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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-18 US PI Category A or B accepted observation(s).

Here is a list of steps to go through, roughly in order.

  • 1. Determine whether you are eligible to receive funding
  • 2. Determine whether you need to submit a budget now
  • 3. Receive your Fair-Share budget estimates
  • 4. Obtain an NSPIRES account
  • 5. Determine what your budget request will be
  • 6. Work budget numbers along with your grants administrator
  • 7. Compile the ancillary information into two separate PDF files
  • 8. Enter your proposal information into NSPIRES
  • 9. Link to "Org" and finish the submission process

    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-18 category A or B accepted targets or NuSTAR (joint) cycle 5 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.

    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). This person will then be the budget PI. NOTE: if the budget PI is different from the science PI, a letter to this effect explaining the reason for the delegation of the budget PI, must also be uploaded to NSPIRES.

    2. Determine whether you need to submit a budget now

    US PIs with XMM-Newton AO-18 proposals with A or B priority targets must propose at this time. NuSTAR cycle 5 US PIs with A or B joint NuSTAR/XMM 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 the start of the budget proposal process. Contact the XMM GOF at for further information.

    4. If you do not have one, obtain an NSPIRES account

    Please take some time to become familiar with NSPIRES. If you have not used it before, it can be tricky to understand!

    5. Determine what your budget request will be

    In cooperation with your Co-Is and your institution's grants administrators you must come up with a budget which should have a reasonable relationship to the availability of funding as indicated by the fair-share estimate. 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.

    6. Work budget numbers in NSPIRES along with your instutition's grants administrators.


    7. Compile ancillary information into a "proposal document" PDF file and make the "certs" PDF files

    The components of the first PDF file must be in the following order:

    • Budget Justification: Write a short Budget Justification. In this one to two page justification narrarive, include enough detail to justify the requested expenditures. A good budget narrative describes in sufficient detail how the proposed funds will be used to achieve the goals outlined in the proposal. Note the current 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.
    • Science proposal: Collect the original 4 or 5 page science section of your XMM proposal.
    • CV: Prepare a short CV (1 or 2 pages).
    • Current and Pending Support: Prepare a list of Current and Pending Support. List all of the grants from which you are currently receiving funding as well as those that are pending.

    Assemble these four documents into a single PDF file for uploading into NSPIRES.

    Fill out the ACORN and China certifications and obtain signatures. Areas that require particular attention on the ACORN form are highlighted. If you have questions about these forms, PLEASE contact the XMM GOF helpdesk. These will become the "certs" PDF files. While you are encouraged to merge these two PDFs into one, it is not necessary for this AO.

    8. Enter your proposal information into the NSPIRES system

    PIs will be asked to provide a proposal summary in NSPIRES (which is your original science proposal abstract) and answer some standard questions. PIs are required to submit one year of an NSPIRES-based budget and add any US co-Is in addition to the PI. Then you will upload the proposal document PDF file and the certs PDF files.

    Important: For budget purposes, we do not need to know who your non-US co-I are, so do not enter these names into NSPIRES. Please ONLY enter your US co-Is as your team members.

    Be aware that your US-based Co-I's may have to acknowledge their Co-I status and link their institutions into NSPIRES if they aren't already. PIs may need to thus instruct their Co-I's to register in NSPIRES. [NOTE - we will update here about this point once we understand fully how the NSPIRES procedures match to our XMM budget requirements.]

    9. Finish the required steps in NSPIRES to link your proposal to your organization, and submit.

    Good Luck!

    Useful pages and sites:
  • Generic version of the NASA XMM-Newton AO-18 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
  • Documents and Forms
  • The NASA XMM-Newton AO-18 "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, 12-Jul-2019 16:19:12 EDT
    Curator:Michael Arida (ADNET);

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