In order to use NorthStar, applicants should first register. Persons who have registered in the past still have their accounts available, and these offer view and copy access to proposals previously submitted through that account.
On the registration page, the user should enter personal contact information that will be used, e.g. for (automated) email notifications, details about submitted proposals, observation projects, etc. A self-chosen username can be entered for logging in to NorthStar. A password will be sent to the user by email. Once logged in, the password, and any personal information, can be changed through the "My Account" button.
There must always be 1 Contact Author, responsible for submission and any communication which might be needed during the review process, although another team member can be labeled as the formal PI. The creator of the first draft will orginally be the Contact Author; this can later be changed to another Active Participant.
Active Participants are registered in NorthStar as sharing in the online generation of a specific proposal, which appears in their personal proposal list. They can all view and potentially edit all aspects of that proposal online on an equal footing; there are appropriate locking facilities to avoid and resolve multiple simultaneous editing actions, but collaboration in good faith is of course assumed. Submission and retraction of the proposal remain the exclusive responsibility of the Contact Author. Active Participants (originally only the creator of the proposal, of course) can generate an e-mail via NorthStar to invite anyone in the list of proposers to register as a new Active Participant, which requires going to a specific online link in NorthStar.
As part of their submission, the applicants must upload science and technical justifications, which have to be prepared offline in postscript (ps) or pdf format. The science and the technical discussion can be supplied as separate documents, but it is allowed to combine both into a single document, as long as the science justification comes first and is adequately separated. The total length of the text for the justifications together is restricted to 2 pages (4 for Large Proposals); the balance is left up to the proposers. The justification pages may contain figures or tables, but these may also be supplied on 1 optional extra page (2 for Large Proposals); if the optional figure page consists of just 1 stand-alone figure it may also be in gif or jpeg format. All file sizes are limited to 10 Mbytes. Proposal documents which the PC finds to be unreasonably dense or excessively long may be rejected! Instructions on appropriate margins and font sizes are available online, with a LaTeX example that can optionally be adopted to generate appropriately formatted pages. Before submission, the entire proposal can be previewed and printed in the form in which it will also be reviewed.
A "help" file is available for the items on each page directly from the proposal tool. For further support, please contact us using the "Send Questions/Problems" in the proposal tool.
The web based proposal tool NorthStar is directly accessible through the following links:
For the WSRT: http://wsrt.astron.nl/proposal
For Dutch time on the INT and the WHT: http://ing.proposal.astron.nl/
For the JCMT: http://hokuakau.jach.hawaii.edu/