JCMT Large Programs

The JCMT spends 50% of it’s available science time on JCMT Large Programs. These programs typically require significant (>200 hours) amounts of time, over a number of semesters, taking advantage of the JCMT’s scientific capabilities in order to address important scientific questions.

In November 2015 the board awarded time to seven programs covering a range of topics related to Star Formation, Nearby Galaxies and Cosmological studies. In 2017 an additional nine programs (some of which were extension programs) were awarded time. In 2019 13 further programs (again, some as extension requests) were awarded time. In 2021 four new programs were awarded time.

Astronomers from EAO region or partner institutions are welcome to join new programs under the Open Enrollment process as well as astronomers from Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia as these regions have “observer” status with the JCMT. Open Enrollment to programs approved for time during the 22A Call for Large Programs is now open.

The Large Programs focus on the following main science areas. Note those with asterisks are new to the JCMT as of the 22A semester and those with # are completed:

For specific details of each program including the number of hours awarded per weather band and instrument requested please click here. For a full list of publications produced by the Large Program please see this ADS Library.

Large Program Policies:

Membership requirement

Any astronomer wishing to be involved with a Large Program must be a member of an EAO region or partner. Astronomers outside of the EAO regions or partner institutions cannot be members of the project team but can be “guest investigators”. Guest investigators are prohibited from accessing raw and reduced  JCMT proprietary data but can have access to data products – i.e. source catalogues at the PIs discretion.

If requested members who have contributed significantly to a JCMT Large Program who meet the initial eligibility requirements but later move to institutes not listed on this page are allowed to remain as a Co-I of a program for the remainder of the programs lifespan at the discretion of the Program coordinators. 

Members of a Large Program must seek the approval from the coordinators/PI of a specific Large Program for data usage and publication. Members found to exploit data without the consent of the coordinators/PI or found to plagiarize work will have data access privileges revoked by the observatory and may be removed from the Large Program at the request of the coordinators/PI. All members must abide by the JCMT’s Code of Conduct with any concerns raised with observatory staff.

Each Large Program must demonstrate a diverse membership of astronomers from all EAO regions and partners.

Coordinator Requirements

Each program must have one coordinator from each of the partner EAO regions. Additionally programs are should seek to have coordinators from a Canadian and/or contributing UK/Ireland institutes. In addition teams are encouraged to have coordinators from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam that have observer status at the JCMT. More information can be found on our Eligibility/Funding partners page.

Open Enrollment

When a Large Program is approved for time on the JCMT interested astronomers from EAO region or partner institutions are welcome to join new programs under the Open Enrollment process as well as astronomers from Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia as these regions have “observer” status with the JCMT. Currently there is no open enrollment period.

Outside of the Open Enrollment period astronomers from EAO region or partner institutions who wish to join a program should directly contact the Large Program’s PI/coordinators with justification and may be permitted to join at the PIs discretion.

Proprietary period

Individual observations will be become public one (1) year after the end of the semester in which it was taken.

Large Program Review

Mid-term reviews are held periodically (past reviews in March 2017 and November 2019). The aim of the Mid Term reviews are to assess the completion, and scientific productivity of these Large Programs. These reviews are in addition to biannual reports provided to the observatory by the Large Program teams.

Additional Board requirements

All programs should have a face-to-face meeting within one year of obtaining the first piece of data*.

All programs are required to provide three talks per EAO region per year to highlight the programs run at the JCMT.  These can be talks at conferences or institute seminars*.

*Currently waived due to the COVID-19 pandemic

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