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Panel for the Allocation of Telescope Time

Membership of the Panel

The Panel for the Allocation of Telescope Time (PATT) comprises an overall Chair and members / Technical secretaries of the time allocation groups (TAGS)

  Panel for the Allocation of Telescope Time
Chair Prof M Hardcastle - Hertfordshire University
Members Dr C Villforth – University of Bath
  Dr C Watson – Queens University of Belfast


  The Isaac Newton Group (ING) time allocation group
Chair Dr N Hatch – University of Nottingham
Members Dr M Argo – University of Central Lancashire
  Dr S Casewell – University of Leicester
  Dr M Collins – University of Surrey
  Dr C Snodgrass – University of Edinburgh
  Dr J Southworth – University of Keele


  Liverpool Telescope Time Allocation group
Chair Dr D.R. Anderson – University of Keele
Members Dr E Breedt – I o A, Cambridge
  Dr S Hamer – University of Bath
  Dr K Maguire – Queens University of Belfast
  Dr D Perley – Liverpool John Moores University


  Merlin Time Allocation group
Chair  Dr M Sargent - University of Sussex
Members Dr A Bartkiewicz – Torun University
  Dr J Forbrich – University of Hertfordshire
  Dr L Morabito – University of Durham
  Dr P Weltevrede – University of Manchester
Technical Secretary Dr T W B Muxlow - Jodrell Bank, University of Manchester

Remit, Terms of Reference and Constitution


The Panel for the Allocation of Telescope Time (PATT) is an advisory body set up to consider the allocation of telescope time and associated travel and subsistence costs in support of those allocations for a range of astronomy facilities for the UK community. These include those where the UK Community has priority access to time via an agreement (such as the ING, LT and e-MERLIN) and those where the UK community is able to compete via open access (such as facilities owned and operated within the US, Chile or Australia). Applications for ESO facilities are dealt with directly by ESO. It may on occasion be asked for input to policy and related matters. PATT includes the Time Allocation Groups (TAGS) which consider applications for the use of the ING, LT and e-MERLIN and advise PATT and the telescope directors/schedulers on the allocation of telescope time to users, in accordance with policy laid down by the STFC Executive.

Terms of Reference

  1. To advise the executive on the award of travel and subsistence expenses consistent with allocated telescope time
  2. Take account, as appropriate, of any strategic advice provided by STFC
  3. Take account, as appropriate, of the recommendations of external reviewers
  4. Provide clear concise feedback to applicants
  5. Advise the Executive as required on all issues relating to PATT
  6. Liaise with other bodies as necessary


The PATT comprises a grant awarding body and time allocation groups (TAGS). Members will be drawn from the wider academic community and will be overseen by an overall chair.

The Grant Awarding Body will be appointed by the Executive and will comprise of the overall chair plus members from the TAGS (usually no more than 3). It will meet twice a year usually by teleconference.

The TAG meetings may include telescope schedulers and/or technical experts, by invitation of the chair and will usually meet twice a year, in advance of the semester being applied for.

The secretariat for PATT is provided by STFC.

Guidelines for managing conflicts of interest in the peer review process

The STFC, as a publicly funded organisation, is accountable to Government and the public for its actions and for the way it conducts its business, which must be undertaken in a way that is transparent and guards against conflicts of interest influencing the outcome of decisions. Further information for managing conflicts as a STFC panel member can be found here.

Equality of opportunity

STFC is fully committed to ensuring that all applicants receive equal treatment throughout the peer review process, and will provide the necessary training and support to panel members and peer reviewers. STFC policies on inclusion and diversity are available on the STFC website. STFC will keep these policies under review in order to ensure that its policies and practices reflect best practice and enable full compliance under the Equality Act 2010.


The STFC will distribute peer review papers via a secure intranet and everything must be considered as confidential i.e the contents should not be disclosed. The confidential nature is intended to ensure that the contents of the proposals, reviews etc are not made known more widely than is necessary for proper consideration by the peer review panels. Names of reviewers are not disclosed to applicants and neither are those of the lead introducer for the proposals.

Last updated: 20 April 2020


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