On May 2, 2022, the SOFIA program released a Call for Proposals for the SOFIA Archival Research Program (SARP). This program will fund archival research projects primarily using SOFIA data to encourage the use of available SOFIA archival observations for impactful science. Such projects are funded for a duration of up to two years, with the possibility of a no-cost extension (NCE). In addition to support for the scientific analysis of archival data, these programs may request support for the development of new tools for theory or for laboratory efforts (excluding laboratory equipment) that directly support the science goal of the SARP. The call provides specific information for the structure and submission requirements for SARPs, which differ from the regular Guest Observer proposals. 

This call is open to all qualified astronomers affiliated with a U.S. institution, and complements the Astrophysics Data Analysis Program (ADAP) under the NASA Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) solicitation. A Call for Proposals update will be issued on June 10. The deadline for submitting proposals is July 8, 2022, 21:00 PDT (July 9, 2022, 4:00 UTC). The performance period is October 1, 2022–September 30, 2024.

The SARP will consider two distinct types of proposals.

  • The Regular Proposals are larger programs funded at up to $175,000 per year, or more in exceptional cases. Regular Proposals may request funds for up to two years.
  • The Small Proposals are smaller, targeted programs funded at up to $50,000- $75,000. Small Proposals may request funds for up to one year.

Early career researchers, including graduate students and postdocs, are encouraged to apply to the small proposals category. If early career researchers are not permitted by their institution to hold grants, a faculty member at the same institute should be designated as the 'US Lead Investigator' in USPOT. 

SOFIA has implemented dual-anonymous review for the Archival Research Program. Proposers should thus avoid referring to PIs and Co-Is by name in the proposal body and should ensure that the biography section and budget are uploaded as a separate PDF. Read more about the Dual Anonymous Review process

New policies

  • The nominal grant levels have been raised to $50-75k for Small SARP Proposals and $175k for Regular Proposals  S
  • Small Programs (with a nominal Period of performance (POP) of one year) will have the option of a one year no cost extension (NCE). Regular proposals, with a nominal 2 year POP are not expected to have this option.
  • It is now possible to designate a faculty member as ‘US Lead Investigator’ in USPOT if the PI is an early career researcher who is not permitted by their institution to hold grants.

General guidelines

The Archival Research Program is intended to facilitate the timely publication of data already publicly available in the SOFIA Science Archive. This may be either through the analysis and publication of previously unpublished observations, or through the re-analysis and/or consolidation of several data sets.

  • The data sets to be used should be clearly identified in the proposal body.  
  • The proposal should clearly state the scientific problem that will be addressed and its relevance.
  • The utilization and analysis of supporting data sets from other observatories or the laboratory may be part of the supported effort, but only as relevant to the analysis and publication of the SOFIA data.
  • Limited amounts of directly relevant theoretical work, including model development, or “laboratory work” may also be proposed.  
  • Proposals for new observations are not solicited or allowed as part of the Archival Research Program.
  • Proposals must include a budget request and justification.

Accessing SOFIA Archival Data

SOFIA’s scientific data archive can be found at the Infrared Science Archive (IRSA), which is hosted by the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC). SOFIA data from Guest Observer programs past the proprietary period, Director’s Discretionary Time observations, and Legacy Programs are searchable through the IRSA SOFIA Archive. Instructions for downloading SOFIA archival data, as well as documents relating to data products and data tools, can be found on the Science Archive page. Selected examples of SOFIA archival data sets can be found on the Selected Highlights of the Data Archive page.

Important Documents

Call for Proposals
USPOT Manual
Budget Template
Grant Funding Distribution Plan
Grant Budget Guidelines
Grant Progress Report Template

Help with Submitting Proposals

Proposals are to be submitted through the USPOT tool. Please ensure that you are using USPOT version 4.5.0 when preparing and submitting proposals in response to this Call for Proposal.  

An informational webinar will be held on Wednesday May 11th, at 10 am Pacific Time to present the mechanics of the open funding call, and highlight a selection of public datasets. Please see the event page for details on how to join.

The SOFIA Summer seminar series, 'Synergies within the Infrared Archive', will be held on Fridays at 9am Pacific (May 13th - June 10). The series consists of five online talks by members of the community, spanning a large range of astrophysical topics and highlighting how infrared archival data from different instruments can be used together to leverage scientific information. Please see the series page for details on how to join the series.

To help users navigate the SOFIA archive, the SOFIA Synergies with JWST and ALMA page lists the references to sources available in the SOFIA archive which have also been observed by ALMA programs and are included in Webb early observations plans. The website also provides selected highlights of the data archive, a collection of high-potential datasets.

SOFIA's HelpDesk is open to answer any question and inquiry from the community: sofia_help@sofia.usra.edu

Cycle 9 SARP (closed) 

The Cycle 9 SARP proposal call is closed. The deadline for submitting proposals was February 12, 2021, 21:00 PST (February 13, 2021, 5:00 UTC). Proposal selections were made in April 2021 and are listed here.

January 27, 2021 Update: The CfP has been updated to clarify that an extra page is allowed for references.

January 8, 2021 Update: The CfP has been updated to clarify that a simple budget is required also for Small Proposals.