World map small

EVN Programme Committee & proposal review


Proposals submitted to the EVN are reviewed by the EVN Programme Committee (EVN PC).
The EVN PC consists of members delegated by EVN observatories, and additional at-large members. The PC members have a broad range of scientific expertise, such as Galactic masers, continuum stars, AGN, transients, cosmology etc. The proposals will thus reviewed in general by non-experts in the proposal's field. Proposals should then be broad and clear enough for the broad astronomical community.

The EVN Programme Committee (PC) meets three times per year in order to consider requests for observing time on the EVN. The PC distributes a Call for Proposals three times per year with submission deadlines of 1st February, 1st June, and 1st October.  The PC meets shortly after each deadline and communicates its results to the proposers. The list of observing proposals approved by the EVN PC for the most recent deadline is available online. As well as evaluating proposals, the PC discusses other issues of relevance to EVN observing. Since 1 August 2021 the chairman of the EVN PC is Zsolt Paragi (JIVE, Dwingeloo).


Proposers are encouraged to consult the EVN User Support group before proposal submission, to avoid rejection of proposals for feasibility issues. 



Line break


The EVN PC comprises astronomers from EVN institutes as well as from unaffiliated universities or observatories:

  • Zsolt Paragi CHAIR
    JIVE, Dwingeloo, NL
  • Sara Motta VICE-CHAIR
    INAF-OAB, Milan, IT
  • Tao An
    SHAO, Shanghai, CN
  • Shari Breen
    SKA, Manchester, UK
  • Michael Lindqvist
    OSO, Goteborg, SE
  • Andrei Lobanov
    MPIfR, Bonn, DE
  • Pikky Atri
    ASTRON, Dwingeloo, NL
  • Mar Mezcua
    Institute of Space Sciences, ICE, CSIC, Barcelona, ES
  • Tom Muxlow
    JBCA, Manchester, UK
  • Jack Radcliffe
    UP, Pretoria, SA
  • Cristiana Spingola
    INAF-IRA, Bologna, IT
  • Marcin Gawronski
    NCU, Torun, PL


  • Alastair Gunn EVN SCHEDULER
    JBCA, Manchester, UK
    JIVE, Dwingeloo, NL



Line break


Regular proposals (including EVN Lite and Correlator-only proposals)

Regular proposals (submitted through the online Northstar tool before the EVN proposal deadline) are evaluated by all members who then assign a pre-grade, based on scientific merit and technical feasibility of the proposal. The EVN PC then discusses the proposals at a face-to-face EVN PC meeting to finalise the grades.

The final grade and the consensus report are sent to the Principal Investigator, usually within two months of the proposal deadline. A full copy of individual comments from the committee members is provided as feedback.

For more information about EVN-lite, find the policy document here.


Global proposals

Global proposals requesting NRAO (i.e. VLBA and/or VLA) and GBO (Green Bank Telescope) telescopes are discussed together with the NRAO and GBO Time Allocation Committees (TACs). The e-MERLIN array observing time, which can be requested for joint EVN+e-MERLIN observations, has to be granted by the e-MERLIN TAC and proposals should therefore include a clear justification for its inclusion.

Global proposals are judged in the same manner as regular proposals by the EVN committee. NRAO, GBO and e-MERLIN TACs have their own procedures for evaluation. The EVN PC will provide to the PI of the proposal a unified feedback from this proposal corresponding with the outcome of the different TACs.


Target of Opportunity proposals

Target of Opportunity (ToO) proposals have a distinct submission procedure and will be judged on scientific merit and the technical feasibility of the project, alongside the justification for the urgency of the observations. 

The PC Chair (or the Deputy PC Chair) will review the proposal, in consultation with individual PC members as time permits, and send their opinion to the Principal Investigator, and other proposal recipients. The Chair will also consult with the EVN Scheduler to decide whether or not the observations can indeed be made within an EVN session or scheduled EVN e-VLBI run, and inform the Directors accordingly if necessary.

For out-of-session ToO proposals the observatory Directors and Schedulers will also review the proposal and, if necessary, decide whether or not to authorise the observations. In addition, they will also investigate whether a suitable observing date can be found. In some instances, observatories may give unconditional approval to the approval, while some may make the decision dependent on the PC Chair’s opinion. The PC Chair will either recommend that an attempt should be made to schedule the ToO observations, or that the request be turned down, on the basis of the Directors’ responses, the scientific case or the non-availabilty of resources.

Proposers should be aware that most EVN observatories are fully committed to other programmes outside of the sessions (especially at the larger telescopes) and as a consequence it may be very difficult to organize additional ad hoc VLBI time at all EVN telescopes at short notice.


Short observation requests

Short observation requests have a distinct submission procedure. The EVN PC Chair will evaluate the proposal, and if the request can be supported, the EVN Scheduler will schedule them on a best effort basis as filler observations (thus without any guarantee of observation).

Note that rapid response science proposals are not eligible as short requests, even if the requested time is less than two hours. These must be submitted as a ToO proposal.