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XMM-Newton Guest Observer Facility



1.1. General Information

The current Announcement covers US XMM-Newton Guest Observer (GO) scientific proposals selected by the ESA peer review at the A, B, and C levels for observation during AO-21 operations. The period of AO-21 observations is expected to cover a 12 month interval beginning around 2022 May.

In the proposal review carried out by ESA, the scientific and technical merits of the proposed investigations were judged and time appropriately allocated. The budget proposal process to be carried out by NASA will be responsible for allocating support for the investigations of qualified accepted proposals. The amount of support for a given investigation will depend on a number of considerations including, but not limited to, the complexity of the analysis, the number of targets and the time allocated to the targets, the priority of the targets, and other sources of funding relevant to this request.

A cost proposal is required for each qualifying investigation for which financial support from NASA is requested. Investigations will be funded for a period of one year commencing nominally at the start of the FY23 fiscal year (1 October 2022), with possible delays as long as six months depending on when the funds are provided to us. Note: the funds associated with this AO are intended for use in a single year. In particular, second no-cost extensions will be considered only in well justified cases. PIs are welcome to apply to future ADAP rounds for additional funding after the data are no longer proprietary. PIs who change employers need to contact the NASA technical officer as soon as possible in order to transfer their XMM grants.

Note: All communications with the NASA/GSFC XMM-Newton GOF regarding a specific XMM-Newton proposal must include the ESA-supplied identification number for that proposal (the six-digit proposal number currently including a leading zero).

1.2. Proposal Priority and Budget Submission/Funding

Successful science proposal targets are prioritized in three categories. Category A and B targets are guaranteed to be observed, while category C targets are used as schedule fillers if time allows or scheduling constraints require. For this AO, US PIs with A, B, or C targets may request funding, if they have been explicitly notified of their eligibility.

All explicitly notified PIs (i.e., those who have received the e-mail call for budget proposals and fair-share estimates) for AO-21 A/B-ranked proposals must submit budgets in response to this budget AO by the deadline specified below for consideration. For those programs with both A and B targets the funding level will be determined by both the A and B targets.

All explicitly notified PIs with C-ranked targets will be emailed instructions on how to submit their budget proposals.

1.3. Eligibility

Participation in this budget process is limited to Principal Investigators (PIs) who are employed with a US institution. PIs with joint US and foreign institution affiliations must declare the fraction of time to be spent at the US institution over the course of the budget year.

1.4. Who May Propose

Only one budget proposal will be allowed for each accepted scientific proposal meeting the above criteria. The PI (or Co-I designated by the PI) should submit the budget proposal.

Note: In circumstances where institutional rules do not allow a successful science PI to be the budget PI (e.g., for Post-Docs or graduate students at many institutions) the science PI may designate a Co-I to act as the budget PI. A signed letter to that effect explaining the reason must be uploaded in NSPIRES.

1.5. Subgrants

The use of subgrants to fund co-investigators at secondary institutions is not allowed. Funds to Co-Is at secondary institutions must be routed through the primary institution.

1.6. Useful WWW Sites/Pages


2.1. Proposal Content

All proposals must be typewritten in English.

The budget proposal must include:

  1. A one to two page justification of the budget. Note that a more complete description of requested travel is now required, even if the travel destination is subject to change. Also, travel requests in excess of $5,000 must be very well justified and a proposal may be returned for correction if the travel is deemed excessive. Funds for home/home office internet access upgrades and virtual meeting/collaboration hardware and applications must also be described and justified.
  2. The 4-5 page scientific justification from the ESA observation AO
  3. A funding status page listing current and pending support for the PI (a standard form is available in LaTeX, PS, and PDF formats), and
  4. a short CV (one to two pages).

Detailed Descriptions/Instructions

  1. Title and Abstract: The title and abstract should be the same as for the original scientific proposal, and is entered into the "proposal summary" field of the NSPIRES form.

  2. Budget Justification and Summary: A brief, one to two page budget justification must be submitted providing the rationale for the various direct cost items and amounts requested. This justification should allow the budget review panel to assess the degree of the necessity of each budget item. The justification should include a breakdown of the responsibility of the various investigators who are requesting funding. The budgets must explicitly list any funds requested for Co-Is, and justify their support.

    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.

    The Budget Justification must now also include a more complete description of each travel request, even if subject to change (e.g., 2023 Summer AAS meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Airfare $XXX, Hotel $XXX, Registration $XXX, Ground Transportation $XXX, Incidentals $XXX, where the XXX's are replaced with appropriate numbers). Describe the purpose of the proposed travel in relation to the grant and provide the basis of estimate. In general, only one trip per team member to a professional society meeting will be supported.

    For home/home office internet access upgrades and virtual collaboration/meeting hardware and applications, describe and explain the need for them. For each virtual collaboration application for which funding is requested, include the number of collaborators expected to use it. Please provide the basis for the estimated costs. For example, "High-end web camera for virtual collaboration: $XXX. Slack Pro channel for 1 year, for a collaboration of N people: $XXX. Zoom Room for 1 year, for M people: $XXX. Internet upgrade from basic plan ($XX/month) to highest residential tier ($XX/month) for 1 year: $XXX; attending the 20th Divisional HEAD meeting (26-30 March 2023) virtually."

    For equipment and other high-cost supplies, describe and explain the need for items costing more than $1,000. Please provide the basis for the estimated costs.

  3. Scientific Justification: The four or five page scientific justification submitted in the science proposal process.

  4. Current and Pending Support: A complete list of awarded and pending research funding support from NASA or other sources for the Principal Investigator. The information needed includes: Agency, Grant/Contract Number, Title, Amount, Starting and Ending Dates, and Level of Effort (percent). A Current and Pending Support form is available as an annotated LaTeX file, an editable PDF file, and a PS file.

  5. Certification: In accordance with U.S. Code, a formal certification is required from every institution, except U.S. Federal institutions, submitting a proposal. Therefore, the signed certificate form must be included in the submission. (More information can be found in Section 2 of the NASA OCFO's "Guidebook for Proposers".)

  6. Vitae: CV of the budget PI. The CVs shall be no more than two pages and shall include a publication list with the most recent and/or important publications.

  7. Institutional Budgets: If your institution requires it, a short institutional budget form may be included with your submission.

2.2. Page Restrictions and Quantity

Reviewers will consider only those pages in each proposal section that do not exceed the page limits specified below.

Budget Proposal Contents and Page Order

Title/Abstract (Proposal Cover Page)
Budget Justification
Scientific Justification
As Needed
REQUIRED. The 4 or 5 page Scientific Justification from the observation proposal. For ToO budget requests, a one page scientific justification should be submitted.
Current and Pending Funding
As Needed
REQUIRED. A standard form is available, but you may use a different form
REQUIRED for the budget PI.
Certification Form
Institutional Budget
A short institutional budget for this particular grant may be uploaded if required by the institution.

2.3. Proposal Submission

2.5. Technical Information Resources

Technical and budget questions concerning the XMM-Newton mission and requests for assistance in proposal submission may be addressed to Dr. Kim Weaver, at:
Dr. Kim Weaver
XMM-Newton Guest Observer Facility
Code 662
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771
Tel: (301) 286-4256
Programmatic information can be obtained from Dr. Valerie Connaughton at:
Dr. Valerie Connaughton
Science Mission Directorate
NASA Headquarters
Washington, DC 20546
Tel: (202) 358-0615


3.1. Evaluation Criteria

As noted above, the amount of support for a given investigation will depend on a number of various considerations. These include:
  • The complexity of the analysis - this includes both the type of analysis and the XMM-Newton instruments to be used in the analysis.
  • The number of targets and the time allocated to each target.
  • The ranking of the proposal as indicated by the priority of the targets.
  • The US or foreign status (as indicated by the primary institutional affiliation of the PI) of the proposal.
  • Other sources of funding relevant to this request.
  • The available funding for this program.

3.2. Proposal Evaluation

US XMM-Newton budget proposals will evaluated by a Peer Review panel selected by NASA and supported by the NASA/GSFC XMM-Newton GOF.


The current schedule for the review of the budget proposals is listed below. Note, however, that the dates of events are subject to change.

Thursday, 12 May 2022 Release of this Announcement
Friday, 24 June 2022 at 5:30 PM EDT Budget Proposals Due
August 2022 Notification of Results
As soon as possible after this Revised Budgets Due

Provision of funds to individual GOs will in general occur near the time which the first associated observation is scheduled to be performed, but no earlier than the start of FY23. The funding start is also dependent on the provision of the funds by NASA HQ to the GOF with possible delays of up to six months past the start of FY23.

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