ALMA Proposals

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Phase 1

“Phase 1” refers to the proposal preparation and submission procedures. The telescope properties and submission procedures are listed in the call for proposal.

Details can be found in the the proposer guide and in the technical handbook.

A summary of the telescope capabilities together with some examples of projects to be submitted is available in the ALMA primer.

Full documentation and tools can be found on the ALMA Science Portal.

The Italian node of the ALMA Regional Centre supports the proposer in all the stages of their projects: from the proposal preparation to the data reduction. Closely in time to the submission deadline seminars and tutorials are organized to help preparing the projects.

At any time the ALMA users can contact us via e-mail ( and/or request to visit our node (via official face-2-face requests through the ALMA Helpdesk.

The OT

The ALMA Observing Tool (OT) is a Java application used for the preparation and submission of ALMA Phase I (observing proposal) and Phase II (telescope runfiles for accepted proposals) materials. It is also used for preparing and submitting Director's Discretionary Time (DDT) proposals.

The current Cycle release of the OT is described in the Cycle Call For Proposals. Note that in order to submit proposals you will have to register with the ALMA Science Portal beforehand.

The OT is available  here

Note that preparation of Cycle 1 Phase II and DDT proposals needs to be done using the Cycle 1 version of the Observing Tool. This version of the OT can be found in the DDT page.

Phase 2

Principal Investigators (PIs) of proposals are notified of the outcome of the proposal review process by email. The initial Phase II products will be generated by ALMA staff. PIs of highly rated proposals will be contacted by a scientist from their supporting ALMA Regional Centre (ARC) to review these Phase II products.

Phase II is the process by which an approved proposal is made executable and submitted to the observing queue in order to be subsequently run at the telescope (subject to various scheduling constraints). The main part of this is the automatic generation of the Scheduling Blocks that are used to control the telescopes during the observations.

Completion of Phase II by the PI is required for any ALMA project that is approved for admission to the observing queue with a grade A or B. Projects awarded grade C will overfill the observing queue to accommodate weather variations, and completion of Phase II for such projects may be deemed optional by the Observatory.

PIs will be contacted by their supporting ALMA Regional Centre (ARC) and provided with the name of a contact scientist to help PIs prepare their Phase II products. Each PI will then work with his/her ARC contact to ensure that the Phase II products are successfully prepared within the one-month window. This will be done using the ALMA Observing Tool. The full details of the process and policies for handling all changes to projects from Phase II onwards is available on ALMA Science portal.