Information for successful applicants


This page contains important information for successful applicants. If you were allocated time on one or more of ESO telescopes, please read the following very carefully. Also, be reminded that as a successful ESO Principal Investigator you are bound to the general conditions stated in the Call for Proposals.

Visitor and Designated Visitor Mode

Designated Visitor Mode (DVM)

If your run has been allocated time in Designated Visitor Mode (DVM), the observations will be carried out by ESO staff during pre-allocated time slots, during which you are expected to be in remote contact with the mountain. Please read the instructions provived below and prepare the relevant observing material at least 10 days before the run to allow enough time for a verification iteration with the User Support Department ensuring smooth operations.

For Paranal: please follow the instructions at this URL

For La Silla: please follow the instructions at this URL


Please, check that the scheduled windows are suited to the required constraints and target coordinates. In case of problems, get immediately in touch with the Observing Programmes Office via the ESO Ticketing System. For a more efficient processing of the request, please select "OPO-Observing Programmes Office" in the department field of the submission form.


Service Mode

  • Please check the Phase 2 submission deadline.
  • A Phase 2 package needs to be submitted for each approved run in Service Mode.
  • Users having obtained time in Service Mode with the VLT must read carefully the Service Mode Guidelines
  • APEX users should refer to the APEX Phase 2 submission page. To register their APEX runs, users should make sure to enter their e-mail addresses exactly as stored in the ESO User Portal.
  • Please note that late submission penalties apply. If your Phase 2 material is submitted late without the express permission of ESO, your Priority Category will be reduced as follows: A to B, B to C, C to rejected.
  • If requiring assistance with the Phase 2 preparations please contact the User Support Department through the ESO Operations Helpdesk and check the Knowledgebase for frequently asked questions.


Check your allocation

You can check the details of your allocation using the schedule query form.

  • For this, just enter the programme ID (e.g. 23NP) in the specific field (Run/Programme ID) and push the Search button.

NEW as of P113: starting with P113 a graphical display of the telescope schedules is available at this link.

Data access policy

Please note that the ESO Science Archive Facility is the sole access point to data obtained with ESO telescopes. This includes access to proprietary data for both Visitor and Service Mode runs.

Typically, the files become available from the Science Archive Facility at within few hours from the observation. The Archive Calibration Selector service allows to associate calibrations and ancillary files to raw science files for further processing. As of 1 April 2013, the proprietary period for all science and acquisition files will run from the moment the file can be accessed and downloaded from the Archive. This means that the "proprietary period" will begin on that date. No PI or PI delegate action will affect the proprietary period.

Publications and Press Releases

Any publication based on observations collected at the La Silla Paranal Observatory must mention in a footnote on the first page: "Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile", with indication of the programme number(s). For more details please see the publication policies.

Should you believe that your results are worthy of a press release ESO asks you to contact the ESO education and Public Outreach Department ( before the publication of the paper.