CFHT Information Bulletin, number 39, Second Semester 1998

What Exactly Are Your Chances of Getting CFHT Time?

Dennis Crabtree, Senior Resident Astronomer, CFHT,

Are your chances of getting CFHT time higher if you submit more proposals? Or should you concentrate on writing that one proposal that is so good it could not possibly be rejected by any reasonable TAC? A look at the submitted and successful proposals from the past six semesters (96I - 98II) provide some interesting numbers.

A total of 788 proposals from 327 unique PIs were submitted during this period; an average of 2.41 proposals from each PI. The highest number of proposals submitted was 13, an average of more than two proposals each and every semester! The complete distribution is shown in Figure 12

Were the PIs submitting a higher number of proposal more successful than others? The number of runs for each PI for the last six semesters is shown in Figure 13. Approximately 60% of observers scheduled on CFHT during this time had a single run. However, there were PIs with up to seven runs scheduled during this period.

What about success rate? Do people who submit more proposals actually receive more telescope time? The average success rate for proposals as a function of the number of proposals submitted during these six semesters is shown in Figure 14. The average success rate shows relatively little variation with the number of proposals submitted. However, it may be significant that the average success rate is slightly lower for those who submitted only one proposal. These people may not be as familiar with CFHT or understand the level of proposal needed to get time at CFHT. On average, people who submit more proposals do in fact receive more telescope time!

Editor: Dr. Timothy M. C. Abbott,
Copyright © 1998, CFHT Corporation. All rights reserved.