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2023 Proposal Writing School

On four Mondays: 20 February - 20 March 2023


This on-line school is an introductory-level overview of the proposal writing process with a focus on ORP-supported facilities and infrastructures. It will take place on four Mondays during the time period February 20 - March 20.

The school will include an introduction to how proposals are reviewed by Time Allocation Committees (TACs), unconscious bias in proposal review and the (double-)blind proposal review system. The students will take part in group work that involves forming mini-TACs to review a set of professionally written proposals to gain experience on the process. There will also be sessions on building a science and technical case for their own proposals, with expert advice from tutors on what to do and avoid when writing an observing proposal. The students will take the information obtained from attending the school to write their own observing proposal, which will receive feedback from the expert tutors on how it could be improved.

The school is primarily meant for PhD students in astronomy, who want to gain more experience in writing observing time proposals. However, students/astronomers at any stage of the career are very welcome to apply to the school.

If you are interested in the whole proposal writing process, and learning how TACs work and how to write your own proposals, this school is perfect for you.


Credits: ESO/M. Kornmesser

How to Apply

The deadline for applications was Friday 27 January 2023. The applicants will be notified about the selection in early February.

Preliminary Programme

All times are in CET

Monday February 20:

How are proposal reviewed
13:00 - 14:00 Overview of TAC process
14:00 - 14:45 Unconscious bias
14:45 - 15:15 Break
15:15 - 16:00 Blind/double blind proposal
16:00 - 16:45 Perspectives from TAC chairs
16:45 - 17:00 Make TACS / distribute proposals

Monday February 27

How to write a good proposal
13:00 - 14:30 Building a science case
14:30 - 15:00 Break
15:00 - 16:20 Developing a technical case
16:20 - 17:00 Do’s and Don’ts Discussion

Monday March 6

TAC day
13:00 - 13:10 Overview of TAC Meetings
13:10 - 14:30 TAC Meeting (review)
14:30 - 15:00 Break
15:00 - 15:30 TAC Meeting (ranking)
15:30 - 16:00 Overview of feedback
16:00 - 16:45 Prepare feedback
16:45 - 17:00 Submit TAC results and Feedback

Monday March 20

Proposal feedback
13:00 - 14:30 Feedback on student proposals
14:30 - 15:00 Break
15:00 - 16:00 Discussion on TAC results
16:00 - 17:00 Final question / answer session


Johan Fynbo (Niels Bohr Institute, Denmark)
Heidi Korhonen (ESO; Co-Chair)
John McKean (ASTRON, the Netherlands; Co-Chair)
Raffaella Morganti (ASTRON, the Netherlands)
Annelies Mortier (Uni. Birmingham, the UK)
Kazi Rygl (INAF, Italy)


To be announced


To be announced

Contact: send a message to the main organiser.