So, you people really know how to surprise us… After several months of unexceptional demand for FT time, the last thing we were expecting was a near-record number of proposals in September. With Gemini staff now being able to submit proposals, and FT starting up at Gemini South next month, we thought that demand was likely to pick up a bit soon. However, we expected you all to be too busy writing regular proposals for the 16A deadline to submit many FT applications.
In the end, though, we received 16 proposals at the end of September. Even accounting for the 3 staff submissions, this is our second-highest number since the program began. The figure below illustrates this – the blue bars and left-hand axis show the number of proposals, while the squares and right-hand axis show the number of hours requested (red) and awarded (green). The dashed line denotes the 20 hrs/month available for FT programs.
You’ll notice that two cycles are annotated with “cycle cancelled”, while one says “Used external reviewers”. This marks the policy change detailed in this blog post, where we used to require >7 proposals in order for the program to run, but now we add extra reviewers as needed.
Good luck to this month’s proposers; we’re as curious as you to see the outcome of this month’s FT cycle!