Scientific programmes which require more than 1 Ms of observing time are referred to as ``Very Large Programmes''. The XMM-Newton Users Group explicitly encourages the submission of ``Very Large Programmes''. A strong scientific case is evidently envisaged. The Principal Investigator is asked to flag such proposals as ``Large Programmes'' within the electronic submission of the proposal with the RPS.
``Very Large Programmes'' may be accepted for observation in two consecutive AOs. In this case up to 1.5 Ms of observing time may be allocated for ``Very Large Programmes'' observations in the following AO. The total requested observing time for a specific position on the sky may be as large as the total visibility period during one year. For each individual programme the time allocated in the second AO shall not exceed the time allocated in the current AO.
Two OTAC panels will review each ``Very Large Programme'' with respect to the expected return for the scientific category. Each of the two panels independently recommends ``Very Large Programmes'' to the chairpersons meeting. Within the chairpersons meeting a session will be devoted to discuss and compare the recommended ``Very Large Programmes''. Only after both, the ``Large Programmes'' and the ``Very Large Programmes'', are individually prioritized by the chairpersons, the chairpersons will discuss and compare both priority lists to ensure a maximal scientific return.