Gemini - Canadian-specific information for Phase I – 2018A


A call for proposals for Semester 2018A (February 01, 2018 to July 31, 2018) has been issued by the Gemini Observatory. The Call for Proposals can be viewed at: Call for Proposals

The deadline for the receipt of Canadian proposals is:

Friday, September 29, 2017, 4:00 pm (Pacific Daylight Time)

Note that not all Gemini partners have the same deadline and those involved in joint proposals need to submit their proposals by the principal investigator's (PI) country's deadline.

Canada will have access in 2018A to a total time for PI programs of: 200 hours on Gemini North and 169 hours on Gemini South. This includes the additional hours on North and South that Canada receives through the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT)-Gemini Exchange time for the use of Gemini Remote Access to CFHT ESPaDOnS Spectrograph (GRACES).


The instruments available on Gemini-North are GMOS-N, GNIRS, NIRI (imaging only), NIFS, and Altair (with NRGS only); and on Gemini-South are GMOS-S, Flamingos-2 (in imaging and longslit mode only), GSAOI and GeMs, and GPI. Please consult the target accessibility page for important information concerning the RA (right ascension) restrictions for each instrument. Many visitor instruments are also offered in 2018A (subject to demand). On Gemini-North: GRACES, TEXES (high-resolution mid-infrared spectrometer), ALOPEKE (new Speckle camera providing both diffraction limited and wide-field imaging), and POLISH-2 (high precision polarimeter). On Gemini-South: DSSI (Differential SpeckleSurvey Instrument) camera, and now IGRINS (high resolution near-infrared spectrometer).

To see more details about each of the instruments available for 2018A, please see the Gemini Call for Proposals.

What's new in 2018A

  • Targets will generally be limited on Gemini-North to 4 < RA < 1 and -37 < dec < +90, and on Gemini-South to 5 < RA < 2 and -90 < dec < +28. Please consult the target accessibility  page for specific RA restrictions for some instruments;
  • The Gemini-North Laser Guide Star AO system will not be available in 2018A. It has suffered significant faults and will not recover, and priority will be to commission a new Gemini North Toptica laser later in 2018. GNIRS, NIFS and NIRI are all available in the Natural Guide Star (NGS AO) and non-AO mode;
  • GMOS-North Hamamatsu charge-coupled devices (CCDs) installation was successful and are now delivering much increased red sensitivity compared to the past CCDs. PIs should use the 'Hamamatsu CCDs' option in the integration time calculator (ITC) for their 2018A proposals;
  • Flamingos-2 is offered in imaging and long-slit mode. Two new medium K-band filters are available for 2018A. The MOS mode is not offered for this Call, but will be made available for Fast Turnaround Programs later in the semester as soon as its commissioning is finished.
  • Visitor Instruments offered on Gemini-North are:
    • GRACES, the high-resolution R=67500 optical spectrometer;
    • POLISH-2, a high-precision polarimeter, will be visiting Gemini-North for 2018A and is open to the community via collaborative proposals with its PI;
    • TEXES, a high-resolution R=4000 to 100000 mid-infrared spectrometer will be available late June or July (targets limited to 14h < RA < 1h;
    • ALOPEKE, a new-generation Speckle camera. This is a dual-channel visual camera providing both diffraction-limited and wide-field imaging, to be commissioned in October 2017;
  • Visitor Instruments offered on Gemini-South are:
    • The DSSI Speckle Camera, a dual-channel visual camera giving simultaneous diffraction limited images in two filters over 2.8 to 5.6 arcseconds field-of-view, will be available between February and April 2018. Targets are limited to 5 < RA < 20.
    • IGRINS: a high-resolution R=45000 near-infrared (1.45 to 2.5 microns) echelle spectrometer, will be available between April and July 2018. Targets are limited to 12 < RA < 2.
  • For POLISH-2, ALOPEKE, and IGRINS proposals please use the generic 'Visitor Instrument' option in the Phase I Tool (PIT) resource list.
  • There will be a minimum of five classical nights available on Subaru. The instruments available are: COMICS, AO188, FOCAS, HDS, IRCS, MOIRCS, and Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) in shared-risk mode. Note that in 2018A HSC is offered mainly in queue mode. Starting in 2018A, Subaru will accept small size programs (less than 0.5 nights) for proposals requesting HSC in queue mode only. The following visiting instruments are also available: SCExAO and CHARIS. Proposals using the visiting instruments must include the relevant PI as a Co-I. Proposals must request half-nights or full nights (except short HSC queue programs).
  • New: the PITwill automatically calculate the required time for baseline calibrations and add it to the time request. Just enter for each target the on-source exposure time needed with overheads (acquisition time, readout time, etc.) and PIT will calculate the total time needed for the target.
  • Warning: when submitting your proposal, you should see in the PIT "Submit" tab the status updated to "Successfully Received", and see a reference number for the proposal, such as "CA-2018A-003". If you do not see this reference number then the proposal might not have been received, and you are advised to please check with us at

Other things to note for 2018A

  • The Priority Visitor Mode is now expanded and will be offered to Band 1 programs (not only Large and Long Programs). Please indicate your interest in the Technical Design portion of the proposal;
  • Opportunity extended: Bring one, get one! In 2018A the Gemini Observatory will continue to subsidize, with up to US $2,000, the travel expenses of individual undergraduate and graduate students visiting Gemini-North or South, when accompanying a senior observer;
  • All proposals for Rapid Target of Opportunity (RToO) follow-up must submit a separate proposal for Standard Target of Opportunity follow-up (SToO) in conditions better than SB/CC/IQ=Any, if such follow-up is planned;
  • Poor weather and Director's Discretionary Time proposals can now be submitted at any time via PIT directly to Gemini (bypassing the Canadian Time allocation Committee (CTAC)). Fast Turnaround proposals can be submitted at all times with a deadline at the end of every month.


Canadian astronomers must use the Gemini Observatory Phase I Tool (PIT) to prepare and submit their proposals. The new version of PIT for Semester 2018A must be downloaded from the PIT installation site.

Since last year, a new "Experimental Design" section has been added to give more space to the proposal description. The science justification, experimental design and technical justification are now to be entered in a latex file (or doc file if using the Windows version of PIT). Also the PIs are now strongly encouraged to include the output from the Instrument Time Calculators in the PDF. See the PIT page to download the new PIT. Please download the latex/doc/sty template files  to write the proposal.

For Canadian proposals, please use the default GemPhase1.tex, GemPhase1_18A.sty and GemPhase1.doc template files. Please allow extra time to familiarize yourself with the new PIT, and consult the help pages for the new PIT, which includes video tutorials.

In addition, please note that with the new PIT, a single proposal may now request time from either or both of Gemini-North and Gemini-South (it is no longer necessary to submit two separate proposals, however please indicate in the technical section how much time exactly is requested from each of Gemini-North and South).

Users will submit their finalized proposals from PIT; the proposals are sent electronically to Gemini and then retrieved by the Canadian Gemini Office (CGO). The CGO will be in charge of the technical assessment of the proposals, which will then be reviewed and ranked by CTAC.

All data will be subject to the normal Gemini proprietary period of 18 months.

Proposal parameters

Please follow the instructions in the latex/doc files:

  • scientific justification: one page (excluding references, see below).
  • experimental design: one page
  • technical justification: one page
  • up to two extra pages for references, a maximum of three figures, and figure captions
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