NICER Proposals and Tools


NICER Guest Observer Program

From 2018 onward NICER solicits Guest Observer proposals from the general scientific community via NASA's ROSES Research Opportunities. A Phase 1 (Science) proposal is submitted to NASA HEASARC's ARK/RPS system, containing detailed target selection forms and a concise science justification. Proposals may come from both US and non-US researchers. Phase 1 proposals are evaluated by peer review panels. Data from approved GO observations are public by default, however, GO proposal PIs can request a six month exclusive-use period, subject to peer review approval.

NASA also provides grant funding to support certain selected proposals. These funds are limited to proposals with PIs at US institutions. Selected proposals will receive a notification letter with more details and an invitation to submit a Phase 2 (Budget) proposal. Phase 2 proposals are submitted to NASA's NSPIRES system.

DateImportant NICER GO Cycle 1 Event
February 14, 2018NASA Research Announcement NICER Guest Observer - Cycle 1
September 21, 2018Cycle 1 Phase 1 Proposal Submissions Open
December 20, 2018Cycle 1 Phase 1 Proposals Due 4:30pm EST
February 2019 (TBC)Cycle 1 Peer Review
March 1, 2019 - February 29, 2020Cycle 1 Observations*
* Observations after September 30, 2019, depending on results of Senior Review (in addition to Cycle 1 Peer Review).

NICER Cycle 1 Guide for Proposers

The Guide for Proposers summarizes guidelines from the NASA Research Announcement for NICER Guest Observers. It also describes in detail the elements and submission method for Phase 1 (Science) NICER Guest Observer proposals, as well as for Phase 2 (Budget) proposals.

NICER Cycle 1 Phase 1 (Science) Proposal Submission: The HEASARC ARK/RPS On-Line System

The HEASARC's Remote Proposal System (RPS) is an automated service providing Guest Observers from around the world an easy-to-use facility for submitting proposals in response to NASA Research Announcements.

NICER Proposal Tools

The NICER Proposal Tools provide documentation of the mission and applications/files that can be used for count rate and spectral simulations in order to help potential proposers demonstrate the feasibility of their proposed NICER observations. Approximate target visibility windows can be determined and NICER-specific observation properties are described.

NICER Science Team Investigations

By agreement with NASA's Astrophysics Explorers Program, the NICER Project is required to fulfill certain science objectives. The NICER Science Team Investigations support these science objectives. Proposed Guest Observer projects that duplicate existing projects of the NICER Science Team must justify that duplication, and may not be favorably reviewed.

NICER Cycle 1 Accepted Targets

-- to be announced after peer review

NICER Cycle 1 Phase 2 (Budget) Proposals

This section of the Guide for Proposers focuses on submission eligibility for, elements of, and submission procedure for NICER Phase 2 (Budget) Proposals.

Additional opportunities to propose for NICER time

Joint programs through other observatories

Currently NICER has arrangements with the following observatory which makes available joint observing time:

Unsolicited NICER Target of Opportunity (ToO) or Director's Discretionary Time (DDT) Observations

The Cycle 1 GO program allows for ToO proposals to observe known sources (i.e., with known coordinates) but not to observe new sources. However, unsolicited ToO requests for transient and unpredictable phenomena, from both known and previously unknown sources, will continue to be possible through the NICER ToO request procedure.


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Last Updated: October 15, 2018