MIST

Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial

Latest news

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..

A Summary of the SWIMMR Kick-Off Meeting

The kick-off event for the Space Weather Innovation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk Study (one of the Wave 2 programmes of the UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund) took place in the Wolfson Library of the Royal Society on Tuesday November 26th. Seventy-five people attended the event, representing a range of academic institutions, as well as representatives from industry, government and public sector research establishments such as the UK Met Office. 

The morning session of the meeting consisted of five presentations, introducing the programme and its relevance to government, the Research Councils and the Met Office, as well as describing details of the potential calls. The presentations were as follows:

  •  Prof John Loughhead (Chief Scientific Advisor to BEIS) - Space Weather Innovation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk Programme (a governmental perspective). The slides from Prof John Loughhead's talk are available here.
  • Prof Chris Mutlow (Director of STFC RAL Space) - SWIMMR: Project funded by the Strategic Priorities Fund (a perspective from STFC).  The slides from Prof Chris Mutlow's talk are available here.
  • Jacky Wood (Head of Business Partnerships at NERC) - Space Weather Innovation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk (SWIMMR) - A NERC perspective.  The slides from Jacky Wood's talk are available here.
  • Dr. Ian McCrea (Senior Programme Manager for SWIMMR) -  SWIMMR: Space Weather Innovation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk: A wave 2 programme of the UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund.  The slides from Dr Ian McCrea's talk are available here.
  • Mark Gibbs (Head of Space Weather at the UK Met Office) - SWIMMR (Met Office perspective and detailed description of the calls.  The slides from Mark Gibb's talk are available here.

During the lunch break, the Announcement of Opportunity for the five NERC SWIMMR calls was issued on the NERC web site.  The afternoon therefore began with a brief introduction by Jacky Wood to the NERC Announcement of Opportunity, and the particular terms and conditions which it contained.

The remainder of the afternoon session was spent in a Question and Answer session in which attendees were able to ask questions to the speakers about the nature of the programme and the potential timing of future calls, and finally to an informal discussion session, in which participants gathered into groups to discuss the opportunities for funding which had been outlined. 

2019 RAS Council elections

As you may have seen, the nominations for RAS Council are currently open with a deadline of 29 November. MIST falls under the “G” (Geophysics) category and there are up to 3 councillor positions and one vice-president position available. MIST Council strongly encourages interested members of the MIST community to consider standing for election.
 
Clare Watt (University of Reading) has kindly volunteered to be a point of contact for the community for those who may wish to talk more about being on council and what it involves. Clare is a councillor on RAS Council, with her term due to complete in 2020, and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 

 

Outcome of SSAP priority project review

From the MIST mailing list:

We are writing to convey the outcome of this year’s priority project “light touch” review, specifically with reference to those projects within the remit of SSAP. We would like to thank all the PIs that originally submitted ideas, and those who provided updates to their projects over the summer. SSAP strongly believe that all the projects submitted are underpinned by strong scientific drivers in the SSAP area.

The “light touch” review was undertaken with a unified approach by SSAP and AAP, considering factors that have led to priority project development (in STFC or other research councils) or new funding for priority projects (1/51 projects in the STFC remit) in the last 12 months. After careful discussion, it was agreed by SSAP and AAP not to select any project where the remit clearly overlaps with UKSA (i.e. space missions or TRL 4+), reflecting STFC’s focus on ground-based observations, science exploitation and TRL 0-3 development. Whilst in no way reflecting the excellence of the science, or community scientific wishes, this approach has resulted in some changes to the list of SSAP priority projects. However, now, unlike at the time of the original call, it is clear that such projects cannot move forwards without UKSA (financial) support, and such funds are already committed according to UKSA’s existing programme. SSAP remain strongly supportive of mission-led science in solar-system exploration, so SSAP have strongly recommended that the high-level discussions between UKSA and STFC continue with a view to supporting a clear joint priority projects call in future, more naturally suited to mission and bi-lateral opportunities.

The priority projects (and PIs) identified by SSAP for 2019/20 are:

  • Solar Atmospheric Modelling Suite (Tony Arber)
  • LARES1: Laboratory Analysis for Research into Extra-terrestrial Samples (Monica Grady)
  • EST: European Solar Telescope (Sarah Matthews)

SSAP requested STFC continue to work with all three projects to expand their community reach and continue to develop the business cases for future (new) funding opportunities. In addition, SSAP have requested that STFC explore ways in which the concept of two projects—“ViCE: Virtual Centres of Excellence Programme / MSEMM Maximising Science Exploitation from Space Science Missions”—can be combined and, with community involvement, generate new funding for science exploitation and maximising scientific return in solar-system sciences. Initially this consultation will occur between SSAP and STFC.

We would like to thank the community again for its strong support, and rapid responses on very short timescales. A further “light touch” review will occur in 2020, with a new call for projects anticipated in 2021. SSAP continue to appreciate the unfamiliar approach a “call for proposals with no funding attached” causes to the community and are continuing to stress to STFC that the community would appreciate clearer guidance and longer timescales in future priority project calls.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Helen Fraser on behalf of SSAP

Interact 2019: An engagement symposium

Following the huge success of Interact 2017, this landmark symposium will be returning as Interact 2019 on Wednesday 4th September 2019 at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston, Lancashire. Click here for registration details and to find out more.

Spanning the physical and life sciences this event offers something for everyone with an interest in improving their public engagement capabilities. It will provide a fantastic opportunity to learn new ways to engage with your audience, explore the barriers to engagement and discuss how the engagement landscape is changing. But above all, it will be a chance to share your experiences with like-minded people in a fun and friendly environment.

The STFC, IOP, SEPnet, RSC, RAS Ogden Trust and UCLan are partnering together to develop an inspiring, challenging and refreshing programme on the following key themes:

  • Evaluation & Impact and REF2021
  • Reaching under-served audiences
  • Schools outreach
  • Sharing best and worst practice in a safe space

 

The detailed content of the day will be co-created and you will be able to vote on proposals by fellow delegates, so get your thinking caps on!

Partially Ionised Plasmas in Astrophysics: PIPA2019

The Partially Ionised Plasmas in Astrophysics (PIPA2019) conference is to be held in Mallorca in June 3-7, 2019. The meeting will provide a forum for the exchange of ideas between participants from all areas of astrophysics in which partially ionised plasmas play a capital role, from the Earth's ionosphere to partially ionised regions in galaxies, which also includes solar chromosphere, interstellar medium, stellar formation, protostellar discs, planetary magnetospheres and ionospheres, etc. For information about the conference, including the venue, accommodation, preliminary invited speakers and talks, click here. The deadline for registration, abstract submission and hotel reservations is 1 April 2019.

 

RAS discussion meeting on space weather monitoring at L1 and L5

A Royal Astronomical Society discussion meeting entitled Transitioning Research and Instrument Expertise in Heliophysics into Space Weather Monitoring Capabilities at L1 and L5 is to be held at Burlington House on 8 March, convened by Richard Harrison (STFC), Jackie Davies (STFC), and Jonny Rae (MSSL). This meeting specifically targets the exploitation of our research and instrumentation for space weather applications, in particular, associated with the ESA Lagrange mission and the associated NASA L1 mission. The RAS page for the meeting is here, and the programme is available here.

Read more: RAS discussion meeting on space weather monitoring at L1 and L5

NAM abstract submissions open for 2019

The online abstract submission system for the 2019 Royal Astronomical Society National Astronomy Meeting is now open. The deadline for abstract submissions is 15 March and abstracts can be submitted through the NAM 2019 website.

NAM 2019 will be held at Lancaster University between 30 June–4 July. Further information and a full list of parallel sessions is available on the event website. Additional practical information will be added to the site prior to registration opening on Mon 25 February, and it is not necessary to register to submit an abstract.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The LOC and SOC look forward to welcoming you to Lancaster in the summer!

Read more: NAM abstract submissions open for 2019

2019 EISCAT Symposium, 46AM Optical Meeting, and Incoherent Scatter Radar School

Further to the initial announcement, more details are now available on the 2019 International EISCAT Symposium. It will be held alongside the 46th Annual European Meeting on Atmospheric Studies (46AM) at the University of Oulu, Finland, from 19–23 August 2019.

The joint meeting will be immediately preceded by the International EISCAT Incoherent Scatter Radar School, at Pikku Syote (150 km east of Oulu), from 12–17 August 2019.

Registration information for both meetings will be published in February, but in the meantime, please visit the EISCAT Symposium and 46AM webpage and the EISCAT Radar School webpage for more information.