Application Procedure

Applications have to be written in English and be submitted via our web page using the standard application file in its current version. The application file, once filled out and submitted, is processed at CAHA with LaTeX to create the final printable application for the referees. For ease of use, a template file is available with detailed instructions together with a LaTeX style file, which is needed to process your application with LaTeX. Submissions using old versions of the style file will be rejected by the proposal acceptance system!

The template file is extensively commented.
Please read these comments carefully and closely follow the instructions.

Please note: do NOT use the "pdflatex" command to avoid possible issues with the figures. Use instead the classical "latex myproposal.tex" (twice) with .(e)ps figures only.
The style file has been tested with LaTeX2e [version 2000/06/01, TeX version 3.14159]. With older versions, an empty argument in the telescope parameter (the most common case) causes a LaTeX error. In this case you should proceed by hitting RETURN.

What to submit?

  • Filled-out LaTeX file template.
    Please note: The template file was created under UNIX. If you edit the file with a WINDOWS editor you might have to use the command dos2unix to convert the file format before submitting it.
  • Optional: PostScript files with figures (plain PostScript as specified in LaTeX file; do not compress e.g. with gzip)
How to submit?
  • Submit your files via our web page.
  • The first file to be uploaded must be the plain LaTeX file, with filename-extension .tex, followed by other files (figures), if needed.
  • Send only one application per submission.
  • Your own macros have to be incorporated into the main LaTeX file and NOT be uploaded as separate TeX files, i.e. you must not submit more than one LaTeX file for a given application!
If in doubt whether your proposal will be successfully processed at CAHA, we strongly recommend to submit a rudimentary application application (applicant (name ... e-mail) and title of proposal are needed, rest may be left empty) with a dummy figure in TEST mode (see below) as soon as possible. Then we have enough time to react on potential problems.

When to submit?

Our submission system usually accepts proposals from about September 1 with deadline September 30 for the Spring semester and about March 1 with deadline March 31 for the Autumn semester. This Fall 2019 semester proposals can be submited until:

March 20, 2019 at midnight (23:59:59 CET)

Turn-around close to the deadline may be slow! It still is the applicants responsibility to have the correct (!) LaTeX file received at CAHA before the deadline. Late proposals will automatically be rejected by the system.

What will happen after submission?

  • After receiving the files, the line \document is searched to identify the LaTeX file. Any text in the LaTeX file before \document is discarded as is the text following the \EndOfApplication command. It is also checked that the most recent style file is used. Comments (text behind % in a line) are removed. If all this is successful, LaTeX is run twice to get cross-references right.
  • If a LaTeX error occurs, the LaTeX logfile, together with the LaTeX file as received, are returned. No files are stored in case of errors! Please correct the error and re-submit everything.
  • If the LaTeX command \TestRun is active in your LaTeX file, your application will be processed as normal, but no proposal ID will be assigned and no records are kept at CAHA. You will be notified about the result of the trial LaTeX run at CAHA (positive or with logfile in case of a LaTeX problem) together with the PostScript file, if produced successfully from your application.

    If all is to your satisfaction, you have to de-activate \TestRun in the LaTeX file and RE-SUBMIT the whole proposal including any PostScript files for figures!

    The trial run mode allows you to check the layout, as different LaTeX versions may produce slightly different layouts. Since we now check the layout (i.e. that the allocated space is not overrun), this is crucial for a successful submission. Proposals which work fine at your site not necessarily run through at CAHA, if the text is very close to the critical margin.
  • If LaTeX is run without problems, dvips is used to create the printable version of the application, including optional figures. A short verification mail including title and identification of the proposal is sent to the PI. The printable PostScript file as created at CAHA is sent under separate mail, to avoid problems with potential size limits for incoming e-mails on your host. If you do not receive this second mail, please check the size limits for incoming mail on your system.
    If you do not get any response within a reasonable time, please contact us!
  • Eleven (black-and-white) copies will be printed at CAHA from the PostScript output file and passed on to the referees.
  • The LaTeX file is used to fill the database used at CAHA for administrative purposes.

Additional material to support your application

If you want to supply additional material (if absolutely necessary) to your referees, e.g. preprints, progress reports, or recommendation letters, please send it as an email attachment to

Alternatively, you may send a couple of copies by ordinary mail to

Gilles Bergond
Centro Astronómico Hispano Alemán A.I.E.
Compl. Observatorio Astronómico Calar Alto s/n
Sierra de los Filabres
E-04550 Gérgal (Almería)

Please do this only after you have received the mail with the proposal ID and mark this ID clearly on both copies. We will need a few days to prepare the proposals for shipment to the TAC members. This should allow these preprints to reach us on time.

Some features of the style file and the application procedure you should know:

  • The language for the text printed in the application has to be English.
  • Page restriction is checked during the LaTeX run. To see the desired page layout you might want to run the empty template file through LaTeX. A LaTeX error is generated if a page overflow (e.g. in the title page or scientific justification) occurs. If text length is critical you may want to make use of the trial run mode to check page layout as generated at CAHA!
  • It is checked whether all commands have been included (e.g. none has been deleted by accident). In case this occurs, please refer to the original template file to correct the error. It is checked during our acceptance procedure if your LaTeX file ends with the command \EndOfApplication, which performs this check. All text before the \documentclass and after the \EndOfApplication lines are removed automatically, as are all comments, with the exception of your bibliographic data following the \EndOfApplication command. These will be saved separately.

What you should NOT do!

  • Do not append your own macros as separate files. This will confuse our procedure. Please insert them at the beginning of the main LaTeX file.
  • Do not use paths for the figures in the \includegraphics statement. Copy them to the local directory, since this is how they are processed at CAHA.
  • Do not name a PostScript file of a figure with the same name as the LaTeX file. Our procedure will overwrite the figure with the LaTeX PostScript output.
  • Do not submit figures in a separate mail or on paper by ordinary mail.
  • Do not re-submit an application after you have received the PostScript verification. In case it is absolutely essential to make changes to a proposal already entered into our database, please contact us before you submit it again).

Last updated: February, 2018