Last 15 days

General News/UKSP Business:Nuggets:
    Meetings/Workshops/Summer Schools:Jobs/Studentships:

    General News/UKSP Business:

    Launch of the EGU – Solar Terrestrial Division blog

    from Athanasios Papaioannou [June 27, 2017]

    We are happy to announce the launch of the EGU – Solar Terrestrial division blog together with other social media webpages where you can get in touch with us. This is run by a group of enthusiatic volunteers, Koen Hendrickx (Stockholm University, Sweden), Kamalam Vanninathan (University of Graz, Austria) and the editor Athanasios Papaioannou (National Observatory of Athens, Greece).

    We are putting all our efforts in bringing the community together, to
    explain science in attractive ways and to encourage others to understand the intimate connection between the Sun and the Earth. Follow our monthly blogposts to find out more.

    RCUK Policy Internships for STFC-funded PhD Students

    from Sian Giles [June 26, 2017]

    STFC participates in the Research Councils Policy Internships scheme, a programme in which STFC-funded PhD students are given the opportunity to spend three months working in Parliament or Government. Opportunities are available with the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) or the Government Office for Science (GO-Science).
    Applications for the 2018 scheme are now open.
    The scheme presents a unique opportunity for PhD students to gain an insight into the political process. Fellows learn how policy is developed, interact with policy makers and develop the skills needed to communicate effectively with non-academic audiences.
    • POST is an independent office of the Houses of Parliament whose role is to provide clear, expert, impartial advice on science to MPs and Peers. Its goal is to keep them up to date on current scientific issues and allow them to make informed decisions. Fellows either work on a ‘POST Note’ or research project, or provide specialist advice to a Parliamentary Select Committee or the House of Commons Library.

    • GO-Science looks to ensure that Government policies and decisions are informed by the best scientific evidence and strategic long-term thinking. Placements are likely to involve undertaking research, drafting briefing notes and background papers, and organising workshops and meetings. They will offer opportunities to work with a number of different teams and across a wide range of science and technology policy topics in GO-Science.
    Successful applicants will receive funding for their secondment period and will receive a three-month extension to their STFC PhD status. Interns will receive a stipend equivalent to that of a London-based PhD student for three months. Interns based at non-London institutions will receive an additional sum to cover the costs of relocating to London for three months.
    Applications for 2018 Internships will close at 4pm on Thursday 10 August 2017. More details about the hosting partners and the application form can be found on the RCUK site.

    Further information:
    • STFC Policy Internships (includes past case studies)
    • Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
    • Government Office for Science

    STFC Balance of Programme (Skills) review Follow-up Community Consultation

    from Huw Morgan [June 23, 2017]

    STFC’s Balance of Programme (Skills) review is inviting community responses to targeted questions. If you have ideas or opinions you wish to be included in the Solar System Advisory Panel’s response to the following questions, please email Huw Morgan before Monday 10th July.

    1) In relation to the five skills areas in scope of the review (apprentices, graduates, studentships, fellowships and public engagement) please comment on the level of resources currently allocated to the facilities operated by STFC. For the purpose of this exercise ‘facilities’ refers to ISIS, Central Laser Facility, RAL Space & Hartree Centre.

    2) What skills should be maintained or strengthened to enable your community to respond flexibly to new funding opportunities such as (but not exclusively) those offered by the Global Challenges Research Fund and Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund?

    3) Under the following funding scenarios indicate a clear prioritisation (1-5, 1 is highest priority; no equal priorities to be given) of skills areas (including all five skills areas in scope of the review – apprentices, graduates, studentships, fellowships and public engagement): Flat cash +5% and Flat cash -5%

    4) What opportunities exist for skills activities that would enhance your programme under an optimistic funding scenario in which significant funding becomes available to implement the “Building Our Industrial Strategy” Green Paper via e.g. the technologies allocated support by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund?

    Please indicate if there are any parts of your response that you wish to remain confidential to STFC and the Review Panel.

    Living Reviews in Solar Physics welcomes new editor

    from Frank Schulz [June 16, 2017]

    Living Reviews in Solar Physics is pleased to announce that Prof Moira Jardine has joined the Editorial Board. As an Associate Editor, she will bring her expertise in stellar-solar science to the journal.

    Moira Jardine is Professor at the School of Physics & Astronomy of the University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK. Her research interests are in the area of young stars, particularly the structure of their magnetic fields and coronae and the mechanisms by which they interact with their disks.

    STFC – Emerging and Enabling Technology Survey

    from Sian Giles [June 13, 2017]

    STFC – Emerging and Enabling Technology Survey

    The STFC External Innovation and 21st Century Challenges team is working to foster and strengthen collaboration with Innovate UK and the Catapult centres. As part of this, we are looking to map the landscape of emerging and enabling technology arising from our science programme. Therefore, we are inviting our research community to complete a survey to provide baseline information about existing interactions with Catapults and examples of emerging and enabling technologies, together with potential applications.

    We will use this information to establish priority areas for facilitating collaboration with Catapults and people to involve in future activities and discussions.
    To complete this survey, please go here.

    If you have any queries please contact Andi Kidd


    Meetings/Workshops/Summer Schools:

    RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting “Wave-based heating in the solar atmosphere”

    from Paolo Pagano [June 26, 2017]

    Friday, 12 January 2018 – 10:30 – 15:30
    Royal Astronomical Society Lecture Theatre

    The Royal Astronomical Society will host a Specialist Discussion Meeting on January 12th 2018 on Wave-based heating in the solar atmosphere. We aim to bring together experts in numerical modelling, observational detection and theoretical analysis of wave-based heating mechanisms to shed light on the role of MHD waves in coronal heating.

    Information on registration, abstract submission and programme will be announced in due time.

    Paolo Pagano, Patrick Antolin, Ineke De Moortel, Sergiy Shelyag

    Abstracts Solicited for AGU Fall 2017 Meeting Session SH003: Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Retrospective

    from William Dean Pesnell [June 23, 2017]

    Announcing an opportunity to submit an abstract to a special session at the AGU Fall Meeting this December.

    SH003. Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Retrospective

    Long-range predictions of solar activity are essential to our space weather forecast capability. In order to improve predictions it is important to understand why past predictions succeeded or failed. Solar Cycle 24 was a below-average cycle. There were peaks in the sunspot number in the Northern hemisphere in 2011 and in the Southern in 2014. Predictions of the amplitude of Solar Cycle 24 had values ranging from zero to unprecedentedly high levels of solar activity. With the rapid increase in the quality of solar data and the capability of numerical models, we are improving our ability to forecast the amplitude of the next sunspot cycle. Some questions this session would address include: How did predictions of Solar Cycle 24 compare with the actual cycle? How do recent advances constrain future predictions? Papers addressing the success and failure of predictions of Solar Cycle 24 are solicited for this special session.

    Follow this link to submit an abstract to this session

    The Early Abstracts Submission deadline is 26 July, 2017, and the Regular Abstracts Submission deadline is 2 August, 2017.

    Please join us in New Orleans for a discussion on how to more accurately predict the next solar cycle.

    The Conveners of SH03:
    William Dean Pesnell, NASA / GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, United States
    Douglas Alan Biesecker, NOAA Boulder, SWPC, Boulder, CO, United States
    Lisa Upton, Space Systems Research Corporation, Alexandria, VA, United States

    Newton Fund Malaysia Call

    from Sian Giles [June 23, 2017]

    The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) are pleased to announce a workshop to take place in Malaysia on 11-13 September 2017.

    During the workshop, UK and Malaysian attendees will scope outline proposals aimed at developing a programme for delivering transferable skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). The training would be in the context of some of the biggest and most cutting-edge scientific collaborations in the world e.g. the Large Hadron Collider and astronomical telescopes.

    For full details and links to the expression of interest for attending the workshop please go to



    Fourth UK-Ukraine-Spain Meeting on Solar Physics and Space Science (UKUS) – Final Announcement

    from Viktor Fedun [June 20, 2017]

    Fourth UK-Ukraine-Spain Meeting on Solar Physics and Space Science (UKUS) Kyiv, Ukraine
    Monday 28th August – Friday 1st September 2017

    Important deadlines
    Registration deadline – 15 July 2017
    Abstract submission deadline – 20 July 2017

    The meeting will cover a broad range of aspects of solar physics, space science and solar-terrestrial relations. We aim to include every side of solar and space research, including observations, theory, and numerical modelling. The main idea behind the meeting is to treat the entire solar-terrestrial domain as one system, rather than each region independently.

    The participants of the UKUS usually come from different backgrounds, therefore the meeting will be divided into a number of different topics highlighting a number of areas of expertise.

    The most of the oral presentations will be scheduled in the morning sessions, followed by dedicated discussion meetings in the groups relating to the workshop objectives in the afternoon session. For the morning presentations, we foresee one-two invited speaker per topic, who should introduce their expertise to the participants. Contributed talks will be scheduled after the invited lecture. The afternoons are foreseen to have a more open character.

    Our aim is to develop new collaborative projects leading to publications and grant applications. Enough discussion time will also be scheduled, to ensure sufficient interaction between the scientists, and allow for the generation of ideas for collaboration.

    Tentative Programme:
    – Dynamic processes in the Earth ionosphere
    – MHD waves – coupling between lower solar atmosphere and corona (observations, theory, numerics)
    – Solar energetic processes: dynamics of a small and large scale eruptive events
    – Multi-scale plasma waves in the Sun-Earth system

    STFC Introductory Course in Solar System Plasma Physics – Reminder

    from Richard Morton [June 15, 2017]

    This is the final reminder that the registration for this year STFC Introductory Course in Solar System Plasma Physics will be closed soon. The STFC Introductory Scool will take place from 10-15 September 2017 at the Jury’s Inn, Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK.

    The course is aimed at 1st year PhD students but open to PhD students of any year. There are some fully-funded places available for STFC-funded PhD students, booked on a first come first serve basis. Non-STFC PhD students and PDRAs are welcome to attend but will have to pay a registration fee.

    Aside from the taught programme there will be plenty of opportunities for networking and socialising with other students and lecturers with an ice breaker event at the hotel (Sunday) and at Northumbria University (Monday) and conference dinner (Thursday), plus an excursion to the historical Tynemouth Priory, located on one of Northumberland’s glorious beaches.

    For more details please see

    We ask kindly the supervisors to highlight this opportunity to their PhD students. The deadline of registration is 30 June 2017, after which the LOC cannot guarantee the hotel places because of a very strong competition with the participants and supporters of the Great North Run.

    Best wishes,

    The LOC

    Registration deadline 26th June – STFC Advanced Summer School in Solar System Plasmas

    from Danielle Bewsher [June 13, 2017]

    The STFC Advanced Summer School in Solar System Plasmas will be held at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston from 28th August – 1st September. Registration closes on Monday 26th June.

    The school will provide advanced training for 2nd and 3rd year postgraduate students and PDRAs new to the field. It will allow participants to explore theory and the most recent observations in the field in great depth, and promote scientific and social interaction between the participants and the course tutors. Students will have an opportunity to give a short presentation of their PhD topic.
    Fully funded places are still available for STFC funded postgraduate students and self-supported students only. Workshop fees for non-STFC funded students and PDRAs are detailed on the website.
    Please can supervisors encourage their students to register.

    For further details and registration go to


    Research associate in Space Physics

    from Tim Horbury [June 27, 2017]

    The Space and Atmospheric Physics group are looking for a Research Assistant/Associate to work on the analysis and interpretation of data related to the solar wind, preferably related to turbulence, kinetic processes or structures in the inner heliosphere. Our Group has built the magnetometer instrument on the ESA Solar Orbiter spacecraft due for launch in 2019 and has scientific involvement in the NASA Parker Solar Probe mission, launching in 2018. Between them, these two spacecraft will explore the inner heliosphere and open a new chapter on the study of the generation and evolution of the solar wind. The successful applicant will use our closest solar wind plasma and magnetic field measurements to date, from the twin Helios spacecraft, and apply modern analysis techniques to study the fine scale structure of the solar wind. An element of theory or simulation is possible within this work.
    You will have a PhD (for appointment at Research Associate level) or be about to obtain a PhD (for appointment at Research Assistant level) or equivalent level of professional qualifications and experience in the field of space physics and expertise in at least one of the following: collisionless plasmas; turbulence; kinetic plasma physics; heliospheric physics; plasma simulation. You should have experience in data analysis of in situ spacecraft plasma data or the analysis and interpretation of equivalent data from space plasma simulations.

    Closing date: 20 July 2017

    For more information please contact Tim Horbury ( or see

    ESA Research Fellowships in Space Science

    from Richard Morton [June 20, 2017]

    Oliver Jennrich (fellowship at

    The European Space Agency awards several postdoctoral fellowships each year.

    The aim of these fellowships is to provide young scientists, holding a PhD
    or the equivalent degree, with the means of performing space science
    research in fields related to the ESA Science Programmes.

    Areas of research include planetary science, astronomy and
    astrophysics, solar and solar-terrestrial science, plasma physics and
    fundamental physics. The fellowships have a duration of two years, with the
    possible extension to three years, and are
    tenable at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in
    Noordwijk, Netherlands, or at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in
    Villafranca del Castillo, near Madrid, Spain.

    Applications are now solicited for fellowships in space science to begin in
    the fall of 2018. Preference will be given to applications submitted by
    candidates within five years of receiving their PhD. Candidates not holding
    a PhD yet are encouraged to apply, but they must provide evidence of
    receiving their degree before starting the fellowship.

    ESA fellows are enrolled in ESA’s Social Security Scheme, which covers
    medical expenses. A monthly deduction covers these short-term and long-term risks.

    The deadline for applications is 2 October 2017.

    More information on the ESA Research Fellowship programme in Space Science,
    on the conditions and eligibility, as well as the application form can retrieved from

    Questions on the scientific aspects of the
    ESA Fellowship in Space Science not answered in the above pages can be sent
    by e-mail to the fellowship coordinators, Dr. Oliver Jennrich or Dr. Bruno
    Altieri at the address