Category: General News

General news item that doesn’t fit under the other categories

STFC Small Awards Applications – 12th March 2024

Dear Colleagues

A reminder that if you are planning on submitting an application to the STFC Astronomy Small Awards opportunity we advise that you begin the submission process early this year in order to account for additional time it may take on the new UKRI Funding Service.

The PDF guidance for applicants can be found here: Astronomy awards guidance for applicants – UKRI

The UKRI Funding finder information is as follows:

Solar and planetary 2024 –

Astronomy observation and theory 2024 –

Applicants are advised that there is no functionality to return for amendment on the new service and therefore applications that do not follow the guidance will be rejected on receipt.

Please pay particular attention to the Ethics and responsible research question box. You need to provide an answer to:

What are the ethical or RRI implications and issues relating to the proposed work (addressing the three bullets)?

As well as the three additional trusted research questions. Applications which fail to answer all 4 run the risk of being rejected.

Kind regards

The Astronomy Awards Team… continue to the full article

Read more

New GPU eCSE software development call and associated Early Career Observer call

Dear Colleague,

GPU eCSE call

We are delighted to announce a new programme of eCSE calls focussing on GPU-based software development. We invite proposals to develop software that facilitates research targeted at UKRI’s digital research infrastructure e.g. future Exascale supercomputing services, UK national AI services, national Tier-2 HPC services. The call is open to research across all of UKRI’s remit.

The first GPU eCSE call (GPU-eCSE01) opened on the 17 Jan 2024. The final deadline for proposal submission is 16:00 on 19 Mar 2024 via the ARCHER2 SAFE. Please note that for this call there is no separate technical evaluation stage or separate technical evaluation form.

Funding will enable the employment of an RSE (a Research Software Engineer, PDRA or equivalent) to work specifically on the relevant software to enable new features or improve the performance of the software to be run on GPU-based architectures. Funding can be requested for up to 36 person months of effort per project for a duration of up to 2 calendar years. There is flexibility in the way the effort is requested. For example, a project may have more than one person working on it or the effort could be spread over a greater number of calendar months, i.e. a staff member could work on the project at less than 100% alongside other commitments or it could be worked on by a staff member who doesn’t work full time. Please just get in contact with the ARCHER2 Service Desk ( ) if you wish to discuss possible scenarios. Projects are expected to start between 2-6 months after a call closes. Funding can be requested for staff located at the institution of the PI, third parties, or can include staff from the ARCHER2 centralised CSE support team at EPCC or a mixture of the above.

Projects may utilise the GPU component of ARCHER2 or other suitable GPU resources to complete the technical work. If the proposal plans to use the GPU component of ARCHER2, successful projects will be given access to these resources. If projects plan to utilise other systems, you should ensure you have suitable resources available to complete the project successfully. Please contact and arrange this access with the relevant service provider before submission. Researchers with codes in the DiRAC or STFC remit can get access to DiRAC GPU services via seedcorn. Please contact by the end of February if you wish to get access DiRAC GPU services for this eCSE call.

More details of how to apply are available by following the link to the eCSE calls page from here:

Early Career Observer call

The eCSE Panel Meeting is the meeting where eCSE proposals are reviewed and decisions are made on which proposals to fund. As part of our commitment to encouraging and developing Early Career Researchers, we are offering a small number of places to such researchers to attend the eCSE panel meeting as Early Career Observers. The aim is to give Early Career Researchers a better insight into this competitive selection process, to assist them in the preparation of future funding proposals.

The deadline for applying to attend the panel meeting as an observer is 16:00 on 27 Feb 2024 via the ARCHER2 service desk, and details of the call are given here:

An insight into the experience from one of our recent Early Career Panel Observers can be found here:

eCSE and observer call dates

Deadline for final GPU eCSE submission: 16:00 on 19 Mar 2024 (via the ARCHER2 SAFE

Deadline for Early Career eCSE Panel Observers call: 16:00 on 27 Feb 2024 (via the ARCHER2 service desk )

Best wishes,

Chris Johnson

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336. Is e buidheann carthannais a th’ ann an Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann, clàraichte an Alba, àireamh clàraidh SC005336.… continue to the full article

Read more

STFC Education, Training, Careers News

The Education, Training and Careers Committee (ETCC) met on 28 November 2023. The main items on the agenda were: an update on Collective Talent Working; an update from STFC Science Board; ED&I Statements for Fellowships; Short Courses and Summer Schools 2023 and 2024.

ETCC welcomed Professor James McLaughlin as the interim chair, and new member Dr Cosimo Inserra.

Collective Talent Working
ETCC noted the recent UKRI update on Collective Talent Funding. The Collective Talent initiative aims to build on the collaborative working across the Councils previously and ensure that the talent landscape is less complex for the UKRI community. The initiative covers studentships and fellowships and is a long-term programme of change. From January 2024 there will be two award types rather than the numerous ones currently across Councils. These will be Doctoral Landscape Awards, which will cover the current STFC Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) and Doctoral Focal Awards, which will cover the current STFC Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs). Discussions on collective awards to cover the STFC Industrial CASE awards are continuing.

Update from STFC Science Board
ETCC gave an update to Science Board at the September meeting. The update included an overview of ETCC and the main current challenges.

ED&I Statements for Fellowships
The 2022 Fellowship Review panel recommended the collection of ED&I statements from departments submitting Ernest Rutherford Fellowship applications. This was to assess the inclusivity of the selection processes and to develop best practice. ETCC noted the received statements and discussed recommendations for future best practice.

Short Courses and Summer Schools 2023 and 2024
Bids had been received for 14 Short Courses and Summer Schools 2024. The Committee recommended the following for funding:

• Advanced Cosmology and Extragalactic School (ACES)
• Artificial Intelligence and Astronomy with Public Engagement
• British Universities Summer School in Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics (BUSSTEPP)
• Data Analysis Workshop
• HEP Instrumentation School
• High Energy Physics
• Introductory Astronomy
• Introductory Course in Solar and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
• NExT PhD Workshop
• Nuclear Physics Summer School
• Planetary Surfaces Summer School

The pdf version of the report can be found here.

Further publicity ahead of the next call will be issued shortly.… continue to the full article

Read more

The upcoming award deadlines

The Royal Astronomical Society’s Keith Runcorn Thesis Prize
This is awarded annually and recently finished PhD students from UKSP disciplines are eligible.
Deadline: 31st January.
Note: To be eligible the thesis needs to have been approved between 31st January 2023 and 31st January 2024; Nominees do not have to be RAS members.
Further info:

The Royal Society medals and awards
Deadline: 23rd February.
Note: You do not need to be a fellow to nominate or be nominated.
Further info: to the full article

Read more

RAS 2024 award winners

Dear colleagues,

The winners of the 2024 RAS awards have been announced.

Congratulations to all winners. We are particularly happy to announce winners from our solar community:

Professor Valery Nakariakov (Warwick) – Chapman Medal

Dr Nicola Fox (NASA, PSP Project Scientist) – Honorary Fellowship

Kind regards,
UKSP Council… continue to the full article

Read more

Reminder: Call for nominations – RAS Thesis Prizes 2023

Dear Colleague,

Each year the RAS recognises the best Ph.D. theses in astronomy and geophysics completed in the UK.

Three prizes are available: the Michael Penston prize for astronomy, the Keith Runcorn prize for geophysics, and the Patricia Tomkins prize for instrumentation science in either astronomy or geophysics. The winners receive £1000 and an invitation to present the results of their thesis at a meeting of the RAS. The Michael Penston prize and Keith Runcorn prize runners-up will receive £50 book tokens.

Nominees must have completed their Ph.D. (viva held and all corrections completed) at a UK university during 2023. For more details and to submit a nomination, please click on the links below:

The Michael Penston prize, for theses in astronomy and astrophysics, including cosmology, astrobiology, etc.

The Keith Runcorn prize, for theses in geophysics, including seismology, solar physics, planetary science, etc.

The Patricia Tomkins thesis prize for theses in instrumentation science for astronomy and geophysics – while the support is aimed at developing skills in scientific hardware such as electronics, detectors, and optics, the development of novel software specific to a hardware project will also be considered. The Patricia Tomkins prize is sponsored by the Patricia Tomkins Foundation.

The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, January 31, 2024.

Kind regards,
Nush Cole – Awards and Grants Officer to the full article

Read more

Call for papers: “The Future of Solar Interior Modelling: From a Standard to a Modern View of the Sun”

We solicit manuscripts on this general subject for inclusion in a Topical Collection of Solar Physics. The deadline for submission of statements of interest (SOI) with a tentative title, abstract, author list, and three suggestions for referees (preferably with e-mail) is 31 January 2024. The deadline for manuscript submission is 15 July 2024.

This Topical Collection was stimulated by the workshop “Future of Solar Modelling”, held in Sierre from 4 – 7 September 2023 ( This collection is not a conference proceedings, and it is not limited to research presented at the conference. All submissions must be completed original papers that meet the regular quality of the Journal. The Topical Collection can start off with one or two invited reviews to summarise the subject and frame the work in the research papers which follow. Topics to be included are:
– Helioseismology
– Transport of chemicals in the Sun
– Solar chemical abundances and solar atmosphere models
– Radiative opacities and equation of state for the solar plasma
– Solar internal rotation and transport of angular momentum
– Magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the Sun
– Solar neutrinos
– Solar evolution and calibration of solar models

Please consult recent Topical Collections in Solar Physics. For further information, and submission of statements of interest, please contact the Editor-in-Chief Iñigo Arregui .

Iñigo Arregui (Solar Physics Editor), Gaël Buldgen, Jérôme Bétrisey, and Devesh Nandal (Guest Editors)… continue to the full article

Read more

Your input is required: STFC Exascale requirements gathering exercise

Dear Colleagues,

Please see the email below (and attachment) regarding UKRI’s planning for next generation exascale supercomputing systems and services. STFC is seeking feedback regarding the attached draft document (STFC Exascale Requirements). As well as individual inputs, we would like to submit a UKSP response.

If you would like to contribute to this, please email the UKSP chair ( or complete the short Google form (responses can be anonymous):

Since the deadline for responses is the 24th of January, please respond by the 22nd of January if possible so all responses can be collated.

We thank Robertus Erdelyi for bringing this to the attention of the council.

Kind regards,
UKSP Council

Dear Colleague,

If you make use of computing in your research, or expect to in the future, please read on. Feel free to pass this e-mail and the attached document to any colleagues for whom it might be relevant.

As part of UKRI’s planning for next generation exascale supercomputing systems and services, STFC established an Exascale Working Group which has been gathering feedback from the community about use cases and requirements.

We would very much appreciate your feedback on the attached draft STFC Exascale Requirements document. This summarises contributions received to date from major STFC projects, services and a number of allied domains which are supported by, or working with, STFC. We are circulating the draft as widely as possible as we want to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to comment on it.

We are particularly seeking feedback on the following:

  • Are there any obvious gaps or omissions? e.g. projects that are at an early stage of development but will have major compute/data requirements.
  • Are your project or community’s exascale requirements adequately captured? e.g. the timeline to exascale and level of resourcing required.
  • Have we correctly synthesised the critical attributes and characteristics of STFC community workflows? e.g. the balance between monolithic and ensemble workflows, data volume and velocity, and homogeneity versus heterogeneity of systems and services.

If you are unsure whether your project or workflow would be considered “exascale”, the ExCALIBUR exascale pathfinder programme has produced a definition which may be helpful:

  • Solving Problems that are 10-1000x larger than we solve at present
  • Solving Problems 10-1000x faster than at present
  • Problems can be simulation, data modelling and/or data-driven
  • Can come from all areas of Research and Innovation
  • Exascale “Velocity” is just as important an output as exascale “Volume”

“Should I respond to this consultation?” If your work is compute and data intensive but you do not feel that this definition applies to you, we would still encourage you to read and comment on the exascale requirements document so that your views can be captured. Your response will help to shape the future direction of the UK’s largest ever public investment in scientific computing facilities.

Please send your feedback to the special mailbox we have set up for the requirements gathering exercise:

Your comments should reach us by 5pm on 24th January 2024. After this time, we will incorporate feedback into a revised draft which will be circulated in February. In early March, STFC will be holding a Town Hall to discuss to the document and we hope that many of you will attend that event.

A note on privacy and data protection: We expect that the requirements document will become part of the public record once finalised. Your feedback and contributions will be anonymised by the working group and your identity will only be shared outside of the working group with your express written permission. Consultation responses will be deleted six months after the closing date.

Wishing you all a restful Christmas break and a very happy New Year.

Best wishes,
Mark Wilkinson
Jeremy Yates
Vassil Alexandrov
(Co-chairs of the STFC Exascale Working Group)
===… continue to the full article

Read more

STFC Astronomy Grants Panel (Small Awards) Community Report 2023

Dear Colleagues,

2023 was the first round of the Astronomy Grants Panel Small Awards scheme, and at the end of the round I am writing to the community with some summary information, including applications received and support awarded, some statistical and procedural information, and issues arising. The full report can be find here:

Lyndsay Fletcher

continue to the full article

Read more

Special issue on solar wind and space weather

I wanted to bring to your attention the Topical Issue to be opened in Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate addressing the dynamics of slow and fast solar wind. We are collecting expression of intent by December 15th (Preliminary title and authors’ list). Please read the text below for all the details!

The Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate (JSWSC) plans to open a Topical Issue “Exploring the Origin, Evolution, and Interaction of Fast and Slow Solar Wind and their Significance for Space Weather.”

This Topical Issue (TI) addresses the dynamics of fast and slow solar wind. It aims at exploring their origin, evolution, and interaction, encompassing both their source regions and heliospheric signatures, and resulting space weather effects.

The TI grows out of the session CD-02 “All About the Solar Wind”, held at the European Space Weather Week 2023 in Toulouse. Contribution to this TI is, however, not limited to participants of the European Space Weather Week. The TI will be open to all submissions that fit its scope.

If you are interested in contributing to the TI, please, submit your Expression of Intent, including an initial title and preliminary author list, by 15 December 2023 via an informal e-mail to the Lead Topical Editor, Stephan G. Heinemann ( The deadline for submission of the full manuscript will be in summer 2024, but it has not yet been set.

The Editorial team includes:
– Stephan G. Heinemann (Topical Editor-in-Chief)
– Eleanna Asvestari (Topical Editor)
– Matt Owens (Topical Editor)
– Krzysztof Barczynski (Topical Editor)

For detailed information about the submission guidelines of the Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate, please visit

Important Dates:
Expression of Intent Deadline: December 15th, 2023
Manuscript Submission Deadline: TBD (Summer 2024)

We value your support and kindly ask you to help us spread the word, by forwarding this information to persons whose research fits the scope of the TI and whom you think might be interested in submitting a contribution.… continue to the full article

Read more