PATT Linked Grant for observational astrophysics QUB: 2012 - 2014

Lead Research Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Department Name: Sch of Mathematics and Physics

Abstract

Our proposal seeks to renew the PATT Linked Grant at Queen's University Belfast. This award will cover our travel and subsistence costs to both STFC and non-STFC observing facilities. The major topics of observational astrophysics research to be covered by the PATT Linked Grant include:


- investigations of supernovae and the end stages of stellar evolution;

- high temporal, spatial and spectral resolution observations of the solar atmosphere and those of other cool stars;

- studies of solar system bodies, including comets and asteroids;

- astrochemistry, including that of interstellar and circumstellar clouds;

- detection and characterisation of exoplanets.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description This grant is to support trips to telescopes to obtain data, not to undertake research.
Exploitation Route As noted grant is purely to obtain data at telescopes, not to conduct research.
Sectors Education

 
Description Grant was not to undertake research, but only to provide travel funds to telescopes to obtain data.
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Education
Impact Types Cultural

 
Description PATT
Amount £31,378 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/M001970/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2014 
End 09/2016
 
Description UK-India Education and Research Initiative
Amount £48,900 (GBP)
Funding ID UGC -UKIERI -2017/18-014 
Organisation British Council 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2018 
End 03/2020
 
Description Annual in-house activities 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Astronomy lectures and presentations are given at the following annual events: (i) QUB Horizons in Physics} (which attracts around 400 4th- and 5th-form students per year), (ii) Physics Open Days (around 200 6th-form students), (iii) Physics Teachers Conference (about 50 Physics teachers from schools in Ireland).


Increased take-up of Physics and Astronomy degree programme over last 3 years.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity Pre-2006,2006,2007,2008,
 
Description Jupiter Watch 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Attended by over 500 annually.

Increased awareness and appreciation of astronomy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014,2016
 
Description Links with W5 Discovery Centre 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact An ongoing partnership with the W5 Discovery Centre in Belfast (Ireland's award-winning science and discovery centre). We developed the Planet Quest exhibition, based on explaining the multi-wavelength nature of modern astronomy. This includes spectacular infrared images from telescopes and satellites, information stands on the nature of infrared radiation, and hands on activities for children. It showcases high-profile Queen's astrophysics research to illustrate to the public that world-leading, technology-driven research is happening in Belfast. The exhibition initially ran March - September 2012, attracting 10,000 visitors, and we hope to run it again during the period 2014 - 2017. Astrophysics staff also host talks, Q&A sessions and hands-on building games in W5 (aimed at Key Stage 3 pupils), and further support W5 through the creation of astronomy CPD materials and a centralised web resource for secondary school physics teachers.

Increased interest in astronomy and science from schoolchildren.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013
 
Description Michael West lectures 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We have initiated a series of high-profile public lectures, The Michael West Lecture Series in Astronomy, following a philanthropic donation from Dr West which funds a Fellowship with a major outreach and education component. These lectures, which are scheduled typically twice per year, each attract 200 people, and are now the most widely attended public lecture series at Queen's University and indeed in Ireland as a whole.


Increased requests for e.g. school talks. Media interviews.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012,2013,2014,2015
URL https://star.pst.qub.ac.uk/wiki/public/outreach/start
 
Description School visits 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact All members of the Astrophysics Research Centre (ARC) at Queen's University are involved in schools talks, covering their research topics as well as more general interests in astronomy. Most are at secondary level but also at primary (we actively take part in STEPS), either in the classroom or at Queen's. ARC staff deliver a total of about 40 talks/year to pupils, with typical class sizes of 25.

Hard to assess, but in Northern Ireland uptake of Physics at university level has increased steadily in recent years, in contrast to the UK trend.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity Pre-2006,2006,2007,2008,