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Cycle 8 Supplemental Call


2020 April 24 UPDATE: The ALMA Director, with support from all Executives and the ALMA Board, has decided to postpone the start of ALMA Cycle 8 until 2021 October. It is anticipated that the Cycle 8 Call for Proposals will open again in 2021 March. More information is available in the following News Item.

2020 April 17 UPDATE: The COVID-19 crisis has continued to affect the global community, including ALMA users and staff. ALMA operations remain suspended, as announced on March 20. Under these difficult and unprecedented circumstances, the ALMA Director, with support from all Executives, has decided to suspend the submission of Cycle 8 proposals until further notice. The Cycle 8 proposal submission server will be closed as of 15:00UT on Friday, 17 April, 2020. More information is available in the following News Item


In Cycle 8, ALMA will offer an ACA stand-alone Supplemental Call for Proposals. Proposals can be submitted starting 15 September 2020 15:00 UT with a proposal deadline on 8 October 2020 15:00 UT. Since the Supplemental Call will follow the Main Call by five months, the Supplemental Call will maximize the scientific output of the ACA by allowing more timely science to be proposed. Proposals accepted in the Supplemental Call will be scheduled for observations between January 2021 and September 2021.

Capabilities and Time Available

The Supplemental Call is open to Regular Proposals (i.e., no Large Programs) that propose to use standard observing modes, as allowed for ACA stand-alone proposals in the Main Call. Proposals may request to use the 7-­m array only or the 7­-m array plus Total Power array. The amount of observing time to be allocated in the Supplemental Call will be determined later.

Anticipated Timeline (all dates subject to change) 

December 2019

Cycle 8 Pre-Announcement (Main Call and Supplemental Call)

September 15, 2020

15:00 UT

Release of the Cycle 8 Stand-alone ACA Supplemental Call for Proposals, Observing Tool, and supporting documents, and opening of the Archive for proposal submission

October 8, 2020

15:00 UT

Deadline to submit Supplemental Call proposals

December 2020

Announcement of the outcome of the proposal review process and Phase 2 for accepted proposals

January 2021

Start of Science Observations

September 30, 2021

End of ALMA Cycle 8



Proposals accepted in the Cycle 7 Supplemental Call will receive priority Grade “C”. 

Peer Review Process

Proposals submitted in the Supplemental Call will be peer reviewed using a distributed system in which each proposal team selects a designated reviewer to participate in the review process. Each submitted proposal will be ranked by ten reviewers, and the final rank-ordered list of proposals will be determined by combining all of the reviewers’ rankings.  

The basic rules for the review process are:

  1. All participants in the review process are expected to behave in an ethical manner. If it is found that a reviewer has not behaved in an ethical manner, the proposal(s) associated with the reviewer may be rejected. 
  2. Each proposal must designate one reviewer to participate in the review process. The designated reviewer may be the PI of the proposal or one of the co­-Is. 
  3. The reviewer must be specified in the Observing Tool (OT) at the time of proposal submission and cannot be changed after the proposal deadline.
  4. Review assignments will be made based first on the scientific category and keywords that the reviewer enters in his/her ALMA user profile representing their expertise, and if such keywords are not available, using the category and keyword of the submitted proposal.
  5. Reviewers must declare any major conflicts of interest of their assigned proposals. Any proposals with a major conflict of interest will be replaced by another proposal.
  6. Each designated reviewer is responsible for writing comments and scientific ranks for ten proposals. If a person is the designated reviewer on multiple proposals, they will receive ten unique review assignments per submitted proposal. 
  7. If a designated reviewer does not submit their reviews and ranks by the review deadline, the proposal for which they were identified as the reviewer will be rejected.
  8. All participants in the review process agree to keep the materials confidential and will not use the materials for any other means other than the proposal review. Participants will delete any proposals after they have completed their assessments.
  9. PIs who do not have a PhD may be selected as the designated reviewer. In such cases, a mentor must be specified who will assist the PI in the review process. The mentor must have a PhD and be specified in the OT at the time of proposal submission.