to establish a set of science goals and to explore whether HST can be used to achieve those science goals. Once an observer has decided that HST can achieve the science goals, they must prepare a formal proposal.

In this chapter we give an overview of the steps that are taken in preparing an HST observing proposal that involves WFC3 observations. “Phase I” refers to the initial proposal that is reviewed by the Telescope Allocation Committee (TAC). The Phase I proposal presents the scientific justification for the project, lists the targets to be observed and the instrument(s) and spectral elements to be used, and includes a request for a specific number of spacecraft orbits. See the HST Call for Proposals and HST Primer for a full discussion of all policy issues and additional guidance.

The Phase I proposal does not contain many of the details that are actually required to carry out observations with HST. These are included in a “Phase II” proposal that will be needed if and after the proposal is recommended by the TAC and approved by the STScI Director. At that time, the Phase II Proposal Instructions (specifically Chapter 12 regarding the WFC3 instrument), will be a vital resource for users who have been awarded time.

The actual submission of proposals in both Phase I and Phase II is accomplished using the Astronomer’s Proposal Tool (APT); see http://apt.stsci.edu.

This chapter focuses on the steps for assembling the information needed to prepare a Phase I WFC3 proposal for submission using APT.