The origin of stars, galaxies and violent explosions

UK Science and Technology Facilities Council Award for LJMU astronomers

The Astrophysics Research Institute (ARI) has been awarded a Consolidated Grant totalling £1.4m from the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to support their ambitious portfolio of astrophysics research from 2015 to 2018. The award will help astronomers at ARI to maintain their leading international position using astronomical data from world-class observational facilities, including the Liverpool Telescope.

The new funding will support this leading international research in areas including the assembly of galaxies through cosmic time, in addition to understanding how stars form and the origin of the Milky Way. Key studies also involve discovering more about the most violent explosions in the universe from supernovae, novae and gamma ray bursts. All the new work supports the missions of the UK and EU science funding agencies. The award recognises LJMU’s substantial institutional support for STFC science via new staff and investment in instrumentation and consortia.  Of the eight projects submitted as part of the Consolidated Grant application, six were successful in attracting funding.

LJMU Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Weatherill commented:

“This award is a just recognition of the world-leading research undertaken by our astrophysicists at Liverpool John Moores University.  The outcomes from the research funded by the award will not only contribute to the scientific knowledge base but will provide valuable teaching material to support and enrich the student experience.”

Professor Chris Collins, ARI Acting Director and PI of the grant application said:

“We are particularly delighted by this outcome. Competition between astronomy departments within the UK for resources to carry out astrophysics research is very fierce.  Only those projects considered by STFC to be fundable at the highest priority were successful.”

As part of the award, travel and visitor funds will strengthen collaborative links with key international institutions such as the German Max-Planck research institutions and the California Institute of Technology, as well as many other international and UK partners.It is expected that the uplift in post doctoral researchers and staff research time funded by the grant will further enhance the ARI’s highly productive research output which over the last five years has totalled around 700 papers in leading international journals and attracted more than 14,000 separate citations.

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For more information please visit the ARI website http://www.astro.ljmu.ac.uk

CONTACT FOR INTERVIEWS: Professor Chris Collins, ARI Acting Director, Liverpool John Moores University, 07968422505, C.A.Collins@ljmu.ac.uk

Clare Coombes, Press and Publications Officer, Liverpool John Moores University, T: 0151 231 3004 press@ljmu.ac.uk

Images available depict three major areas of research for the ARI: star formation and the Milky Way; Time domain astrophysics; galaxy formation and evolution

Clare Coombes, Press and Publications Officer, Liverpool John Moores University, T: 0151 231 3004 press@ljmu.ac.uk 

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Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) has over 180 years’ experience educating students in a wide range of disciplines, spanning the arts, humanities, education, health, science and technology and we offer a diverse range of undergraduate degrees, postgraduate taught programmes and research opportunities. Over 95% of research submitted to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2014 was of international quality or higher, with more than 70% of impact activity rated internationally excellent or world-leading. We are one of the top performing new universities in the UK for Architecture and Built Environment, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, General Engineering, Physics and Sports-Related Studies. LJMU also continues to be one of the UK’s leading higher education institutions for our interaction with business and the community. We are currently ranked in the top 40 UK universities for staff and graduate start-up companies and in the top 20 for spin-off companies.

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We are particularly delighted by this outcome. Competition between astronomy departments within the UK for resources to carry out astrophysics research is very fierce. Only those projects considered by STFC to be fundable at the highest priority were successful.
Professor Chris Collins, ARI Acting Director and PI of the grant application