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Review Criteria

Each proposal contains a cover sheet, a Scientific Justification, and a Technical Justification. Reviewers need to read each of these sections. Note in particular that the Technical Justification often contains a detailed justification of the requested sensitivity, angular resolution, and correlator setup that will be useful in evaluating the proposal. 

Reviewers should assess the scientific merit proposals to the best of their ability using the following criteria:

The overall scientific merit of the proposed investigation and its potential contribution to the advancement of scientific knowledge.

  • Does the proposal clearly indicate which important, outstanding questions will be addressed?
  • Will the proposed observations have a high scientific impact on this particular field and address the specific science goals of the proposal? ALMA encourages Reviewers to give full consideration to well-designed high-risk/high-impact proposals even if there is no guarantee of a positive outcome or definite detection.
  • Does the proposal present a clear and appropriate data analysis plan?

The suitability of the observations to achieve the scientific goals.

  • Is the choice of target (or targets) clearly described and well justified?
  • Are the requested signal-to-noise ratio, angular resolution, spectral setup, and u-v coverage provided by the ACA sufficient to achieve the science goals?

In general, the scientific merit should be assessed on the content of the proposal using the above criteria. Reviewers should not consider the experience of the proposal team, with ALMA or otherwise, in the scientific rankings. 

The ALMA Observing Tool (OT) validates most technical aspects of the proposal; e.g., the OT verifies that the angular resolution can be achieved, verifies the correlator setup is feasible, and estimates the integration time needed to achieve the requested sensitivity. Reviewers should assume a proposal is technically feasible and not downgrade a proposal on technical feasibility concerns. Reviewers may note any technical concerns of a proposal in their comments to the JAO in the reviewer tool and may request technical assessment to be performed during the review process. The JAO will evaluate these technical concerns if the proposal is accepted.

Reviewers should not consider the scheduling feasibility in assigning their rankings. The JAO will assess the scheduling feasibility when building the observing queue. 

If a PI indicates that the proposal is a resubmission of a previously accepted proposal, please consider only the science case in your ranking and review. The JAO will handle any necessary descoping of Science Goals which have already been observed.