skip to content

HEASARC support for unencrypted FTP access will be ending on September 20, 2019. Please see this notice for details.

XMM-Newton Guest Observer Facility


ABC Guide for Budget Proposals

So, you want to submit a budget proposal to obtain funding to analyze your XMM-Newton AO-16 US PI Category A or B accepted observation(s). Here is a list of steps to go through. The steps are roughly in order, although there will need to be some iteration in the middle.

  • 1. Determine whether you are eligible to receive funding
  • 2. Determine whether you need to submit a budget now
  • 3. Fair-Share budget estimates
  • 4. Determine what your budget request will be
  • 5. Get the budget form numbers from your grants administrator
  • 6. Compile the ancillary information into a single PDF file
  • 7. Subgrants are no longer allowed
  • 8. Enter proposal information in the RPS system
  • 9. Get institutional endorsement signatures on the General Form
  • 10. Get your Institutional Budget Form
  • 11. Duplicate and send us the proposal

    1. Determine whether you are eligible to receive funding

    NASA funding for the analysis of XMM-Newton GO observations is limited to PIs whose primary affiliation is with an Institution in the United States and have XMM-Newton AO-17 category A or B accepted targets. If you are planning on leaving the US before the grant period will begin please inform the GOF. All known eligible PIs have been contacted by the GOF.

    1a. If you are not allowed by your institution to be a PI on a budget then delegate the responsibility

    If you can't be a PI on a grant, for instance if you are a graduate student, then delegate the responsibility to someone who can (your major professor, for instance).

    2. Determine whether you need to submit a budget now

    US PIs with XMM-Newton AO-17 proposals with A or B priority targets must propose at this time. No other budget proposals will be accepted.

    3. Get your Fair-Share budget estimate

    Fair-share estimates are sent out to eligible PIs near, and hopefully before, the start of the budget proposal process. Contact the XMM GOF at for further information.

    4. Determine what your budget request will be

    Presumably in cooperation with your Co-Is and your institution's grants administrators you must come up with a budget which should have some reasonable relationship to the availability of funding as indicated by the fair-share estimate. This will typically be painful as there are never enough funds to support all grants at the levels which are desired. Any funding in excess of the fair-share estimate will need to be extremely well justified. Note: The funding in this program are intended for use in a single year - no cost extensions are unlikely to be allowed.

    5. Get the budget form numbers from your grants administrators

    This will require them to take a look at the budget summary form (A.K.A. the Budget Form) in RPS.

    6. Compile the ancillary information into a single PDF file

    The components of the file must be in the following order.

    Budget Justification: Write a short Budget Justification. In a one to two page budget justification include enough detail to justify the requested expenditures. Note the requirement for a more complete description of travel and equipment requests. PIs with joint US and foreign affiliations must list the fraction of time spent in the US as well as the fraction of support provided by US institutions. The expected duration of the US appointment should also be listed. Note that GO funds cannot be used to pay for the commute between the foreign and US institution.

    CV: Prepare a short CV (1 or 2 pages).

    Current and Pending Support: Prepare lists of Current and Pending Support. List all of the grants from which you are currently receiving funding as well as those which are pending.

    Assemble these three documents into a single PDF file for uploading.

    7. Subgrants are not allowed

    Following instructions from NASA HQ, the use of direct subgrants from NASA to fund co-investigators at secondary institutions is not allowed. Funding of Co-Is at other institutions must be through the primary institution.

    8. Enter proposal information in the RPS (via ARK) system

    RPS is a web-based proposal data entry and submission system of the HEASARC. For the XMM-Newton budget process there are three forms which must be filled out electronically and the finished forms (PDF files) submitted with your proposal, both as hardcopy and electronically on a CD. These are the Cover Page, the General Form, and the Budget Form. Along with these forms, two additional PDF files must also be included on the submitted CD. These files are the scientific justification from the ESA observation proposal submission (only the four or five page scientific justification, NOT the full set of forms) and the ancillary file with the budget narrative, CV, and current and pending support. There is an RPS Help Page with detailed instructions for filling out the forms.

    When the forms are completely filled out and you are satisfied with them RPS will produce a PDF file with the RPS forms. This file must be downloaded for the hardcopy submission.

    9. Get institutional endorsement signatures on the General Form

    Yes, we still require original signatures. Please print out the file returned by RPS and get the General Form signed. This is necessary for the PI's/Lead Co-I's institution. Don't forget to sign it yourself.

    10. Get your Institutional Budget Form

    This is the form for this proposal which your institution will typically want to include. It also occasionally has information that is useful in the processing of the grant.

    11. Duplicate and send us the proposal

    The signed original and three (3) copies of the proposal and the required CD must reach us by 3 August 2017. There is a very specific ordering as to how the budget proposals are to be assembled. PLEASE do not allow your institution to place an extra cover page on top of ours. NOTE: At many institutions the grants administrators will do the duplication and mailing of the proposals. We strongly recommend that you examine the proposal for correctness before they do so. You might save us all a lot of trouble. In AO-3 one single institution messed up over thirty proposals.

    Useful pages and sites:
  • Generic version of the NASA XMM-Newton AO-17 Budget Solicitation Letter from Dr. Stefan Immler for budget proposals
  • The Budget Proposal document - description of the budget process
  • The Budget Proposal Supplement -- A FAQ page for the budget process
  • The Budget Form Instructions
  • The ARK RPS system
  • ARK RPS Help
  • Documents and Forms
  • The NASA XMM-Newton AO-71 "Dear Colleague" Letter from Dr. Stefan Immler for science proposals
  • The XMM-Newton GOF at NASA/GSFC - home page for the GOF with project related information and links
  • The XMM-Newton Mission Description - a short introduction to the XMM-Newton mission
  • The NASA "Guidebook for Proposers"

    If you have any questions concerning XMM-Newton send e-mail to

    This file was last modified on Friday, 08-Jun-2018 11:56:16 EDT
    Curator:Michael Arida (ADNET);

  • NASA Astrophysics

  • FAQ/Comments/Feedback
  • Education Resources
  • Download Adobe Acrobat
  • A service of the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/ GSFC

    XMM-Newton Project Scientist: Dr. Kim Weaver

    Responsible NASA Official: Phil Newman

    Privacy Policy and Important Notices.