THE PROPOSAL-TO-AWARD PROCESS I. General Observer Program Awards: Chandra Call for Proposals (CfP) is released in December. Science community prepares Stage 1 science proposals due by mid-March. In June, Peer Review Committee reviews Stage 1 science proposals in accordance with the evaluation criteria contained in the CfP and prepares a list of recommended winners based on the scores given to each proposal. In early July, the Selecting Official (Chandra X-ray Center Director) notifies, in writing, all Principal Investigators (PI) who submitted a Stage 1 proposal of the results of the review. Simultaneously, all US-based investigators with an approved project are invited to submit a Stage 2 cost proposal by late August for the funding that they estimate will be required to carry out the investigation. At this time PIs are provided with a "fair-share" estimate of funding that gives guidance on the funding level each PI should expect to receive. ("Fair shares" are calculated using a number of factors including observation time and level of difficulty.) In September, a subset of the Stage 1 Peer Review Committee assesses all cost proposals. The Stage 2 Reviewers will take into account a number of factors in determining the appropriate level of funding for each investigation. The criteria will be: the total cost of the investigation, including cost realism and reasonableness, in the context of the anticipated level-of-effort required to carry out the investigation successfully; the total proposed cost in relation to available funds; the relative ranking of the proposal (as indicated by its grade relative to a perfect score of 5.0); the possible presence of other proposals from the same investigator(s) for which funding has been requested under this CfP; and other sources of support relevant to this request. In October, based on the Peer Review Committee's recommendations, the Selecting Official will notify each PI in writing of the approved award dollar amount. If the difference between the proposed funding and the approved funding is more than 20%, then a revised cost proposal must be submitted by the PI. New budgets are not required when the approved funding is within twenty percent (20 percent) of the proposed amount; however, if Co-Investigators will be funded, the PI must submit in writing a breakdown of how the funding is to be split among all investigators to be funded. The new cycle of observations typically begins in the November-December timeframe of each year. Once the initial observation has been successfully completed and the data has been distributed to the PI, the Grant Award will be issued by the SAO Subawards Section. In most cases, this occurs soon after the data has been distributed; however, in cases where a project consists of multiple targets or is broken into multiple observations, the Grant Award will be issued following the delivery of the first data set. This process can take up to 4 weeks from the time the initial observation is made to the issuance of the Grant Award. (Chandra targets and observation-scheduling information can be found at: http://cxc.harvard.edu/target_lists/index.html). II. Education/Public Outreach Awards: CfP invites those US-based proposers whose Stage 1 science proposals have been recommended for an award to submit proposals for Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) funding. An E/PO proposal consists of both the proposed E/PO activity and the associated cost proposal. Information for the submission of E/PO proposals is released on the Chandra web site http://cxc.harvard.edu in early July. This will include instructions and guidelines for preparing the E/PO proposals and the criteria for their evaluation as well as links to the relevant OSS Education sites and documents. See Chapter 8 of the CfP for additional information related to the E/PO process. The deadline for submitting an E/PO proposal will be in mid-September. The cost cap on E/PO proposals by an individual investigator is $15K per year. The "Institutional Proposal" option allows several Chandra researchers located at the same institution to collectively carry out a more ambitious, expansive E/PO program with a cost cap of $15K per year per researcher, up to $50K for more than three collaborators. In October, the E/PO proposals (which consist of the proposed E/PO activity and associated costs) undergo a separate peer review by an appropriately qualified panel in accordance with the evaluation criteria contained in the CfP. A list of recommended proposals and their associated funding levels is forwarded to the Selecting Official (Chandra X-ray Center Director). After the completion of the peer review, the Selecting Official notifies, in writing, all investigators who submitted E/PO proposals of the peer review results. The substance of reviews is conveyed to the proposers in a summary report attached to the notification. The E/PO Grant Award is issued at the beginning of the cycle (November-December) so that the E/PO program can be implemented in a timely manner. For awards where there is a successful Stage 2 cost proposal, E/PO funds are added to and issued under the same Grant Award which resulted from the Stage 2 cost proposal review. The science portion of the Grant Award will be added via an amendment to the Grant Award after the data from the initial observation has been distributed to the PI. The period-of-performance for E/PO Awards associated with a research award is restricted to not exceed that of its parent research award. The period-of-performance for E/PO Awards not associated with a research award will be one year.
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