2021 Enabling Science Call for Proposals Instructions

2021 LSST Corporation Enabling Science
Call for Proposals

The LSST Corporation’s (LSSTC) Enabling Science Committee is soliciting proposals for LSSTC funding to support student researchers working on projects connected to Rubin/LSST science. The student support could be to supplement a stipend or for other needs that will advance the ability of the student to contribute to preparing for LSST science.

Information about the Committee’s activities in support of LSSTC’s mission of Investing in Discovery with the Vera C. Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space & Time (LSST) can be found at https://www.lsstcorporation.org/enabling-science. For examples of past activities and funding levels see https://www.lsstcorporation.org/activities.

The total budget available for the 2021 Call for Proposals is ~$160,000.  The level of funding allocated will depend on proposal demand consistent with LSSTC Enabling Science priorities.  Unlike previous years, and given the limited funding for this year’s Call, the 2021 Enabling Science program will be open only for student work directly related to LSST Science or Rubin Observatory activities. Any faculty member or research scientist who is at an LSSTC Member Institution or is a member of an LSST Science Collaboration is eligible to apply. We are accepting proposals to fund activities planned through the end of May 2022.

Proposal Submission:

Please structure your proposal according to the format outlined in the 2021 Enabling Science Proposal template (Google doc or PDF) and submit a PDF version to lsstc@lsst.org (subject line: 2021 Enabling Science Proposal from [name of institution]) no later than 11:59pm Monday, May 10, 2021 (PDT). Proposals should not exceed two pages in length, including a science justification and a brief budget narrative.

The detailed parameters of this Call are as follows:

  • Up to $160K in funds to support student researchers.
  • Up to $5K per student, maximum of 2 students per PI.
  • The $5K per student can be used to supplement other funding.
  • Can supplement a stipend or for other needs that will advance the ability of the student to contribute to preparing for LSST science.
  • Can be used for partial or full support of undergraduates, Masters or PhD students.
  • Two-page (max) proposals due by 11:59pm PDT Monday, May 10th.
  • We aim to notify grantees by May 24th.
  • Support to be used for any time interval between June 1st 2021 and May 31st 2022.
  • Funds can be distributed directly to the student from LSSTC, or to the PI/University.
    • If directly to the student, ½ of the funds will be provided at the start and the other ½ will be disbursed at the end of the funded period (after PI confirms satisfactory progress).
    • If sent to PI/University, minimal overhead (<~10%) will be allowed.


The primary criterion by which all proposals will be evaluated is the potential impact of the activity on the preparation of any part of the user community for science with LSST data. This preparation can take any form, from preparatory analysis and simulations to the development of techniques, and student education. Proposals that are aligned with the science-preparation tasks of the LSST Science Collaborations are particularly encouraged, as are proposals that include participation of members of Rubin Observatory. Preference will also be given to proposals that include significant participation by LSSTC member institutions.

All proposals should describe the student project, its goals and motivation, and a plan for how it will be carried out. Proposed projects will be evaluated on their potential for impact on the LSSTC goals of science preparation and on the feasibility of the proposed project and plan for execution.

Proposals should address the following items, as appropriate (see template Google doc or PDF):

  • The specific LSST science preparation goal(s) to be addressed; examples include, but are not at all limited to, user-generated pipelines and data products, or activities identified in the Science Collaboration roadmap plans.
  • An estimated budget, and how the LSSTC funding will be used to support student researchers.

Proposals will be reviewed by a panel appointed by the LSSTC Board of Directors, with a goal of informing proposers by 24 May.  Information about the expectations for awardees can be found at this link.  No indirect fees may be charged to this award. The host institution's normal fund administration fee may be charged in order to cover a portion of the costs involved in actual expenses administering the grant. It is expected that this rate will not exceed ~10% of the grant award. Questions about this policy should be addressed to LSSTC (lsstc@lsst.org).


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