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General News/UKSP Business:


Meetings/Workshops/Summer Schools:


General News/UKSP Business:

2020 Astronomy Grants Round

from Sian Giles-Titcombe [December 3, 2019]

Dear Colleagues

This is a note to advise that the closing date for the 2020 Astronomy Grants Round is 5th February 2020. Submissions are accepted from 2nd December 2019.

The Astronomy Guidelines for Applicants have been revised and can be found at:

Please be advised there is no change to the consolidated grant scheme for this round.

Applicants should ensure they have read the guidelines in detail and contact the office with any queries ahead of submission.

Key points or revisions from the 2019 guidelines have been highlighted within the document and summarised briefly below for information:

• Page Limits – The page limit per project has been simplified and is no longer based on a requested FTE calculation (page 7 of the guidelines/AGP submission guidance tab).
• Applicant FTE – There has been a change to the upper limit for requested applicant FTE (from 30% to 25%, not including PI management time). The guidance for applicant time per project has been also been updated and must be strictly adhered to (page 11 of the guidelines/AGP submission guidance tab) .
• Outreach Projects – Clarification on the page limit for outreach projects/outreach funding (page 7/8 of the guidelines/AGP submission guidance tab)
• TRL Remit – Update to the guidance on TRL remit, the office urges applicants to contact the office if there is any query regarding the TRL limit of the proposed project (page 2 of the guidelines/The Astronomy Grants Panel Remit tab).

New groups submitting their first consolidated grant proposal or those considering a consortium proposal are advised to inform the office.

If you have any queries please see the contact details below:

Chloe Woodcock ( – For queries regarding the AO & AT Call
Tracey McGuire ( – For queries regarding the SS & PL Call
Kim Burchell ( – Head of Astronomy Awards

New DEM inversion software available on Solarsoft

from Huw Morgan [December 3, 2019]

A set of DEM inversion software has been made available on Solarsoft under directory $SSW/packages/dem_sites. The software is based on new methods developed at Aberystwyth, and recently published in Solar Physics:

The first paper describes the core inversion method:

The second paper provides a gridding method that greatly increases the computational speed:

The software has currently only been tested on AIA/SDO for non-flare conditions, but should work with any instrument given measurements, errors, and temperature response functions.

We welcome feedback and questions:

Call for new members to the UKRI International Development Peer Review College

from Sian Giles-Titcombe [November 27, 2019]

UKRI is very pleased to announce a Call for new members to the UKRI International Development Peer Review College. UKRI is inviting applications for new members to the College from both academics and non-academics from organisations based in or working with DAC list countries, such as policymakers, non-governmental organisations and civil society organisations. Eligible applicants should have ODA experience as well as interdisciplinary knowledge. The Call opens on 25 November and closes 20 December.

UKRI especially invites applications from women to achieve our aim of a 50:50 gender balance in College membership. UKRI is also especially keen to receive applications from applicants in certain DAC-list countries (please see section 4 in the Call text) and from certain research areas where the College has a shortage (please see section 5 in Call text). The Call text can be found at:

The Call text has information on eligibility, how to and where to apply. UKRI strongly advises potential applicants to read through the Call text carefully and to look at the Smart Survey screenshots before starting their application.

More information about the College can be found on the College webpage:

Please direct any queries to:


Solar radio astronomy nuggets in November 2019

from Eduard Kontar [December 2, 2019]

Anisotropic radio-wave scattering in the solar corona by Nicolina Chrysaphi et al.

Split-Band Feature of a Solar Flare Termination Shock by Chen et al.

CESRA Highlights of Solar Radio Physics, aka CESRA Nuggets, are short communications written in language accessible to a non-expert in the specific area and designed to keep solar and heliophysics communities informed and up-to-date about current research. The highlights can be followed, discussed, commented and shared via and

Meetings/Workshops/Summer Schools:

NAM 2020: Call for session proposals

from Natasha Jeffrey [December 1, 2019]

Dear all

The Royal Astronomical Society’s 2020 National Astronomy Meeting will be held at the University of Bath from Sunday 12th July to Friday 17th July, alongside the 200th anniversary of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS200).

We now invite proposals for sessions to be held at NAM2020, and encourage members of the UK’s astronomy community from all levels of seniority to apply, including the UK Solar Physics (UKSP), Magnetosphere Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial (MIST) and the geophysics communities. Proposals are welcome for sessions and workshops covering all aspects of NAM, UKSP, and MIST science, including cross-discipline sessions. As well as hosting parallel sessions of varying duration, the conference will have space for collaborative meetings, half-day workshops and lunch sessions.

We are keen to raise the profile of public engagement, diversity, and inclusion at NAM2020, and encourage proposals where engagement and diversity are embedded into the science content, in addition to dedicated sessions. We will also have a public-facing programme of activities as part of RAS200 celebrations, and applications to contribute to this programme are welcome.

For more details and to access the online submission form please follow the link here

The deadline for submitting parallel session proposals is Friday 17th Jan 2020 at 17:30 UTC.

Best wishes,

Dr Patricia Schady
on behalf of the NAM2020 LOC

UK Solar Orbiter Workshop 2020: Final Announcement and Invited Speakers

from Duncan H Mackay [November 28, 2019]

UK Solar Orbiter Workshop 2020: Final Announcement and Invited Speakers

This is the final call for abstracts for the UK Solar Orbiter Workshop which will take place on the 13-14th January 2020 at the University of St Andrews. To submit an abstract or to register please go to the meeting webpage at:

Key deadlines are:

• Abstract submission closes: 10th December 2019
• Scientific Program announced: 15th December 2019
• Registration closes: 6th January 2020.

Due to the imminent launch of Solar Orbiter in February 2020 we have a range of invited speakers on both mission and science related topics, including

Frédéric Auchère: Overview of the Solar Orbiter remote sensing payload:
development and operations

Prantika Bhowmik: Formation and Evolution of Magnetic Flux Ropes During Solar Minimum

Chris Chen: Turbulence in the Inner Heliosphere and its role in Driving the Solar Wind

Silvia Dalla : Solar Energetic Particles: outstanding questions and Solar Orbiter

Alessandra Giunta : Science with SPICE: synergy between small and wide FOV remote sensing instruments on Solar Orbiter

Rachel Howe: Helioseismology of subsurface flows and their relation to the solar dynamo

Allan Macneill: Observational Studies of Solar Wind Origins and the Sun-Heliosphere Connection Ahead of Solar Orbiter

Huw Morgan: Connecting the Sun to the Solar Wind: open questions, recent advances, and the role of Solar Orbiter

Richard Morton : The role of Alfvenic waves in driving the solar wind

Hamish Reid TBC

David Stansby : Directly comparing coronal and solar wind composition

David Williams : Solar Orbiter operations

Duncan Mackay (LOC) and Gherardo Valori (SOC)

Annual Computing and STFC Town Meeting – Friday 17 January 2020 – Registration now open

from Georgina Bennett [November 28, 2019]

The STFC Computing Advisory Panel has reinstated the Annual Computing and STFC Town Meeting, which I can announce will take place on Friday 17 January at Imperial College London, with a capacity for ~100. This is a community-driven event with attendance by STFC and registration is now open, please REGISTER HERE – Further information regarding the agenda and logistics will also be uploaded in due course.

As CAP Chair, I would like to take this opportunity to draw your attention to two items of interest. Firstly, the recent appointment of James Hetherington as the inaugural UKRI Director of e-Infrastructure – , and secondly, the publication of the two reports that constitute the UKRI ‘Infrastructure Roadmap’ –

At such key junctures, and as we as a community develop to meet the scientific computing challenges of the 2020s and beyond, it is essential that such fora exist in order that we may build cross-community engagement with cross-community challenges, and of course, solutions! With this in mind, I look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible for what will be a diverse day of activity.

Many thanks,
Prof David Colling, Imperial College London
STFC Computing Advisory Panel Chair

Python in Astronomy 2020

from Will Barnes [November 26, 2019]

Dear colleagues,

It is my pleasure to announce that applications are now open for Python in Astronomy 2020, to be held 20 – 24 April 2020 at Trinity College, Dublin in Dublin, Ireland.

Though the application form will be open until 23:59 UTC on 6 January 2020, I encourage you to complete the form soon to make sure you don’t miss the deadline.

The application form is at:

More information about the conference, including links to past years, is available at:

Finally, a brief excerpt from the description of the conference:

In addition to sharing information about state-of-the art Python Astronomy packages, the workshop will focus on improving interoperability between astronomical Python packages, mentoring current open-source contributors, and developing educational materials for Python in Astronomy. The meeting is therefore not only aimed at current developers, but also educators and research group leaders who are interested in being involved in these efforts.

Participant selection will be made with the goal of enhancing the Python in Astronomy community and we encourage requests to attend from all career levels. Effort will also be made to select participants who have contributed meaningfully to the Python in Astronomy ecosystem via providing educational materials, documentation, and/or code contributions. This conference is neither intended to be an introduction to Python nor only for expert-level Python developers.


Will Barnes

On behalf of the SOC: Monica Bobra (co-chair), Andrew Leonard (co-chair), Will Barnes, Clara Brasseur, Juan Luis Cano, Rebecca Lange, Sophie Murray

Los Alamos Space Weather Summer School

from Marianna Korsos [November 22, 2019]

The Los Alamos Space Weather Summer School is accepting applications for its 2020 session to be held (June 1 – July 31, 2020). Sponsored by the Center for Space and Earth Sciences at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), this summer school brings together top space science graduate students and LANL space scientists to work on challenging space weather research. Students receive a prestigious Vela Fellowship (worth $10,000 to cover travel and living
expenses), technical training, and opportunities for professional development.

The lectures will be composed of three main themes. The first part will be an overview of basic space physics concepts geared towards understanding how the magnetosphere works and how it is driven. The second part will use modeling tools to explore the same concepts in a more quantitative way, exposing the strengths and weaknesses of available models. The final part of the lectures will bring these concepts together to explore how new space missions could be devised to help resolve longstanding scientific questions. Lectures will be coordinated with “labs” to get more hands-on experience. Space data analysis and modeling will be the main themes of the labs.

Research projects:
The unique aspect of the Los Alamos Space Weather Summer School is its emphasis on scientific research projects. Students team up with LANL mentors to work on unresolved scientific problems in space physics. LANL is engaged in a wide variety of space-physics activities and offers a host of exciting research projects (see webpage for a list of current and past projects.) Students are also encouraged to propose their own ideas, which might include topics from their PhD thesis. In the past, many of the Summer School projects have led to presentations at major international conferences and, in some cases, to publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Open to U.S. and foreign graduate students currently enrolled in PhD programs in space physics, planetary science, aerospace engineering, or related fields.

See website at for more details.

Mike Henderson
ISR-1, Los Alamos National Laboratory
1 (505) 665-7425


Three Postdoctoral Research Associate positions in Theoretical Astrophysics at DAMTP, University of Cambridge

from Marianna Korsos [December 4, 2019]

Applications are invited for three Postdoctoral Research Associate positions in Theoretical Astrophysics at DAMTP, University of Cambridge, two of which involve MHD and hydrodynamics. Funding for these positions has been approved by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and is for up to three years.

We have extended the closing date for applications to ** 9 December 2019 **.

The successful candidates will work with academic staff (Henrik Latter, Gordon Ogilvie and Roman Rafikov) on theoretical and computational projects related to: the dynamics of accretion discs; the formation, evolution and dynamics of exoplanets; the tidal interactions of planets, stars and discs; and the dynamics of stellar systems and the origin of gravitational wave sources.

The successful candidates will have, or be about to obtain, a PhD in a relevant area of theoretical astrophysics, N-body, planetary, or fluid dynamics, or magnetohydrodynamics, and have an established track record of original research and experience of working in collaboration.

The positions are expected to be available from 1 April 2020, but the start date is flexible and could be delayed until October 2020 at the latest.

Further information about the Astrophysics Group at DAMTP can be found at

Informal enquiries can be made by contacting or individual group members.

For further details and to apply for the positions, please see

Postdoctoral and PhD positions available at AIP (LOFAR & PSP)

from Natasha Jeffrey [December 2, 2019]

We are pleased to advertise two upcoming positions in the framework of LOFAR at Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP): one postdoc and one PhD position, each for three years, and both could start as early as 2020 February.

Deadline: 6 January 2020.

Both positions are in the Solar Physics department within the project “LOFAR observations of the solar corona during Parker Solar Probe perihelion passages”.

The LOFAR (LOw Frequency ARray) Key Science Project (KSP) “Solar Physics and Space Weather” has performed observing campaigns during the first three Parker Solar Probe (PSP) perihelia, and plans further ones in over the next years. These campaigns consist of multiple observing modes that provide imaging data and dynamic radio spectra, as well as interplanetary scintillation observations probing the heliosphere.

Full information can be found in the links below.

Post-doctoral position:

We are seeking a postdoctoral researcher to work on these campaign data. The successful candidate’s tasks consist of the analysis of interferometric imaging data of the active and quiet solar corona, including the further development of solar imaging techniques in collaboration with the Solar KSP. Furthermore, they cover solar radio burst identification and analysis in solar dynamic radio spectra and images, in combination with PSP radio and in-situ energetic electron data, and modeling of the underlying physical processes. The researcher will also be involved in the planning of future PSP perihelia observing campaigns and the preparation of LOFAR observing campaigns during perihelion passes of the upcoming Solar Orbiter mission

PhD position

The focus of the PhD is on the physical interpretation of these data. This includes the identification, characterisation, and plasma physical modeling of solar radio bursts, e.g. type III caused by energetic electron beams. It covers all aspects of non-thermal electron and radio wave generation and propagation through the solar corona and in interplanetary space, and the joint analysis of LOFAR data with space-borne instruments like PSP, Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), and the future Solar Orbiter.

[ukmhd] Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics at Leeds

from Marianna Korsos [November 27, 2019]

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to join a Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) funded project to investigate tidal flows in planets and stars. The project will involve performing hydrodynamical and magnetohydrodynamical simulations to study tidal flows in spherical, ellipsoidal or Cartesian geometries, using and extending one or more existing codes. The results from these calculations will be applied to interpret current observations of extrasolar planets and close binary stars, and to make predictions.

The successful candidate will work with Dr Adrian Barker in the Department of Applied Mathematics (, and will join the Astrophysical and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics research group (, which is one of the largest such groups in the world. This project will strongly complement and benefit from other STFC-funded projects at Leeds, such as those in planetary and stellar dynamos, and magnetic and thermal evolution of magnetars. The research will also complement and benefit from The Leeds Institute for Fluid Dynamics (, a cross-disciplinary research institute in fluid dynamics at Leeds, which hosts an EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics.

The post is available from 1st April 2020, but the start date is flexible and could be delayed up until 1st October 2020 at the latest. The funds are available for 2 years and the salary range is Grade 7 (£33,797–£40,322 p.a.).

Applicants should have a PhD (or have submitted your thesis before taking up the role) in a relevant discipline (e.g. Astrophysics, Applied Mathematics or Planetary Sciences), together with computational experience, and they should be able to demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research and possess a developing track record of publications in international journals. In addition, the applicant must have excellent communication, planning and team working skills.

Applications must be made online (using the link below) before 23.59 (UK time) on the advertised closing date. Applicants must submit a CV and Publication List and provide the names and contact details of 3 people from whom references letters may be requested. Informal enquiries are welcome and should be directed to Adrian Barker (

Closing Date: 17th January 2020.