ALMA Cycle 3 Call for Proposals Attracts Record Number of Proposals

8 May 2015

The ALMA Observatory's Early Science Cycle 3 has attracted 1582 proposals for observation time from the international scientific community during the application period (the deadline was 23 April 2015).

"This success comes thanks to the remarkable efforts and commitment of the Joint ALMA Observatory and the ALMA Support Centres for setting up and monitoring the submission process around the clock and the globe! It demonstrates the strong support for and interest in ALMA by the scientific community," said Pierre Cox, Director of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

Lars-Åke Nyman, Head of Science Operations at ALMA, highlighted that "the demand for this new instrument is increasing with time; we received 1382 proposals for Cycle 2”. He also emphasised the collaborative nature of the process, as there are proposals by groups of researchers from five different regions, represented by the three partners. In total 3608 astronomers participated in the process as either principal investigators or co-investigators on proposals.

Cycle 3 observations are scheduled to begin on 1 October 2015 for a period of one year.

Most of the proposals received involve research that falls within the Interstellar Medium, Star Formation, and Astrochemistry (26%) and Galaxies and Galactic Nuclei (25%) categories. Of the proposals, 21% are in the Cosmology and High Redshift Universe category, while 20% aim to conduct research in the category of Circumstellar Disks, Exoplanets and the Solar System. Finally, the Stellar Evolution and the Sun category represents 8% of the proposals received.

In total, the applicants have requested 9037 hours of observation time. The ALMA Observatory will now begin the evaluation process, in which 12 review panels, comprising 97 experts, will analyse the proposals in relation to their scientific categories. The results of these evaluations are expected to be announced in mid-August 2015.

ALMA, an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of ESO, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Republic of Chile.


Richard Hook
ESO, Public Information Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6655
Cell: +49 151 1537 3591

About the Announcement



Breakdown of ALMA Cycle 3 proposals by category
Breakdown of ALMA Cycle 3 proposals by category