TSIP Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can TSIP funds be used for salary of persons working at federally funded institutions?

A: TSIP funds can be used to support salary for persons working at federally funded research centers as long as those persons are not federal employees. This includes students. For example, TSIP could support salary for a researcher at a NASA center as long as that person was not a NASA employee.

Q: How do I submit my proposal?

A: We prefer electronic submission (pdf or doc formats are the most commonly used). Submissions under 10MB may be emailed to syspo@noao.edu and larger ones (or smaller if preferred) can be uploaded to our anonymous ftp server:

	login anonymous
	passwd: your email address
	cd pub/tsip
	put filename

Files can not be read from the ftp site, but the filename will be visible. Please name your file such that no identifying information is revealed (that, is don't include proposer, institution, instrument names, etc., but instead use some random combination of letters or numbers). Please send an email to syspo@noao.edu after uploading your proposal and include the name of the uploaded file.

Pages requiring a signature can be faxed or sent by paper mail following the proposal deadline at the proposers convenience.

Q: Is there a particular problem if two proposals from the same observatory (originating with different partners) are submitted?

A: No problem.

Q: Our development effort may produce extra detectors that we would like to make available to the community. Is a proposal for a specific distribution mechanism required?

A: Not necessarily. It seems reasonable that even an expression of willingness to discuss ways to do this would be seen as desirable.

Q: Is a proposer stuck with the value of a night on a particular telescope established in a previously awarded TSIP proposal?

A: No. Each proposal can make its own case. If there are discrepancies in numbers that ought to be constant and well understood, these should be explained.

Q: Do PI and Co-I CV's need to include lists of collaborators, students, etc., and educational contribution of the program?

A: With the exception of the Budget page(s) and Cover/Certification sheet, TSIP proposals do not require many of the formal sections required in NSF proposals, e.g., Biographical Sketch, References Cited, Collaborators and Other Affiliations, Publications Most Closely Related, etc. Of course, you are free to include relevant text on any or all of these topics in your TSIP proposal narrative, but all such text would be included in the 30-page limit. (There is no limit on the length of the Budget section.) The required sections of TSIP proposals are described in the program announcement, http://www.noao.edu/system/tsip/TSIP_FY05.pdf, esp. pp. 10-13.

Please note, however, that consideration of the "Broader Impacts" of your project (which would include the "educational contribution" mentioned in your question above) is one of the actual review criteria for TSIP proposals. Though TSIP proposers are not required to have a separately titled "Broader Impacts" section in their proposals, it would clearly be advantageous to address this criterion in some way. That might mean pointing out the use of this instrument by students or the availability of the data in an archive, as opposed to the creation of a new, specific outreach effort.

Q: What is the policy about cost-sharing in proposals to TSIP, where cost-sharing means that a proposing group offers to provide funding or support for the instrument from non-TSIP sources? Will cost-sharing be a factor in the review of TSIP proposals? If so, would the offer of cost-sharing enhance, be neutral, or diminish a proposal's rating?

A: There is no official policy on this. My own opinion [Todd Boroson, not a TSIP reviewer] is that a proposal in which the proposing institution commits its own resources to supplement TSIP funds is a more desirable proposal, both because a more capable instrument can be produced and because it implies a greater level of intellectual commitment.

Q: For another purpose, we have written up much of the same material as is required in the TSIP proposal, but it totals more than the 20 page limit for TSIP proposals. May we have a waiver of the page limit so that we can submit this longer document?

A: I have reviewed this request with the chair of the review panel. We agree that a 30 page limit would be justifiable, given the number of areas (science, technical, management, telescope time) that we want covered. Therefore, we raise the limit to 30 pages. To ensure fairness, we believe that this limit should be uniformly applied to all groups.

Q: What is the correct amortization period for the telescope construction when computing the value of a night of telescope time?

A: The solicitation does not give a time period. The proposer is asked to use his/her judgment and to justify the adopted number.

Q: Should inflation be included in the calculation of the value of telescope time?

A: As stated above, we have not issued specific instructions for how to make this calculation. Please be explicit (and quantitative) in describing how you have made your evaluation and please justify any assumptions made.

Q: Is there some preconceived notion for how the nights granted to the community should be distributed? For example, is it necessary that they track the payment of funds? Or be uniform over some period?

A: No, there is no preconceived expectation about this. Note that the original TSIP recommendation in the AASC report gives the proposer a lot of latitude in defining how the community access would be granted. The proposal review panel will assess the value to the community of any scheme proposed.

Last updated or reviewed February 22, 2011.