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Proposals submitted to each of the three agencies (BMFT, NASA, SERC) will be evaluated independently by the respective national proposal evaluation committees. The available observing time will be shared in the ratio 50:38:12 between NASA, BMFT, and SERC. Each agency will approve enough proposals to cover 180 percent of its nominally available national observing time. All proposals approved by each agency will be grouped into one of four categories: one seventh (by observing time) for programs with highest priority (A), two sevenths (by time) for programs with medium priority (B), and four sevenths (by time) for programs with low priority (C). Proposals not categorised into A,B or C cannot be approved.
The ROSAT observing time was significantly oversubscribed in the past and is expected to remain oversubscribed. With the above scheme most of the reduction in the oversubscription rate occurs on the national level. The most important criterion for the proposal assessment of the national proposal evaluation committees is the scientific merit of the proposed research. However, the feasibility of the observations as well as observational constraints that may overburden the ROSAT system, also figure in the selection. Proposal priorities are solely assigned by the national proposal selection committees; note in particular that time-critical proposals, i.e., proposals with additional scheduling constraints (cf., § 9.5 ) must receive priority A or B.