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The OPTICON call for Transnational Access in Semester 2020B is OPEN and will close on 1 March 2020

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We are pleased to announce that the call for observing time at night time telescopes supported by the OPTICON Trans-National Access programme is now open. See http://www.astro-opticon.org/h2020/tna/call/call-2020b.html.

The call will close on March, 1st 2020 at 23.59 UT exactly.

Note that technical support for the submission software is not provided out-of-hours and late applications will not be accepted, so please complete your application in plenty of time. In recent semesters OPTICON has received between 40-50 proposals and allocated about 20 projects per semester.

Following the mid-term review of the Horizon 2020 contract, OPTICON restates the policy to support proposals based primarily on scientific merit, taking into account that due regard should be given to user groups composed of users who have not previously used the installation and are working in countries where no equivalent research infrastructure exist.

The present EC contract ends on 31 December 2020. A new proposal will be submitted to continue activities. If granted, any runs scheduled from 1 January 2021 onwards will be supported under this new contract. From a user's point of view we expect the conditions of this new contract to be almost identical. However there is a very small but finite risk that conditions may be different, or indeed that the putative new contract may not be granted.

Applicants are invited to review the web-page notes carefully, even if they have used the TNA programme before. Please use the updated version for 2019A onwards for the scientific case and do not change the font sizes or page margins to squeeze more words in. Proposals using the wrong template, or which have been modified to use smaller fonts or narrow margins, will be disadvantaged at the TAC meeting.

Also read carefully the "Overrides" and "Targets of Opportunity" definitions and policies. Proposals must meet certain EU and OPTICON rules for formal eligibility concerning team membership. Please pay attention to those rules or your proposal may be rejected without any scientific evaluation. E.g., Italian PIs cannot request observing time at the NOT since a TNG-NOT sharing-time agreement is in force.

The Telescopio Nazionale Galileo offers 10 nights from October 1st, 2020 to March 31st, 2020. GIARPS configuration is now selectable via Northstar, and it is no longer offered in shared risk mode. Note that GIANO-B may be unavailable for ~3 months due to maintenance. Please contact the TNG staff if you have specific time constraints.

Note that the monitoring mode is subjected to severe limitations at TNG. The schedule is dominated by long blocks of full-nights belonging to GTO and Italian Large Programs. Queing mode is not offered at all. Service time is scheduled on fixed nights so, e.g., seeing requirements do not apply. Objects included in the TNG Protected Target List cannot be requested.

A Long-Term program on the optical counterparts of gravitational wave events is already running at TNG. Therefore, proposals on this topic will not be accepted anymore.