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Applying for Telescope Time

If you are preparing an application to observe on the ING telescopes, please consult the instrumentation available and the ING instrumentation update, and the web pages and contacts linked therein. The astronomy web pages provide additional relevant information, e.g. about: planning observations; observer support at the telescope; calculating exposure times and total observing time; data ownership; and subscription to [INGNEWS] mailing list.

Time on the 4.2-m William Herschel Telescope (WHT) and the 2.5-m Isaac Newton Telescope (INT) is awarded primarily by the Dutch, Spanish and UK time-allocation committees (TACs), who meet once per semester. The A-semesters run from 1st February to 31st July, and the B-semesters from 1st August to 31st January. Telescope proposals should be submitted following the instructions linked under 'Submission information' in the table below, and by the deadlines given on the same pages.

For both the WHT and INT applicants are encouraged to submit proposals for large time allocations. This applies particularly to the INT, where ING can only support a small number of instrument changes.

Principal Investigators (PIs) requesting urgent observations should first read about the different options available for target-of-opportunity observations.

ProgrammePIs1 fromTelescopes Submission informationModeDeadlinesLatest call
Dutch time The Netherlands WHT NL Programme Committee (NL PC)

WEAVE: Open Time | Form

Queue7 Every semester3 2024B
Dutch time The Netherlands INT2 NL Programme Committee (NL PC)

Visitor8 Every semester3 2024A
Spanish time Spain WHT Comité para la Asignación de Tiempo (ES CAT)

WEAVE: Open Time | Form

Queue7Every semester3 2024B
Spanish time Spain INT2 Comité para la Asignación de Tiempo (ES CAT) Visitor8Every semester3 2024A
UK time UK WHT ING Panel for the Allocation of Telescope Time (ING PATT)

WEAVE: Open Time | Form

15 March,
15 September
UK time UK INT2 ING Panel for the Allocation of Telescope Time (ING PATT)

Form | Grants

15 March,
15 September
ING Override Programme5The Netherlands, Spain, UK INT Override programmes ServiceEvery semester3 2024A
International Time Programme (ITP)6InternationalMultiple
(incl. WHT, INT2)
International Scientific
Committee (CCI)
Visitor8Annual 2024B-2025A
Spanish Service Time4 Spain INT CAT Service ServiceNo deadline
(IAC) Director's Discretionary4
Spain INT CAT DDT-IAC Visitor8~3 weeks before

[1] PIs employed or studying in, or affiliated with, a Dutch, Spanish or UK institution at the time of submission should submit their proposal/s to the Dutch (NL PC), Spanish (ES CAT) or UK (ING PATT) TAC respectively. A similar rule applies to PIs who are working at foreign institutions based in any of these three countries - they should submit their proposal/s to the TAC of the country in which they are based.

The NL PC cannot accept proposals submitted by PIs employed or studying in a country other than the Netherlands. The ING PATT and ES CAT can accept proposals submitted by PIs employed or studying in a country other than UK and Spain as long as the majority of the collaborators on the proposal are employed or studying in the UK or Spain respectively.

The NL PC, ES CAT and ING PATT can accept proposals from PIs employed or studying at the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes at the time of submission.

[2] Observing programmes of less than one night are not accepted on the INT unless agreed in advance by the Director of ING or the Head of Astronomy.

[3] Typically ~ 4 - 5 months before the start of the semester.

[4] Specific nights are allocated each semester, flagged in the ING schedules as 'CAT S' (service) or 'CAT DDT' (DDT-IAC). CAT S observations are done by IAC support astronomers.

[5] Applications for override observations should be submitted to the TACs in the same way as proposals for scheduled time. This definition of a target of opportunity can be useful when planning your submission. Observations are made by the overridden observer.

[6] Up to 5% of ING science telescope time is available for large-scale international projects through the International Time Programme (ITP). This time is allocated on an annual basis by the International Scientific Committee (CCI). The proposal deadlines are usually in February, and the time is usually allocated over the following B and A semesters.

[7] In queue mode the observations are carried out by an ING astronomer. Programmes are selected from a queue of previously approved programmes on the basis of various criteria, such as the scientific rank of the programme, visibility of the targets, observing conditions (seeing, sky transparency, sky brightness), airmass limit, etc.

[8] On the INT it is possible that a regular proposal scheduled in visitor mode can be eventually observed in service mode. See the description of the INT service-mode observations of regular proposals.

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Last modified: 16 February 2024