Through the TMT Early-Career Initiative (TECI), TMT partners can engage graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and other junior-level professionals in their projects. TECI helps match people and projects, and is creating an infrastructure that will increase collaboration across the TMT partnership.
The general process is:
- TECI works with TMT science, instrument, and operations teams to identify potential projects, which are introduced in the TECI workshop as “Mini-Projects.” Mini-Projects may vary in scope, from requiring several person-hours of work to engaging a small team for a few weeks of concentrated effort.
- During the workshop, small teams of workshop participants spend ~6 hours with Mini-Projects, considering approaches, exploring early ideas, and outlining future steps. Each workshop participant is initially assigned to one Mini-Project team, and has the opportunity to switch projects or teams toward the end of the workshop. At the end of the workshop, teams generate a written summary of their work.
- Workshop participants who would like to continue working on a Mini-Project after the workshop submit a proposal to TECI. Some remote work is expected, and participants may also propose to visit or intern at a TMT site in order to collaborate with individuals there toward advancing the project. TECI is able to pay for a limited amount of travel costs to support these visits, pending approval of the proposal.
- Following the December 2018 TECI Workshop, five teams comprising 20 workshop participants were approved to collaborate remotely on TECI mini-projects, with a project consultant. An additional mini-project was completed during the 2018 Workshop. Details on the approved projects and teams are available here.
- We anticipate there will be two calls for 2019 mini-project teams to request a travel award to visit at TMT site. Information on how to apply for a travel award has been sent to participating teams.
Current and future project areas
- TECI is continuously collecting projects from TMT instrument teams, International Science Development Teams (ISDTs), and telescope construction and operations teams. The scope of a project can vary from a couple of weeks to a few months of part-time work. If you have a project idea, please contact Nicholas McConnell: firstname.lastname@example.org .
To serve as examples, this document lists the project areas introduced at the 2018 TECI Workshop.