E-ALFA Organization

Consortium/team issues

The function of an E-ALFA consortium should be twofold:
  1. E-ALFA consortium represents E-ALFA within X-ALFA
  2. E-ALFA consortium works to optimize science through planning and coordination of the E-ALFA surveys, to standardize software and data products and to avoid duplication of effort.

What we need to specify

  • Consortium definition
  • Consortium/team membership

  • Consortium/team leadership

    Some (hypothetical) questions whose answers must be clear from the proposed framework:
    1. Suppose a consortium forms that expresses its intent to propose to undertake a specific ALFA survey, but another group, not associated with the consortium for whatever reason, proposes to undertake the same survey. Is the first group guaranteed the telescope time and/or access to NAIC resources? Is the second group precluded from submitting a proposal? Who decides who gets the time, and based on what criteria?

    2. Suppose an individual joins the consortium at the outset and plays a major role in the survey and proposal planning and execution (for example, by running simulations, developing deconvolution software, providing computer hardware, executing the observing program etc) but then, for whatever reason, does not participate in final data product delivery or science analysis and is not involved in the consortium later. What commitments are made to this individual by the consortium for early involvement in the project? Who decides? Who insures that commitments are carried forward?

    3. The early phases of the project (from now until late 2005) are unlikely to produce scientific results. It thus seems reasonable that it might be unwise for some parties such as untenured faculty, current senior graduate students and current postdocs, to spend significant fractions of their time in the tasks of software and algorithm development and other "investment" activities. How will be the balance be struck between adequate return for those who do undertake the groundwork and the later involvement of those who do not?

    4. Suppose a survey project starts but after six months, several participants have not fulfilled their commitments, thereby putting the entire consortium at risk of not delivering data/software products on schedule. How is this handled? By whom?

    5. Faculty at undergraduate colleges and other primarily-teaching institutions may not be able to commit large amounts of time, particularly during the academic year. How can they and their students be involved given such limitations in time commitment, and possibly, hardware resources and financial support?

    6. There can be significant imbalance, particularly in the United States, between scientists at institutions supported on umbrella grants and those who receive support through individual investigator grants with regard to the availability of funds for travel, hardware resources and system support, student support, overhead and fringe benefit costs, etc. Are there mechanisms available through NAIC and/or the consortium concept that can alleviate or minimize the potential imbalance, particularly for the full duration of a survey (planning to analysis)?

    This page created and maintained by Martha Haynes.

    Last modified: Thu Apr 8 22:26:34 EDT 2003