European Radio Astronomy Consortium

Newsletter Issue 10/2021

LOFAR: Aurorae discovered on distant stars suggest hidden planets

LOFAR: Aurorae discovered on distant stars suggest hidden planets

Using the world’s most powerful radio telescope, LOFAR, scientists have discovered stars unexpectedly blasting out radio waves, possibly indicating the existence of hidden planets.

Read here the full LOFAR article from October 11, 2021 on the ASTRON website.

Image: ©Danielle Futselaar (artsource.nl)

MPIfR RadioViews - 6th edition: M. Lisakov on Faraday rotation

MPIfR RadioViews on Faraday rotation

Watch here the latest RadioViews edition, featuring Dr. Mikhail Lisakov talking about his study on Faraday rotation.

Dr. Mikhail Lisakov is a VLBI staff member at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn. His research focuses on relativistic jets from active galactic nuclei which could provide answers to questions ranging from galaxy evolution to neutrino production. To study Faraday rotation, he developed a model for the jet–sheath system in 3C273 where the sheath is wider than the single-epoch narrow relativistic jet.


e-MERLIN community consultation questionnaire

 The UK’s National Radio Astronomy Facility, e-MERLIN/VLBI, operated from Jodrell Bank Observatory on behalf of STFC, is a unique and world-leading radio astronomy facility for high resolution (0.01-0.1arcsec) imaging at centimetre wavelengths, and is a designated SKA pathfinder instrument. The e-MERLIN/VLBI also provides the UK’s contributions to the European VLBI Network (EVN). Now fully integrated e-MERLIN and the EVN operate seamlessly together providing radio imaging across a large range of key spatial scales (10 to 10,000km baselines) from arcsec to sub-mas at radio wavelengths. A summary of recent scientific highlights and the future directions of the EVN (+ e-MERLIN) can be found in for example here.

UK’s National Radio Astronomy Facility, e-MERLIN/VLBI wishes to solicit the views of the e-MERLIN/VLBI scientific community regarding future priorities. You are invited to provide your feedback in a very brief questionnaire (~5-10 min).

LOFAR: Call for expressions of interest (EoIs) now open

LOFAR: Call for expressions of interest (EoIs)

The call for expressions of interest (EoIs) leading eventually to LOFAR2.0 Large Programme proposals is now open. EoIs are intended to inform how to best organise community workshops in 2022, in which LOFAR will invite all EoI submitters to together take stock of the ideas and consider how a global LOFAR2.0 Large Programme Portfolio would look.

On October 7 and 12, 2021 LOFAR held information sessions to inform the scientific community about the various upgrades that are part of LOFAR2.0, and to update about the progress of the development. Find more here.

Submission deadline for the call: December 3, 2021.

SKAO Signs Hosting Agreements With Australia And South Africa


• SKAO signed agreements with the governments of Australia and South Africa to host its telescopes and associated infrastructures, formalising arrangements for the construction and operation of the SKA telescopes.

• SKAO also signed an agreement with Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology, giving the university responsibility for representing Sweden in the project.

• SKAO’s second science data challenge concluded, seeing record participation by the scientific community.

ERC project M2Finders: Two postdoctoral positions in Radio Astronomy

M2FINDERS: Four postdoctoral positions in Radio Astronomy

The Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy is recruiting up to four postdoctoral researchers in Radio Astronomy to join the project M2FINDERS (Mapping Magnetic Fields with INterferometry Down to Event hoRizon Scales). M2FINDERS is led by Prof. Zensus as the principal investigator, with funding from the European Research Council (No 101018682).

The project will comprise a dedicated in depth study of prominent nearby AGN, using multifrequency VLBI observations . The goal is to develop technical and radio astronomical methods to map magnetic fields at distances smaller than 1000 gravitational radii to the supermasive black hole.

Find the full job advertisements here by December 31, 2021.

Second edition of the International Astronomical Union Women in Astronomy (WiA) newsletter

2nd edition of the IAU Women in Astronomy (WiA) newsletter

The second edition of the IAU WiA newsletter gives a brief update on the activities carried out last month and the encouraging feedback from the participants. Among others:

• 1st virtual Training Program series on Essential Skills for Astronomy Research, Nov 8-12th, 2021. Registration open by October 31, 2021.

• Nomination of a National Representative for your country to work with the IAU-WiA WG to create stronger links.

• Short survey on Women’s Career in Astronomy to address the  national issues.

Find the new IAU WIA issue here.

Image: ©IAU

IAU: 1st seminar of the series Women in Astronomy

IAU: 1st seminar of the series Women in Astronomy

The International Astronomical Union (IAU)  held its 1st seminar of the bimonthly series Women in Astronomy Working Group on October 12, 2021. If you missed the 1st seminar, you  can watch it here.

The next seminar of the series will be held on November 12, 2021 (registration here).

This series will focus in the next 3 years on the difficulties faced by Women in astronomy in their career worldwide. The working group activities and achievements will be presented at the 2 general assembly meetings (Busan in August 2022, and Cape Town in August 2024).

Image: ©IAU

Hypatia Colloquium: Early Career Astronomer series at ESO

Hypatia Colloquium: Early Career Astronomer series at ESO

Following the successful first edition in 2021, ESO is continuing  the "Hypatia Colloquium" series 2022.

PhD students and early postdocs (max 3 years from the PhD) working in any field of theoretical and observational astronomy and astrophysics are invited to apply to be nominated as speaker of the Hypatia Colloquium, by submitting an abstract using the dedicated form.

The format of this series foresees a 20 min long talk followed by questions and discussion. The seminars will be entirely hosted on-line and will be streamed live on the dedicated YouTube channel. The videos will remain on-line on the same platform. Find more information here.

Deadline for speakers applications: November 19, 2021, 1pm CET


12th IVS General Meeting (GM2022)

The 12th General Meeting of the International VLBI Service for Geodesy and Astrometry (IVS) will be held from March 27 through April 1, 2022, in Helsinki, Finland.

All IVS Associate Members and individuals who have interests in the application of VLBI in the fields of geodesy, Earth sciences, and astrometry are invited to attend the meeting.

For more information, please follow the event page.



Horizon Europe guidance on gender equality plans available

The Horizon Europe guidance supports organisations to meet the Gender Equality Plan (GEP) eligibility criterion of the Horizon Europe Framework Programme for Research and Innovation 2021-2027. It presents the components of the eligibility criterion as set by the European Commission, explains what these requirements mean in practice when developing and implementing a GEP or reviewing the equivalence of existing plans or policies, and provides concrete practical examples, building on existing materials, good practices and various resources that support gender equality in research and innovation (R&I) at national and institutional levels.

Find the guidance document here.

Lump sum funding works in practice – assessment of the pilot in Horizon 2020

In the R&I Framework Programme, project funding is so far based on the reimbursement of actual costs. Despite simplified rules and improved IT support, this system remains complex and error-prone. One of the Commission’s initiatives with high potential to overcome this problem, and to simplify further, is the wider use lump sums.

Consequently, a lump sum funding approach was developed that removes all obligations on actual cost reporting, time sheets, and financial ex-post audits. The objective is a massive reduction in errors and administration of R&I grants, and a stronger focus on content. The new approach was tested extensively in the ‘Horizon 2020 lump sum pilot’ during the last three years of the programme.

You can download here the Assessment of the Lump Sum Pilot 2018-2020 made available on October 6, 2021.

More information on the lump sum funding approach in Horizon is available on the Funding & Tenders Portal.

New factsheet on Switzerland´s participation in H2020

Euresearch, a non-profit organization funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, has published a new factsheet with step-by-step instructions on how to involve institutions from Switzerland in Horizon Europe projects.



Open Call for Proposals for the East Asian VLBI Network (EAVN) for the 2022A semester

East Asian VLBI Network (EAVN)

The Call for Proposals for the East Asian VLBI Network (EAVN) for the 2022A semester is open.

Submission deadline: November 1, 2021, 8:00 UT


Image: Map: Location of EAVN sites, including the Korea-Japan Correlation Center at KASI (Korea) and Mizusawa VLBI observatory (NAOJ, Japan), overlaid on ‘the Blue Marble’ image (credit of the ground image: NASA’s Earth Observatory). Sejong 22-m telescope newly participates in the EAVN open use from the 2022A semester.

European ALMA Regional Centre

The European ALMA Regional Centre (ARC) provides the interface between the ALMA project and the European science community. The ARC is staffed by scientists with expertise in radio astronomy and interferometry and it supports its users throughout the lifetime of a project, from proposal preparation to data analysis. Users that want to visit an ARC node for a face-to-face visit can apply for funding through the ORP (Opticon RadioNet Pilot). 

The Westerbork Apertif Long Term Archive (ALTA) is a brand new facility offering to the world-wide astronomical community free virtual access to data and scientific products produced from all sky surveys of the Northern sky that will be conducted with the new Apertif frontend of the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT), as well as tools to query, further exploit and perform data mining of these products adaptable to diverse research goals. The access/funding offered through the ORP (Opticon RadioNet Pilot) project.



• University College Cork – Professor in astrophysics – position - deadline 4.11.2021 and Lectureship in Theoretical Astrophysics – position – deadline 11.11.2021

• SARAO – RFI & EMC Engineer – SKA Low Telescope – position – deadline 7.11.2021

• YUFA - Full Time Professorial Stream - Assistant Professor – position – deadline 15.11.2021, Assistant Professor in Physics and Astronomy – position – deadline 05.12.2021

• York University in Toronto - Assistant Professor in Computational Extragalactic Astronomy – position – deadline 22.11.2021

• SKAO - Operations Scientist – position – deadline 26.11.2021, Scientist – position – deadline 30.11.2021

• ESO - Studenship programms Chile & Europe 2021/2022 – position – deadline 30.11.2021

• MPIfR / ERC project M2FINDERS - 4 Postdoctoral positions in Radio Astronomy - positions - deadline 31.12.2021

• University of California - Brinson Postdoctoral Fellowship - position – deadline 30.01.2022

• University Oslo - Postdoctoral Research Fellow in extragalactic astrophysics – position

• University of the Western Cape - Postdoctoral Fellowships in observational and theoretical cosmology related to SKA – position

• EPFL – Data Scientist – position

• Green Bank Observatory - Telescope Operations Division Head/Chief Antenna Engineer – position

Check also EURAXESS



• IAU Symposium 362: The predictive power of computational astrophysics as a discovery tool - November 8-12,  2021- virtual

• IAU Series Women in Astronomy Working Group - November 8-12,  2021- virtual

• 12th Gaia Science Alerts workshop and the First ORP Time-Domain meeting – Nov 8-12, 2021 – Crete/GR and virtual

• 10th IRAM 30-meter School on Millimeter Astronomy -  November 15-19 & 22-23 – virtual

• AA-CSIC Severo Ochoa Advanced School on Star Formation - November 15-19, 2021, Granada/ES

• IAU Symposium 363: Neutron Star Astrophysics at the Crossroads: Magnetars and the Multimessenger Revolution- Nov 29–Dec 3,  2021

• 1st ESFRI Stakeholders Forum Meetup  -  December 8, 2021 - hybrid

• 239th AAS meeting - January 9-13, 2022 — Salt Lake City/Utah, US and virtual

• 12th IVS General Meeting - March 27–April 1, 2022 - tbd if Helsinki, virtual or hybrid

• VLBI in the SKA Era – February 14-18, 2022 - Australia + online (event page will follow soon)

• IAU Symposium 365: Dynamics of Solar and Stellar Convection Zones and Atmospheres - May 23-27, 2022 - Moscow/RU

• EAS Annual Meeting 2022 - June 27 - July 1, 2022 - Valencia/ES

• ADASS XXXII - September 11-15, 2022 - Victoria/CA (event page will follow)

• European Radio Interferometry School (ERIS 2022) - September 19-23, 2022, Dwingeloo/NL (preliminary dates/TBC, event page soon)

 See also the Calendar




Subscription (Unsubscription) send e-mail: RadioNet@mpifr.de 

RadioNet Twitter

RadioNet - European Radio Astronomy Consortium