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.

MIST online seminar and business lunch

Today sees the inaugural MIST online seminar and the 2020 MIST business lunch taking place over Zoom. If you would like to attend, details of how to connect to the Zoom are available on the MIST Mailing List and Slack.

Daniel Verscharen (MSSL, UCL) will be talking on the topic of Kinetic physics, collisions, and turbulence in the solar wind: a multi-scale perspective from 11am to 11:50am. If you'd like to read his abstract, or look at the list of upcoming MIST seminar speakers, visit the MIST online seminars page.

Business Lunch

The business lunch will begin at noon, following a ten minute break after Daniel's seminar, and the agenda is as follows:

  1. NAM rescheduled
  2. Online Autumn MIST 2020
  3. Online discussion meetings
  4. Online summer schools
  5. Inclusion of ED&I in STFC core summer school curriculum
  6. Anonymous reporting tool
  7. MIST elections
  8. Online seminar series
  9. MIST Awards Taskforce
  10. SSAP
  11. Any other business

UKSP Specialist Discussion Day

In lieu of NAM happening this year, UKSP are holding a day-long discussion meeting on 30 July. For more details, see the UKSP website.

There are three sessions during the day:

  1. Open session on solar physics, featuring invited speakers David Kuridze and Lauren Doyle. This session is for all contributions describing advances relating to physical processes occurring from the interior to the outer atmosphere, based on space- or ground-based observations, simulations or theory.
  2. Sun-Heliosphere session, featuring invited speakers Stephanie Yardley and David Stansby. This session will discuss the connections between the Sun and the heliosphere: in-situ and remote-sensing observations, and related theory and modelling work, including contributions that discuss results from Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter.
  3. Online poster session covering all solar/heliosphere topics.

SuperDARN workshop 2020

The SuperDARN 2020 workshop will be held in South Africa on 31 May–5 June 2020. For more information, visit the conference web site. Abstract submissions are currently open with a deadline of 10 April 2020, and registrations are also open with a deadline of 30 April 2020 for early-bird registration and 10 May for all registration. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The location will be the Sani Pass hotel in the beautiful Drakensberg mountains. A single shuttle bus will be provided on 31 May and 5 June to/from this remote location. The venue is at high altitude in the winter, so expect freezing but dry conditions at night, yet warm and sunny conditions in the daytime. Those venturing to the top of Sani pass into the Kingdom of Lesotho can expect freezing conditions all day with possible snow (with no skiing), but the highest pub in Africa has a solution for this.


System-scale observations and modelling of solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere coupling

As a result of COVID-19, the below meeting has been cancelled, and will appear in the 2020/21 round.

A RAS G discussion meeting on “System-scale observations and modelling of solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere coupling” will be held at the Royal Astronomical Society on 17 April 2020 from 10:00–15:30. The registration fee is free for RAS members, £5 for students, or £15 for non-student non-members.

The invited speaker will be Colin Waters (University of Newcastle, Australia).

If you would like to submit an abstract, please complete the abstract submission form by 20 March 2020.

Read more: System-scale observations and modelling of solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere coupling

Nonstationary signal analysis in geophysics and other fields

A summer school plus conference on “Nonstationary Signal Analysis in Geophysics and other fields” will take place at Gran Sasso Science Institute, in L’Aquila, Italy, on 13–18 July 2020.

During the Summer School young researchers and PhD students will have a chance to learn about new data analysis tools/techniques for non-stationary time series and their theoretical foundation.

The summer school will take place during the first four days and it will consist of three eight-hour courses. Lecturers at the school are Patrick Flandrin (ENS Lyon), Yang Wang (HKSTU), and Hau-tieng Wu (Duke University).

At the end of the school there will be a three-day conference during which the speakers will show both the applications of these techniques to real-life data and present the current frontiers of theoretical research.

Applications for prospective students of the Summer School, as well as speakers of the conference are now open; for more information and to apply please visit the event webpage.