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Call for white papers

Call for white papers

23 January 2015

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) is soliciting brief white papers from the community describing initiatives that will significantly enhance what Hubble's scientific legacy will gain from the next five years of observations. These papers, which must have a length of no more than three pages, can address any aspect of the Hubble programme.

White papers should summarise the anticipated science objectives and convey a sense of their importance, urgency, and timeliness. They should explain why those objectives cannot be accomplished under the present time allocation system and should include a preliminary assessment of the feasibility of the proposed changes.

The deadline for submission of white papers is 4 March 2015.

Example topics that a white paper might address are:

  • The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be launched in 2018. Are there specific programmes that Hubble should undertake now in preparation for that launch, or during the period of overlapping observations, that take advantage of Hubble's unique capabilities? What types of synergistic observations should be included in the STScI plans?
  • Are there observations from other ground- or space-based observatories that should be more closely linked to Hubble observations over the next few years?
  • Are there specific science questions that should receive greater emphasis over the next five years? If so, why?
  • Should Hubble devote a greater proportion of observing time to specific demographics (e.g., PhD thesis students)?
  • Transient phenomena and the variable Universe represent a growing focus of astronomical research with the development of large-scale synoptic surveys such as the Palomar Transit Factory, Pan-STARRs and its descendants and, eventually, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. Should HST make a special effort to optimise its observational programme for those phenomena? If so, how?
  • Given that Hubble's lifetime is finite, are there changes to the time allocation process that should be made to encourage or enable quicker response to new discoveries?

White paper authors should assume that the readers are knowledgeable and should not devote time or space to a lengthy introduction or background information. If you are aware of any special observing constraints associated with your suggestion, please outline those constraints in your white paper.

The white papers will be reviewed by a small advisory committee including the Head of the HST Mission Office, Ken Sembach, the Head of the Science Mission Office, Neill Reid, and representatives from the Space Telescope Users Committee (STUC). All submissions will be confidential. The committee will make its recommendation to the Director within six weeks of the white paper deadline, and those recommendations will be discussed with the STUC at its meeting 16-17 April 2015.

Submission process

White papers should be submitted as PDF files via e-mail to: and copied to Neill Reid ( 

Each submission will be acknowledged within three days. If no acknowledgement is received within that time period, please inform us via e-mail.

Questions about this notification should be addressed to, copying


Ken Sembach
Head of the HST Mission Office

Last Update: 1 September 2019
14-Jul-2024 11:52 UT

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