Large Program policy

IRAM offers the possibility to apply for observing time in the framework of a Large Program for the 30-meter telescope. Following the successful installation and commissioning of the PolyFiX correlator end of 2017, Large Programs will be again accepted for NOEMA starting with the Call for Proposals for the summer 2018 semester. However, certain restrictions are put in place to account for the ongoing, significant investement of technical time that is still needed for the NOEMA project.

A Large Program should require more than 100 hours of observing time, spread over a maximum of three years, i.e. 6 contiguous semesters, or longer for programs requesting more than 1000 hours. IRAM will accept a limited number of Large Programs to be carried out per semester and instrument (30-meter and NOEMA), allocating a maximum of 50% of observing time to such projects on the IRAM 30-meter telescope. A smaller fraction of the available telescope time will be opened for Large Programs submitted to NOEMA as a significant amount of technical time is still needed to upgrade the interferometer to the full NOEMA capabilities.

The Large Program should address strategic scientific issues leading to a breakthrough in the field. Large Programs should be coherent science projects, not reproducible by a combination of smaller normal proposals. The Large Program proposals should contain a solid management plan ensuring an efficient turnover, including data reduction, analysis, and organization of the efforts. Because of the large investment in observing time, but also of the inherent support from IRAM, it is advised that Large Programs involve one or more IRAM internal collaborators.

During the execution period of the Large Programs (ideally before mid-term), the team leading the Large Program should report to IRAM about the preliminary results and possible technical difficulties, so that IRAM could assess the progress made, assist with any problems encountered in the course of the observations, and, if needed, adjust the program scheduling.

The proprietary period ends 18 months after the end of the last scheduling semester in which the Large Program was observed. The raw data and processed data then enter the public domain. An extension of this proprietary period may be granted in exceptional cases only. A corresponding request will have to be submitted to the IRAM director.

For further details on the submission of a Large Program, please consult the Call for Proposal web pages.