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Peer review

Proposals submitted to the EVN are reviewed by the EVN Programme Committee (EVN PC).

The EVN PC consists of members delegated by EVN Observatories, and additional at-large members. The PC members have a broad range of scientific expertise, such as Galactic masers, continuum stars, AGNs, transients, cosmology etc. 

 

Proposers are encouraged to consult JIVE User Support before proposal submission, to avoid rejection of proposals for feasibility issues. 

 

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Regular proposals

Regular proposals (submitted through Northstar by the EVN proposal deadline) are evaluated by all members who then assign a pre-grade, based on scientific merit and technical feasibility of the proposal. The EVN PC then discusses the proposals at a face-to-face EVN PC meeting to finalise the grades.

The final grade and the consensus report are sent to the Principal Investigator, usually within two months of the proposal deadline. A full copy of individual comments from the committee members is provided as feedback.

 

Global proposals

Global proposals requesting NRAO and GBO telescopes are discussed together with the NRAO and GBO Time Allocation Committees (TACs). The e-MERLIN array observing time, which can be requested for joint EVN+e-MERLIN observations, has to be granted by the e-MERLIN TAC and proposals should therefore include a clear justification for its inclusion.

Global proposals are judged in the same manner as regular proposals by the EVN committee. NRAO, GBO and e-MERLIN TACs have their own procedures for evaluation.

 

Target of Opportunity proposals

Target of Opportunity (ToO) proposals can be submitted at any time directly to the EVN PC Chair, including the EVN Scheduler and JIVE in copy. Proposals will be rapidly evaluated by available PC members, and may involve over-riding agreed programmes at each of the telescopes concerned.

Proposals will be judged on scientific merit and the technical feasibility of the project, alongside the justification for the urgency of the observations. 

The PC Chair (or the Deputy PC Chair) will review the proposal - in consultation with individual PC members if time permits - and send their opinion to the Principal Investigator, and other proposal recipients. The Chair will also consult with the EVN Scheduler to decide whether or not the observations can indeed be made within an EVN session or scheduled EVN e-VLBI run, and inform the Directors accordingly if necessary.

For out-of-session ToO proposals the observatory Directors and Schedulers will also review the proposal and, if necessary, decide whether or not to authorise the observations. In addition, they will also investigate whether a suitable observing date can be found. In some instances, observatories may give unconditional approval to the approval, while some may make the decision dependent on the PC Chair’s opinion. The PC Chair will either recommend that an attempt should be made to schedule the ToO observations, or that the request be turned down, on the basis of the Directors’ responses, the scientific case or the non-availabilty of resources.

Proposers should be aware that most EVN observatories are fully committed to other programmes outside of the sessions (especially at the larger telescopes) and as a consequence it may be very difficult to organize additional ad hoc VLBI time at all EVN telescopes at short notice.

 

Short observation proposals

Short observation proposals must be sent directly to the EVN PC Chair, including the EVN Scheduler and JIVE in copy. The EVN PC Chair will evaluate the proposal, and if the request can be supported, the EVN Scheduler will schedule them on a best effort basis as filler observations (thus without any guarantee of observation).

Note that rapid response science proposals are not eligible as short requests, even if the requested time is less than two hours. These must be submitted as a ToO proposal.