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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASTRO2020)
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1. Since figures take up a lot of space in the white papers, can they be included in the white papers as hyperlinks?

  • Yes

2. When are APC white papers due?

  • July 10th
3. Can non-US persons submit white papers to the Astro2020 decadal survey?
  • Yes

4. If I did not submit an NOI, can I still submit a white paper?

  • Yes, submitting an NOI was optional

5. How do I receive updates on the Astro2020 decadal survey?

  • Please sign up for Astro2020 Decadal Survey’s Newsletter: Linked here
6. What types of ideas can be submitted for APC whitepapers?
  • Ideas from the community that can be submitted include (but are not limited to) all scales of space- and ground-based science projects, activities such as infrastructure and technological advancements, and issues of consideration for the state of the profession.

7. Should current projects that are already part of the program of record submit NOIs and APC white papers?

  • No. The NOIs and APC white papers are only for future project that are not part of the program of record.

8. Should the large NASA mission concepts (HabEx, LUVOIR, Lynx, Origins) each submit an NOI and subsequent APC white paper?

  • Yes. These white papers in general are intended as synopses of projects and activities that are at a sufficient level that the committee and panels can understand a) the scope of the project, b) the level of existing information, and c) what additional inputs will be required to fully evaluate the project or activity. *For these larger projects of course a 10-page white paper will be insufficient to gain the requisite insight into the complexity and finer details of the missions, but we still believe these white papers will serve as useful guides for organizing requests for further information, and for defining inputs needed for the Technical Risk and Cost Evaluation (TRACE) process, and so we ask that the mission concept teams submit that information.

9. Should WFIRST, Athena, and LISA, submit NOIs and APC white papers?

  • No. We recognize that all three of these projects were recommended by New Worlds New Horizons (NWNH), and that they have undergone significant development activities since that time. These are clearly at a very different level of maturity than the new mission concepts that are likely to be considered. Therefore, we do not expect an NOI or project white papers, and none of these three missions will go through a full TRACE process.


10.  How do APC white papers differ from Probe reports that teams deliver to NASA?

  • The probe study reports are intended for NASA, while the APC white papers are condensed version of the probe studies that are intended to be input to the survey committees.

11. If 10 pages is not enough for the white paper, can we cite the NASA study?

  • White papers should be self-contained as much as possible and not require having read the NASA study to be understood. General citations are allowed, and white papers can cite a NASA study repot if it is published, such as in arXiv. In general, pages for references to other white papers and citations do not count towards the maximum 10 pages for APC white papers. For further instructions and information on how to submit a white paper, please visit:
12. What should the APC white papers focus on?
13. Do PIs of probes need to submit APC white papers to the Decadal Survey?
  • Yes. These will be needed for the panels to begin their work before the NASA mission studies are available to the Survey. 

14. For probes, can the APC white paper reference the longer probe reports that are submitted to NASA?

  • White papers should be standalone documents that can be used by the Decadal Survey panels and not require also reading the full probe report to be understood. The white paper can cite a study report as a reference if it is publicly available, such as in arXiv. In addition, NASA will provide the Survey with copies of all the large mission and probe studies when they are available.

15. What role do the white papers serve in the decadal surveys?

  • White paper submissions are an opportunity for the science community to offer their input into the decadal survey. In addition to collecting the community’s input, program and activity white papers are used by the panels to assess which projects should be submitted for TRACE review.