Proposal Support

This page gathers basic resources that may be useful to ISSC members preparing proposals requesting support for small-team LSST-related projects involving significant data science research.

Funding sources

The main sources of US federal support for LSST-related research are NSF and DOE.

Relevant programs run by NSF include:

This list is not exhaustive; in particular, NSF occasionally announces short-lived grant opportunities not listed here.

DOE supports the construction of the LSST camera. DOE’s science support for LSST mainly focuses on dark energy and dark matter research. See the DOE Office of Science Funding, specifically their annual funding opportunity announcements. Note that DOE opportunities often have more strict eligibility requirements than NSF opportunities (e.g., PIs may have to hold tenured or tenure-track positions).

The Rubin Observatory LSST Project runs the telescope and the Data Management effort; it is federally funded. The LSST Corporation (LSSTC) is a not-for-profit corporation that helped initiate the project, and that raises philanthropic funding to help the project succeed. LSSTC occasionally solicits proposals for small research projects; see their Enabling Science page for more information. LSSTC runs the LSST Interdisciplinary Network for Collaboration and Computing (LINCC), which oversees the Catalyst Fellowship program, and programs supporting the creation and sharing of analysis tools for key LSST science goals.

Rubin-LSST information for proposers

October 2022 update: For the latest information on Rubin’s plan and timeline for the Early Science Program, see the post in the Rubin Community Forum by Deputy Director for Operations Phil Marshall ( login required): “Updates to the Rubin Early Science Plan…”. This post includes a link to a slide deck with information specifically targeting proposal PIs. hosts a web site for scientists collecting many resources useful for proposers. Some notable resources are:

Three publications likely to be especially useful are these:

Thanks in part to support from DOE, the Dark Energy Science Collaboration (DESC) has been especially active in this pre-survey preparation period. If your work is relevant for cosmology (including some topics in extragalactic astronomy and transient and variable star astronomy), these documents hosted at the LSST DESC public website may be useful (DESC also maintains a very extensive collaboration-only website with lots more):

These and other related documents are collected on DESC’s DESC Planning Documents page.


The Rubin Project maintains a helpful glossary of technical terms and acronyms associated with Rubin/LSST: Glossary & Acronyms. (Rubin’s EPO site hosts a simplified glossary: Rubin Education Glossary.)

As examples of what you’ll find in the glossary, note the specific ways that “object” and “source” are used in LSST publications: