Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial

Latest news

2021 Astronomy Grants

The closing date for the 2021 Astronomy Grants Round is 4th March 2021. Submissions are accepted from now. The Astronomy Guidelines for Applicants have been revised and can be found via the links below (the PDF with the full guidance is available under the ‘who can apply’ section on both pages):

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 2020 guidelines have been briefly summarised below for information:

  • Page Limits – The page limit per project has been simplified and is no longer based on a requested FTE calculation.
  • Applicant/Project FTE – There has been a change to the upper limit for requested applicant FTE (25%, not including PI management time). The guidance for total FTE requests per project has also been updated and must be strictly adhered to.
  • Outreach Projects – Clarification on the page limit for outreach projects/outreach funding.
  • Pathways to Impact – UKRI removed the requirement to submit a pathways to impact plan in March 2020; however applicants should still consider impact as part of their case for support (see guidelines for further information).
  • Publications Table – Updates to the information required in the publications table.

New groups submitting their first consolidated grant proposal or those considering a consortium proposal are advised to inform the office ahead of submitting to the closing date. If you have any queries please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

2020 Space Census

MIST members are invited to submit to the 2020 Space Census!

The 2020 Space Census is the first national survey of the UK space workforce. It is a 5-10 minute anonymous online demographic survey of individuals for anyone working in the UK space sector in any capacity. The results will be used to improve what it’s like to work in the sector, to tackle discrimination, and to make the sector more attractive to new recruits.

More information about the Census, along with answers to commonly asked questions, can be found here.

The UK Space Agency’s press release about the Census can be found here.

STFC Policy Internship Scheme now open

This year has proved the critical importance of science having a voice within Parliament. But how does scientific evidence come to the attention of policy makers? If you are a STFC-funded PhD student, you can experience this first-hand through our Policy Internship Scheme, which has just opened for applications for 2020/21. During these three-month placements, students are hosted either at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) or the Government Office for Science (GO Science).

POST is an independent office of the Houses of Parliament which provides impartial evidence reviews on topical scientific issues to MPs and Peers. Interns at POST will research, draft, edit and publish a briefing paper summarising the evidence base on an important or emerging scientific issue. GO Science works to ensure that Government policies and decisions are informed by the best scientific evidence and strategic long-term thinking. Placements at GO Science are likely to involve undertaking research, drafting briefing notes and background papers, and organising workshops and meetings.

The scheme offers a unique opportunity to experience the heart of UK policy making and to explore careers within the science-policy interface. The placements are fully funded and successful applicants will receive a three-month extension to their final PhD deadline.

For full information and to see case studies of previous interns, please see our website. The closing date is 10 September 2020 at 16.00.

Applied Sciences special issue: Dynamical processes in space plasmas


Applied Sciences is to publish a special issue on the topic of dynamical processes in space plasmas which is being guest edited by Georgious Nicolaou. Submissions are welcome until 31 March 2021, and submission instructions for authors can be found on the journal website. For general questions, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

MIST elections in 2020

The election for the next MIST councillors opens today, and will run until 23:59 on 31 July 2020. The candidates are Michaela Mooney, Matt Owens, and Jasmine Kaur Sandhu. 

If you are subscribed to this mailing list you should receive a bespoke link which will let you vote on the MIST website, which will be sent by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you don’t receive this link, please check your junk folder! The candidates’ platforms are on the voting platform, and also reproduced below for your convenience. 

Michaela Mooney

I’m a final year PhD student at MSSL standing for MIST Council as a student representative. During my PhD, I’ve been actively engaged in the department as a Student Rep in the Staff Student Consultation Committee and in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. I’m an active member of the MIST research community through proposals for RAS Discussion meetings and NAM sessions on geomagnetic activity. 

My main goals as a MIST Council representative would be to:

  • lobby funding bodies to reduce the impact of the pandemic on PhD students.
  • facilitate the organisation of virtual conferences and careers days to ensure that students continue to have opportunities to present research and access to careers information.
  • support good practises in equality, diversity and inclusion within the MIST community.

My key priority would be to limit the impact of the pandemic on students and ensure equality of opportunities.

Matt Owens

Now, more than ever, it’s vital our community address its diversity problems. If anyone is standing for MIST council from an underrepresented demographic, I’d encourage you to vote for them; MIST needs their experience and insight. If not, I’ll seek to ensure MIST council continues to promote equality of opportunity and diversity in science.

MIST’s primary role is to represent our solar-terrestrial science within the wider discipline. I’m predominantly a heliospheric scientist, but keep a toe in the solar physics community. E.g., I’ve served in editorial capacities for both JGR and Solar Physics, and have a good deal of experience with both NERC and STFC funding. As such, I’d hope to see MIST working closely with UKSP, as we have a lot of common interest. I am also keen that the MIST community coordinate to make the most of the industrial and operational forecasting opportunities that are open to it. Finally, I’m a very recent convert to open science. I would seek to increase the prevalence of research code publication and use of community tools within our field, for reasons of both efficiency and reproducibility.

Jasmine Kaur Sandhu

I am a post-doctoral research associate at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL, with a research focus on inner magnetospheric physics. During my time as a Council member I have led a number of initiatives, primarily the MIST Student’s Corner, the MIST Nugget Series, and the MIST online seminar series. If elected, I will continue to focus on supporting early career researchers in ways that promote diversity of both science and the scientists within our community. This will include developing a set of up-to-date, comprehensive, and informative resources on funding opportunities available to early career researchers for travel funding and fellowships. This will be supported by a mentor-like scheme for assistance and guidance on applications.

Autumn MIST schedule

Autumn MIST is being held on Gather and Zoom, 19–20 November 2020, is now available! 

The full schedule is available below, or you can click here to download and view a PDF. The links to the Zoom webinar, and the Gather rooms, are available through the MIST mailing list, along with a Google Drive folder containing all the posters in PDF format. If you are an attendee and do not subscribe to the MIST mailing list, you can subscribe.

The full list of abstracts can be downloaded here.

Thursday 19 November 2020

10:00 – Session 1 – Chair: Jasmine Sandhu

  • 10:00 – Sandra Chapman – A regular clock for the Schwabe and Hale variations in solar and geomagnetic activity
  • 10:15 – Megan Maunder – Multi-spacecraft observations of a new type of high-latitude ICME
  • 10:30 – Joel Baby Abraham – Statistical analysis of solar wind electron populations using Parker Solar Probe
  • 10:45 – Thomas Woolley – The proton core behaviour inside magnetic field switchbacks

11:16 – Session 2 – Chair: John Coxon)

  • 11:16 – Seong-Yeop Jeong – The evolution of the electron-strahl velocity distribution in the inner heliosphere
  • 11:31 – Sadie Robertson – A statistical study of magnetopause flux ropes near the Electron Diffusion Region (EDR) using Magnetospheric Multiscale mission (MMS)
  • 11:46 – Lauren Orr – Wavelet and network analysis of magnetic field variation and geomagnetically induced currents during large storms

13:02 – Poster Session 1

14:14 – Session 3 – Chair: Oliver Allanson

  • 14:14 – Ned Staniland – First evidence of a cushion region at Saturn and a reconsideration of why it forms
  • 14:29 – Dale Weigt – Characteristics of Jupiter's X-ray auroral hot spot emissions using Chandra
  • 14:44 – John Coxon – MIST Council update

Friday 20 November 2020

10:00 – Session 4 – Chair: Greg Hunt

  • 10:00 – Emma Woodfield – The effect of hiss waves on electrons in Saturn’s radiation belts
  • 10:15 – Josh Wiggs – Modelling plasma transport at the outer planets using a kinetic-ion, fluid-electron approach – validation
  • 10:30 – Adrian LaMoury – Solar wind control of jets impacting the magnetopause
  • 10:45 – Beatriz Sanchez-Cano – Mars' ionopause: A matter of pressures

11:16 – Session 5 – Chair: Maria-Theresia Walach

  • 11:16 – Laura Fryer – Observations of closed magnetic flux embedded in the lobe during periods of northward IMF
  • 11:31 – Mayur Bakrania – Using dimensionality reduction and clustering techniques to classify space plasma regimes
  • 11:46 – Jasmine Kaur Sandhu – Identifying storm-time variations in ULF wave power and implications for radiation belt dynamics

13:02 – Poster Session 2

14:14 – Session 6 – Chair: Mathew Owens

  • 14:14 – Samuel Walton – The relative contribution of enhancement and loss to global variations in relativistic outer radiation belt electrons
  • 14:29 – Téo Bloch – Constraining the location of the outer boundary of the radiation belts
  • 14:44 – Alexander Lozinski – Optimisation of a steady state radial diffusion model to derive diffusion coefficients for the proton radiation belt