It has been a long-standing policy at the NOT to accept observing
proposals from anyone, regardless of nationality, affiliation, or
status. Thus, projects by non-Nordic P.I.s typically received 10-12%
of the Nordic observing time in open competition after peer review by
the NOT OPC. In recent years, however, the demand from external
European groups without competitive instrumentation has risen to the
point where 'foreign' time at the NOT far exceeded the share available
to any of the sponsoring countries, with little return of such favours
for Nordic astronomers.
Plans for equitable time sharing arrangements with other
competitive European 2-4m telescopes are being prepared through the
ASTRONET and OPTICON. However, in the interim, the NOT Council has
decided to limit outside access to the NOT to 15% of the total
science time, excluding Spanish and technical time.
Moreover, to ensure equitable and competitive review of all eligible
proposals for time at the NOT and all other European telescopes, the
Council also decided that ALL non-Nordic proposals MUST
be submitted through the OPTICON common proposal and evaluation system
(see deadlines below and link to the latest call). Proposals
submitted outside the OPTICON procedure will in future be considered
only in exceptional cases. This policy will be reviewed and adjusted
as appropriate, semester by semester.
As stipulated by the Associates that form the NOT Scientific
Association, a contribution to the operations of the telescope will be
required from the users. Furthermore, in accordance with the new NOTSA
Agreement, the share of observing time for each Nordic Country is
proportional to the contributions from the Associates. A description
of the general rules for the allocation of observing time and user
contributions can be found here.
For proposals being allocated time through OPTICON the user
contribution is covered by that programme.
The OPTICON Trans-National Access Programme:
The OPTICON Trans-National Access Programme provides access for
European, but non-Nordic users to NOT and several other European
telescopes with support from the European Union. ALL non-Nordic
and non-Spanish proposals for the Nordic Optical
Telescope MUST be submitted through the OPTICON common proposal
and evaluation system.
OPTICON proposals must be submitted well
before the usual NOT deadline - see
Call text for all details on this programme.
'Fast-track' Observing Proposals for short programmes:
Any proposal for a programme requiring up to 4 hours of observing
time in service mode and with standard instrumentation can be
any time through the 'Fast-Track
Joint IAC-Nordic research programmes:
Following the Agreement between the Instituto de Astrofísica de
Canarias (IAC) and NOTSA for the continued operation of the NOT at the
Roque de los Muchachos observatory on La Palma, 5% of the observing
time at NOT will be offered for joint IAC-Nordic research
programmes. This observing time is aimed at reinforcing the
collaboration and synergies between the IAC and the Nordic communities
through joint programmes. Call for proposals will be issued separately.
Regular Observing Proposals:
Who can apply?
- Anybody affiliated with a Nordic research institute can apply for
NOT time in the regular procedure, regardless of nationality.
- Proposals by scientists working at other European institutes
should be submitted through OPTICON (see above).
- Non-Nordic proposals that are not submitted through OPTICON are
considered only in exceptional cases.
- All proposals submitted to NOT are ranked on the basis of
scientific merit by the NOT
Observing Programmes Committee (OPC), but national shares are
taking in to consideration when allocating observing time.
How do I apply for observing time
Applications for observation time at NOT must be prepared
and submitted electronically using the Latex proposal package for the
period applied for (proposal template, style file, and README
file). The updated proposal files will be available 4-6 weeks before
each proposal deadline.
NB: The competition for observing time at the NOT is very
keen, and our small OPC cannot contain experts in all fields of
astronomy. Therefore, it is CRUCIAL that proposals outline
CLEARLY the scientific background and context of the proposed
project, and also explain
CLEARLY what contribution the planned observations will make to
advancing our understanding of the field in question!
As a more practical matter, note that proposals will only be accepted
if prepared with the appropriate NOTFORM style macros and submitted to
special mail-only account reserved for processing observing proposals.
Please specify "Proposal" as the Subject when submitting a proposal,
and "Question" in case of any preparatory inquiries.
Current Call for Proposals
|For the normal proposal cycle:|
|1 October to 31 March : ||15th of May|
|1 April to 30 September : ||15th of November|
|For proposals through OPTICON:|
|1 October to 31 March : ||28 February|
|1 April to 30 September : ||31 August|
|For joint IAC-Nordic programmes:|
|1 October to 31 March : ||Approximately one week after Nordic proposal deadline|
|1 April to 30 September : ||Approximately one week after Nordic proposal deadline|