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Proceedings Paper

HST peer review, where we've been, where we are now and possibly where the future lies
Author(s): Brett S. Blacker; Duccio Macchetto; Georges Meylan; Letizia Stanghellini; Roeland P. van der Marel
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Paper Abstract

In some eyes, the Phase I proposal selection process is the most important activity handled by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). Proposing for HST and other missions consists of requesting observing time and/or archival research funding. This step is called Phase I, where the scientific merit of a proposal is considered by a community based peer-review process. Accepted proposals then proceed thru Phase II, where the observations are specified in sufficient detail to enable scheduling on the telescope. Each cycle the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Telescope Allocation Committee (TAC) reviews proposals and awards observing time that is valued at $0.5B, when the total expenditures for HST over its lifetime are figured on an annual basis. This is in fact a very important endeavor that we continue to fine-tune and tweak. This process is open to the science community and we constantly receive comments and praise for this process. Several cycles ago we instituted several significant changes to the process to address concerns such as: Fewer, broader panels, with redundancy to avoid conflicts of interest; Redefinition of the TAC role, to focus on Larger programs; and incentives for the panels to award time to medium sized proposals. In the last cycle, we offered new initiatives to try to enhance the scientific output of the telescope. Some of these initiatives were: Hubble Treasury Program; AR Legacy Program; and the AR Theory Program. This paper will outline the current HST Peer review process. We will discuss why we made changes and how we made changes from our original system. We will also discuss some ideas as to where we may go in the future to generate a stronger science program for HST and to reduce the burden on the science community. This paper is an update of the status of the HST Peer Review Process that was described in the published paper "Evolution of the HST Proposal Selection Process".

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 January 2002
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4844, Observatory Operations to Optimize Scientific Return III, (2 January 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.460676
Show Author Affiliations
Brett S. Blacker, AURA/Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Duccio Macchetto, AURA/Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Georges Meylan, AURA/Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Letizia Stanghellini, AURA/Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Roeland P. van der Marel, AURA/Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4844:
Observatory Operations to Optimize Scientific Return III
Peter J. Quinn, Editor(s)

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