The science program for JWST falls into three parts: observations undertaken by instrument team leads and members of the Science Working Group who are Guaranteed Time Observers; observations in support of the Early Release Science programs selected by the STScI Director; and observations proposed by the community and selected by peer review as the General Observer program. More details about each of those programs are given below.
New calls for General Observer proposals are anticipated once per year during JWST science operations.
To help the scientific community quickly learn JWST's instruments and capabilities, STScI, in consultation with the JWST Advisory Committee, has developed the Director’s Discretionary-Early Release Science (DD-ERS) program. The overall goals of the DD-ERS program are to:
- Ensure open access to representative datasets in support of the preparation of Cycle 2 proposals.
- Engage a broad cross-section of the astronomical community in familiarizing themselves with JWST data and scientific capabilities.
These goals distinguish the DD-ERS program from standard GO investigations. In service of these goals, DD-ERS proposals are invited from the community.
The DD-ERS program is guided by the following key principles:
- Projects must be substantive science demonstration programs that utilize key instrument modes to provide representative scientific datasets of broad interest to researchers in major astrophysical sub-disciplines.
- Projects must design, create, and deliver science-enabling products to help the community understand JWST's capabilities. An initial set of products must be delivered by the release of the Cycle 2 GO Call for Proposals (7 months after launch). Each project must define a core team to be responsible for the timely delivery of such products according to a proposed project management plan, with performance subject to periodic review.
- All observations must be schedulable within the first 5 months after commissioning is complete, and a substantive subset of the observations must be schedulable within the first three months. Target lists must be flexible to accommodate possible changes to the scheduled start of science observations.
- Both raw and pipeline-processed data will enter the public domain immediately after processing and validation at STScI (i.e., no exclusive access period applies to these data).
- STScI recognizes and supports the benefits of having diverse and inclusive scientific teams involved in the formulation of ERS proposals. Programs with diverse representation of community members in a given sub-discipline helps ensure that the investigations will be of broad interest. Broad involvement also facilitates the dissemination of JWST expertise through a more extensive network, and promotes more equitable participation in JWST scientific discovery.
The STScI Director will make up to 500 hours of discretionary time available for ERS, and resources are allocated to support up to 15 teams. Proposals will be chosen in research areas spanning the science themes of JWST: first light and reionization; the assembly of galaxies; the birth of stars and protoplanetary systems; and planets and the origin of life. Proposals will also be chosen to cover a range of key instrument modes and observing capabilities. A multi-disciplinary committee of experts will recommend a suite of proposals for observation and funding that both fulfills the goals of the DD-ERS and makes optimal use of the available time.
DD-ERS proposals were reviewed, selected, and publicized prior to the Cycle 1 GO deadline. Archival Research proposals based on DD-ERS observations will be permitted beginning in Cycle 1.
Here are some other important dates related to the DD-ERS program.
|November 13, 2017||DD-ERS science programs selected|
|June 25, 2019||DD-ERS revised target lists finalized and APT files submitted|
|March 31, 2020||DD-ERS APT files finalized|
The Guaranteed Time Observations (GTO) program for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is designed to reward scientists who helped develop the key hardware and software components or technical and inter-disciplinary knowledge for JWST. The observing time over the first three cycles will be allocated to these scientists, who include the:
- Principal Investigators of the four science instruments (MIRI, NIRCam, NIRISS, and NIRSpec)
- U.S. MIRI Science Lead and Science Team members
- Six Interdisciplinary Scientists (IDS)
- Telescope Scientist
Each GTO team submitted a description of the proposed Cycle 1 science program, with specific targets and observations. The proposals have been reviewed for duplication and adherence to allocations specified by NASA. The programs are organized by science topic, as follows:
- Observations of Solar System Objects
- Extra-solar Planets
- Brown Dwarfs
- Protostars, Protostellar Disks, and Young Stellar Objects
- Debris Disks and Photodissociation Regions
- Star Clusters, Star Formation Regions, Planetary Nebulae, and Galactic Transients
- Targeted Galaxies
- Clusters of Galaxies
- High-redshift Quasars and Galaxy Assembly
- Deep Fields
Here are some important dates related to the GTO program.
|April 25, 2019||Release of the Cycle 1 Call for GTO Proposals|
|June 25, 2019||GTO target list finalized and APT files submitted|
|March 31, 2020||GTO APT files finalized|
The Cycle 1 General Observers (GO) program for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will provide the worldwide astronomical community with the first extensive opportunity to apply for observations with JWST. Up to 6,000 hours will be available for observing programs using the full suite of JWST instrumentation. Scientists will also have an opportunity to propose for archival analysis of data from DD ERS programs, theoretical investigations, and the development of software tools relevant to JWST observations.
If you have questions about the Cycle 1 GO program schedule, please refer to the JWST Help Desk.
Here are some important dates related to the GO program.
|January 23, 2020||Release of the Cycle 1 Call for Proposals|
|November 24, 2020||Cycle 1 proposal deadline (See the news about the new Cycle 1 deadline for more information)|
|February 2021||Cycle 1 Telescope Allocation Committee (TAC) review|
|March 2021||Cycle 1 GO program selections released|