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DDT proposals

The ALMA Observatory is accepting proposals for Director’s Discretionary Time (DDT).

Up to 5% of the observing time in a Cycle can be allocated by the ALMA Director though Director’s Discretionary Time (DDT).

DDT proposals must belong to one of the following categories:

  1. Proposals of Target-of-Opportunity (ToO) nature that require the immediate observation of an unanticipated, short-lived astronomical event
  2. Proposals that urgently require ALMA observations that could lead to a breakthrough discovery.
  3. Proposals of a risky nature that could have a large impact and need a small amount of time to test the feasibility of a program.

The science case of DDT proposals must include a clear and strong justification stating why the project should be considered for DDT allocation. The proposal must also indicate why it was not submitted to the Cycle 7 main or supplemental calls. Proposals that were previously submitted in Cycle 7 but not accepted will typically not be considered for DDT. DDT proposals also cannot duplicate observations in the observing queue.

The science assessment of DDT proposals will be based on the same criteria as for Regular and Target of Opportunity proposals (see the ALMA Proposer's Guide). DDT proposals will also be evaluated based on the urgency of the observations and why the proposal cannot wait to be submitted at the next regular proposal cycle.

Cycle 7 DDT proposals must be submitted using the Observing Tool available through the following link. Preparation and submission of DDT proposals must be done in the same manner as for regular Cycle 7 proposals as described in Section 5 of the ALMA Proposer's Guide. Proposal type “Target of Opportunity” should be selected for proposals falling into DDT category 1 above and type “Regular” should be used for categories 2 and 3.

DDT proposals are reviewed by a small standing review committee, with members from the JAO and the four regions, appointed by the Executive Directors and Chile. The ALMA Director will render a decision based on the advice from the standing committee. Decisions are usually announced within 2 weeks of proposal submission. In exceptional cases, the ALMA Director may approve projects that would benefit from a very rapid response and inform the standing committee of this decision within 24 hours. 

The proprietary period of data obtained for DDT projects is 6 months.