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. 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, it
was decided that ALL non-Nordic proposals MUST be
submitted through an EU Trans-National Access (TNA) Programme (see
below). Proposals submitted outside the TNA Programme procedures will
be considered only in exceptional cases.
As stipulated by the NOT Charter, a contribution to the operations of
the telescope will be required from the users. Furthermore, in
accordance with the new rules, the share of observing time for each
Nordic Country is proportional to the contributions from each
Partner. A description of the general rules for the allocation of
observing time and user contributions can be
For proposals being allocated time through EU TNA Programmes, the
user contribution is covered by those programmes.
EU Trans-National Access Programmes
||Trans-National Access (TNA) Programme provides access for
(non-Nordic) European users to NOT with support from the European
Union. ALL non-Nordic and non-Spanish proposals for the
Nordic Optical Telescope MUST be submitted through a TNA
The ORP Trans-National Access Programme:
The ORP (OPTICON-RadioNet Pilot)
Trans-National Access Programme provides access to NOT and several
other European telescopes. Proposals for the Nordic Optical Telescope
must be submitted through the OPTICON common proposal and evaluation
There is call for ORP TNA proposals for each semester, with
a deadline well before the usual NOT deadline - see
TNA Call text for all details on this programme.
The ChETEC-INFRA Trans-National Access Programme:
The ChETEC-INFRA (Chemical
Elements as Tracers of the Evolution of the Cosmos – Infrastructures
for Nuclear Astrophysics) Trans-National Access Programme provides
access to telescopes for astronomical observations, nuclear
laboratories to measure nuclear properties and rates, and
supercomputers to compute complex stellar models aimed at Nuclear
There is call for ChETEC-INFRA TNA proposals
each 3 months, but in principle only the calls in May and November are
open for proposals for the observing time at the NOT in the semesters
October to March, and April to September, respectively. (Any proposal
to the NOT submitted at the other deadlines will only be considered
for allocation in the subsequent proposal
round). See here
for details on the TNA 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
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.
Latest 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|