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Guidelines for Proposals


  1. Be careful to submit a complete package that can stand alone. Do not assume that the PAC is aware of information contained in previous proposals, technical notes, and letters of intent. If this information is important background for your proposal, be sure that you include it in the proposal, for example as an appendix.
  2. Discuss any equipment requirements beyond the standard set of equipment available in the relevant experimental hall. Also indicate the resources required to supply and install this equipment, and the associated responsible parties. If the proposal requires construction of major new experimental equipment additional material must be submitted, as detailed below under "Major new experimental equipment."
  3. Give justification for the uncertainty of the final results. Give realistic estimates of uncertainties in resolution, absolute momentum and angle calibrations, random coincidences rates, etc. and indicate how these impact the final results.
  4. Be sure to include a detailed table showing how you calculated the number of days requested. Since run time is a very scarce resource, the PAC reviews very carefully the details of the request, makes its own calculation, and allocates the time accordingly. Therefore it is essential to give a full and detailed justification of your request.
  5. Include experimental details and simulations. Complex and challenging experiments often require extensive justification and simulation calculations. Discussions of yield, backgrounds, accidentals, and projected statistical and systematic errors, are essential elements in the justification. To support these, it is important to give the results of simulation calculations that should be the basis of the experimental design. This is an essential component of the package required in order to get such proposals approved.
  6. Indicate how the project relates to other approved 12 GeV proposals and/or proposals still "on the books" for the 6 GeV program. The PAC and the Laboratory have specifically asked proponents of new proposals to clearly state how their experimental goals are addressed by other approved experiments at the Laboratory. As stated in earlier PAC reports, failure to pay sufficient attention to this charge can result in the PAC not considering the new proposal until the information is provided.

Identification of Experiments with Similar Physics Goals

On your proposal cover sheet you must identify any existing approved, conditionally approved, or deferred proposals or experiments that have physics goals similar to those in your proposal. In the text of your proposal, compare and contrast your proposal with these proposals and experiments already considered or under consideration by previous PACs. Note that both one-page summaries and the full text for most proposals are available on-line at

The spokespersons for the relevant existing experiments and proposals you have listed on your proposal cover sheet will receive copies of your proposal prior to the PAC meeting. They will be allowed to submit written comments that will then be passed on to the PAC with a copy provided to you. If you fail to identify a previously approved proposal with similar physics goals, the spokesperson for the previously approved proposal may request that final approval of your proposal be contingent on review by a subsequent PAC of the issues they want raised. If laboratory management agrees that the request has merit, the final approval of your proposal will be deferred until the following PAC has reviewed the situation.

Experiment Summaries

A summary of all approved and conditionally approved experiments can be found on line at: PAC reports can be found on line at:

Beam Time

The beam time request should be provided in some detail using the standard forms identified below. Do not request any contingency time as the scheduling process includes this time. The beam requirements and time request should include all of the time needed, assuming 100% efficiency, for the following activities: setup & installation; alignment; calibration; check out and testing without beam; commissioning with beam; physics measurements (list all currents, energies, and targets); target and experimental apparatus configuration changes, including [for Halls A and C] spectrometer angle changes; and decommissioning. Requirements related to the beam polarization should be part of the beam request. This is especially important if there are stringent limitations on the maximum tolerable component of the polarization transverse or perpendicular to the beam direction. This may be especially relevant for experiments that measure small parity violating asymmetries.

Base Equipment

Note that the guidelines above apply to proposals that will use the "base equipment" of the 12 GeV Upgrade project; this includes all devices included explicitly in the 12 GeV Upgrade Project Design Solution Documents (DSDs) which can be found on the JLab 12 GeV Technical Scope webpage ( This "category" of proposals may include use of existing ancillary equipment, and we will accommodate such proposals so long as the modifications needed are modest and the proposing scientists will undertake the funding and realization of those modifications. If you have questions about whether your proposal for this PAC should be considered under the "base equipment proposal" guidelines above or the "Major new experimental equipment" guidelines below, please contact Bob McKeown directly at

Major New Experimental Equipment

New Proposals that will not use the "Base Equipment" of the 12 GeV Upgrade, but rather require Major New Experimental Equipment must include additional information. In addition, it is essential that the proposers understand that a positive recommendation from the PAC about the scientific merits of such a proposal will only be the first step toward a final decision about their execution. Subsequent steps will include detailed technical reviews, the development of funding to support the construction, and the establishment of a "project" framework for its construction and installation. The laboratory’s formal commitment to the overall effort will come in the form of a written decision taken by the director.

First, we note that the general guidelines outlined above for the material to be included for experiment proposals using the "base equipment" must also be followed for proposals requiring major new apparatus. In addition, the proposing scientists and institutions must state clearly their intention to participate in and contribute to the construction of that apparatus. Each new proposal of this type must include the following items:

  • From each group of proposing scientists and institutions:
    • a clear statement of their intention to participate in and contribute to the construction of the new equipment
    • a summary of the responsibilities they will undertake as part of the construction effort, and
    • the identification of financial and human resources now available to them in support of the effort, and
  • The proposal must also include summary statements identifying:
    • Resources that will be requested from JLab as part of the construction effort, and
    • a strategy to obtain the resources necessary to cover the entire construction and installation effort.


Letters-of-intent may be submitted to solicit the evaluation by the PAC of a new line of research before investing the large effort required to prepare a full proposal. Letters-of-intent will be made public after receiving PAC appraisal in the same manner as full proposals. If the PAC recommends strong encouragement for the letter-of-intent, we will treat such letters of intent in a manner similar to how we have traditionally treated deferred proposals submitted to the PAC. That means that these letters-of-intent must be resubmitted within two successive PAC meetings as a full proposal PAC. The proposal must address the issues and concerns raised by the PAC. And finally, the LOI has established a claim to a physics measurement that lasts (as is the case for conditionally approved proposals) for the next two successive PAC meetings.

Procedure for submission

Proposals, Updates, and Letters-of-Intent are due at the Laboratory by close of business on the stated due date for the relevant PAC meeting. All submissions should be submitted electronically at

If you experience difficulties, please contact Susan Brown at