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A Telescope Allocation Committee (TAC) reviews the proposals and creates a ranking on the basis of the importance of the science, the appropriateness of the instrumentation to the task and the productivity of the PI. Sponsorship of the observing time does not enter into the ranking process. TAC members create their reviews and grades independently and do not review their own, or close associates proposals. 

The TAC is composed of six (6) UT Austin researchers chosen by the Assistant Director for Research from a list of nominees selected to provide a balance of research expertise on the TAC. These researchers may be faculty, research scientists, research associates, or senior post-docs. The members serve staggered 3 year terms with 2 new members starting each January. The Assistant Director serves on an ex officio, non-voting basis and reviews the proposals for technical problems for the TAC. 

A summary of the TAC's review comments is presented along with the summary ranking of the proposal. The proposals are graded by the TAC on a scale where A=1.0, B=2.0, C=2.0, D=4.0, and F=5.0. The following letter grade definitions are used as guidelines: A= Excellent science: (must be done, no deficiencies); B= Good Science: no deficiencies, (schedule time as requested); C= OK Science: but has deficiencies such as write-up, time justification, instrumentation; (schedule as possible); D= Poor Science: major deficiencies, (but should get some time if other programs don't need additional time); and F= Bad or inappropriate Science for McDonald telescopes and should not get any time.