Radio Astronomy for Development in Africa - A Newton Fund Project

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

We will conduct a training programme in radio astronomy in Africa that will help to drive economic growth. South Africa will host part of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) - the major next generation radio telescope. A network of up to 3000 dishes will eventually spread out across southern Africa to give the telescope its powerful resolution to see small structures in the sky. To this aim South Africa is partnering with eight other countries in Africa that will host these outstations. However, there is virtually no astronomy activity in these countries at present and so SKA-SA are building the African VLBI Network (AVN) as a precursor instrument and very useful addition to the world's radio astronomy networks in its own right. The AVN will consist of 30 m class radio dishes in each partner country, either converted from defunct telecommunications dishes or newly built ones. This project targets Zambia, Kenya and Namibia that are next in line to obtain their dishes once the first one in Ghana is up and running. The UK team has experience of training radio astronomers in Ghana and in the conversion of old telecommunications dishes for radio astronomy purposes.

The UK team, together with SA colleagues will provide a basic training in the targeted countries so that the local people can use and help run the radio telescopes there. The STEM skills learnt as part of this training can be applied to a range of industries such as telecommunications, space science, land management, computing and big data. Therefore the training will result in a pool of local talent who can help to drive economic growth in the targeted countries. An integral part of the training programme will be interaction with entrepreneurs who have experience of setting up businesses using related technologies and with those who are using their expertise in big data to solve modern day challenges. Advanced training will take the form of a small number of MSc and PhD bursaries. The students will undertake research training using the AVN telescopes and spend time in both the UK and SA to help forge strong research links. A virtual centre of excellence will be established that pulls the various strands of training, research and industry together.

Working together with colleagues from the IAU's Office of Astronomy for Development in Cape Town and their regional offices in Africa we will conduct an outreach programme to increase the take up of STEM subjects at school level. Awareness events for school children and teachers by the visiting UK academics and the trainees themselves will take the inspirational subject of astronomy and mankind's origins into many locations in the targeted countries. Showcasing the radio astronomy facilities in these countries and demonstrating how the skills and technologies used in radio astronomy can be applied to many areas of industry and commerce can lead to a general upskilling of the population.

Planned Impact

Industries in the targeted AVN countries that rely on having people with advanced STEM knowledge and with drive and ambition will benefit from this programme through having a pool of trained and motivated individuals. Overall this programme aims to provide a basic training for 50 young people and an advanced training to 8 students. As in any country not all of these will go on to become academics, the majority will go into industry and commerce taking their advanced knowledge and skills with them. Economic activity as a whole will benefit as some these people start their own businesses inspired by the entrepreneurs they have met during the training programme. These could be in diverse fields such as telecommunications, space science, geodetic applications such as land management or climate change, or computing and big data challenges.

Our team of both academics and the trainees themselves will engage the wider public in the inspirational nature of astronomy with public talks and events. We will target school children and teachers in particular to help the take up of STEM subjects at school and university. Increased STEM take up will result in increased economic activity in the longer term. Showcasing the hosting of major international scientific facilities such as the AVN and SKA on the African continent will raise the aspiration of the population as Africa demonstrates that it can take its place on the modern scientific stage in the 21st century.

Publications

10 25 50
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Hoare M (2018) UK aid for African radio astronomy in Nature Astronomy

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Obonyo W (2019) A search for non-thermal radio emission from jets of massive young stellar objects in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

 
Description The DARA project successfully recruited and trained students for the basic training programme from Kenya, Zambia, Namibia and Botswana. Astronomy has attracted young people with places on the basic training being over-subscribed by a factor of three. This training has provided key skills in areas such as radio technology and techniques, high level computing and data handling that these cohorts would not otherwise have been exposed to. The call for advanced training places (MSc and PhDs) was oversubscribed by a factor of six and high quality students were awarded positions at the UK member universities. Students who went on to DARA funded Masters places in the UK have successfully completed their course. Many of these are continuing on to PhD programmes whether funded by DARA or winning scholarships from other sources of funding. The advanced students will form the foundation of sustainable radio astronomy research groups in each of the countries where there are plans to link the development of radio astronomy with space sector and big data facilities that can address local development issues.
Exploitation Route It is anticipated that the trainees who complete their training will take up positions in their African home countries to help run and utilize the African VLBI Network of radio telescopes as it is constructed by SKA-SA. Several of those about to complete have positions or offers of positions in their home countries.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Electronics

URL https://www.dara-project.org/
 
Description The DARA project basic training has up-skilled 50 young people in four DAC countries to as a contribution to UN SDG 4.4 to "substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship". The advanced training programme has given 7 postgraduates research skills to aid UN SDG 9.5 to "enhance scientific research, increasing the number of research and development workers". DARA has helped build partnerships between the UK, SA and the partner countries at researcher, institution and higher levels as reported in ministerial meetings contributing to UN SGD 17.6 to "enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation." The link between basic science such as radio astronomy and the economic development of African countries is being made at the highest levels as stated by the President of Ghana at the inauguration of the newly converted radio telescope in Ghana. Such big science activities are influencing the ambition to increase in the budget for science in Ghana. Some 50 students who had undergone the DARA basic training have come forward with business ideas and requested advice from the DARA Business Consultant. Several of these are being advised to help them develop their business plans. Students who have been through our training programme are also spreading the message and encouraging STEM take up. The message that ODA funding is being used for basic science training in areas such as astronomy is also being spread by media interest in the project. In a traditionally male-dominated discipline the DARA project is careful to encourage gender equality at all levels. The Steering Committee that runs the project is 30% female and a similar proportion make up the trainers delivering the training in Africa. For the highly technical data reduction training delivered by younger postdoctoral staff the proportion is higher still. This is then reflected in the trainees recruited where 25% of the basic and advanced trainees were female. During selection of the advanced trainees positive action is exercised where possible.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Other
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy
Amount £202,437 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/P005535/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2017 
End 03/2019
 
Description Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy Phase 2 - Extension
Amount £453,741 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/T001798/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2019 
End 03/2021
 
Description Newton Fund
Amount £2,750,000 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/R001103/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2017 
End 03/2021
 
Description STFC GCRF Foundation
Amount £344,896 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/R002878/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 12/2019
 
Description DARA 
Organisation Eduardo Mondlane University
Country Mozambique 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This partnership has come together to deliver training in radio astronomy to countries in Africa that are part of the African VLBI Network and African partner countries with South Africa in the SKA project. Hoare leads the project and the project is managed from Leeds. Leeds organised the recruitment of PhD/MSc students for UK partners.
Collaborator Contribution Staff from collaborating institutions are delivering some of the training in Africa. All UK partners will be hosting PhD or MSc students from the participating African countries.
Impact The collaboration has delivered an up-skilled cohort of young people with knowledge of radio astronomy, research and computing skills and an awareness of how these could translate in to the commercial sector, especially in the space sector. Links have been made between the academic institutions and the space industry in the UK and SA. Well-equipped computer labs have been established in each country. English skills have been provided where required. Collaborations at individual university level are being made between the six UK university partners and the six host sites for the in-country astrophysics training in African partner institutions. The partners were all part of the original application and all feed in to the development of the project over time via meetings at the DARA annual network meeting and Steering Committee meetings. Each partner has a collaborative agreement with the University of Leeds governing the relationship.
Start Year 2015
 
Description DARA 
Organisation Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution This partnership has come together to deliver training in radio astronomy to countries in Africa that are part of the African VLBI Network and African partner countries with South Africa in the SKA project. Hoare leads the project and the project is managed from Leeds. Leeds organised the recruitment of PhD/MSc students for UK partners.
Collaborator Contribution Staff from collaborating institutions are delivering some of the training in Africa. All UK partners will be hosting PhD or MSc students from the participating African countries.
Impact The collaboration has delivered an up-skilled cohort of young people with knowledge of radio astronomy, research and computing skills and an awareness of how these could translate in to the commercial sector, especially in the space sector. Links have been made between the academic institutions and the space industry in the UK and SA. Well-equipped computer labs have been established in each country. English skills have been provided where required. Collaborations at individual university level are being made between the six UK university partners and the six host sites for the in-country astrophysics training in African partner institutions. The partners were all part of the original application and all feed in to the development of the project over time via meetings at the DARA annual network meeting and Steering Committee meetings. Each partner has a collaborative agreement with the University of Leeds governing the relationship.
Start Year 2015
 
Description DARA 
Organisation Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This partnership has come together to deliver training in radio astronomy to countries in Africa that are part of the African VLBI Network and African partner countries with South Africa in the SKA project. Hoare leads the project and the project is managed from Leeds. Leeds organised the recruitment of PhD/MSc students for UK partners.
Collaborator Contribution Staff from collaborating institutions are delivering some of the training in Africa. All UK partners will be hosting PhD or MSc students from the participating African countries.
Impact The collaboration has delivered an up-skilled cohort of young people with knowledge of radio astronomy, research and computing skills and an awareness of how these could translate in to the commercial sector, especially in the space sector. Links have been made between the academic institutions and the space industry in the UK and SA. Well-equipped computer labs have been established in each country. English skills have been provided where required. Collaborations at individual university level are being made between the six UK university partners and the six host sites for the in-country astrophysics training in African partner institutions. The partners were all part of the original application and all feed in to the development of the project over time via meetings at the DARA annual network meeting and Steering Committee meetings. Each partner has a collaborative agreement with the University of Leeds governing the relationship.
Start Year 2015
 
Description DARA 
Organisation North-West University
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This partnership has come together to deliver training in radio astronomy to countries in Africa that are part of the African VLBI Network and African partner countries with South Africa in the SKA project. Hoare leads the project and the project is managed from Leeds. Leeds organised the recruitment of PhD/MSc students for UK partners.
Collaborator Contribution Staff from collaborating institutions are delivering some of the training in Africa. All UK partners will be hosting PhD or MSc students from the participating African countries.
Impact The collaboration has delivered an up-skilled cohort of young people with knowledge of radio astronomy, research and computing skills and an awareness of how these could translate in to the commercial sector, especially in the space sector. Links have been made between the academic institutions and the space industry in the UK and SA. Well-equipped computer labs have been established in each country. English skills have been provided where required. Collaborations at individual university level are being made between the six UK university partners and the six host sites for the in-country astrophysics training in African partner institutions. The partners were all part of the original application and all feed in to the development of the project over time via meetings at the DARA annual network meeting and Steering Committee meetings. Each partner has a collaborative agreement with the University of Leeds governing the relationship.
Start Year 2015
 
Description DARA 
Organisation Rhodes University
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This partnership has come together to deliver training in radio astronomy to countries in Africa that are part of the African VLBI Network and African partner countries with South Africa in the SKA project. Hoare leads the project and the project is managed from Leeds. Leeds organised the recruitment of PhD/MSc students for UK partners.
Collaborator Contribution Staff from collaborating institutions are delivering some of the training in Africa. All UK partners will be hosting PhD or MSc students from the participating African countries.
Impact The collaboration has delivered an up-skilled cohort of young people with knowledge of radio astronomy, research and computing skills and an awareness of how these could translate in to the commercial sector, especially in the space sector. Links have been made between the academic institutions and the space industry in the UK and SA. Well-equipped computer labs have been established in each country. English skills have been provided where required. Collaborations at individual university level are being made between the six UK university partners and the six host sites for the in-country astrophysics training in African partner institutions. The partners were all part of the original application and all feed in to the development of the project over time via meetings at the DARA annual network meeting and Steering Committee meetings. Each partner has a collaborative agreement with the University of Leeds governing the relationship.
Start Year 2015
 
Description DARA 
Organisation Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Africa
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This partnership has come together to deliver training in radio astronomy to countries in Africa that are part of the African VLBI Network and African partner countries with South Africa in the SKA project. Hoare leads the project and the project is managed from Leeds. Leeds organised the recruitment of PhD/MSc students for UK partners.
Collaborator Contribution Staff from collaborating institutions are delivering some of the training in Africa. All UK partners will be hosting PhD or MSc students from the participating African countries.
Impact The collaboration has delivered an up-skilled cohort of young people with knowledge of radio astronomy, research and computing skills and an awareness of how these could translate in to the commercial sector, especially in the space sector. Links have been made between the academic institutions and the space industry in the UK and SA. Well-equipped computer labs have been established in each country. English skills have been provided where required. Collaborations at individual university level are being made between the six UK university partners and the six host sites for the in-country astrophysics training in African partner institutions. The partners were all part of the original application and all feed in to the development of the project over time via meetings at the DARA annual network meeting and Steering Committee meetings. Each partner has a collaborative agreement with the University of Leeds governing the relationship.
Start Year 2015
 
Description DARA 
Organisation Technical University of Kenya
Country Kenya 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This partnership has come together to deliver training in radio astronomy to countries in Africa that are part of the African VLBI Network and African partner countries with South Africa in the SKA project. Hoare leads the project and the project is managed from Leeds. Leeds organised the recruitment of PhD/MSc students for UK partners.
Collaborator Contribution Staff from collaborating institutions are delivering some of the training in Africa. All UK partners will be hosting PhD or MSc students from the participating African countries.
Impact The collaboration has delivered an up-skilled cohort of young people with knowledge of radio astronomy, research and computing skills and an awareness of how these could translate in to the commercial sector, especially in the space sector. Links have been made between the academic institutions and the space industry in the UK and SA. Well-equipped computer labs have been established in each country. English skills have been provided where required. Collaborations at individual university level are being made between the six UK university partners and the six host sites for the in-country astrophysics training in African partner institutions. The partners were all part of the original application and all feed in to the development of the project over time via meetings at the DARA annual network meeting and Steering Committee meetings. Each partner has a collaborative agreement with the University of Leeds governing the relationship.
Start Year 2015
 
Description DARA 
Organisation The Botswana International University of Science & Technology
Country Botswana 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This partnership has come together to deliver training in radio astronomy to countries in Africa that are part of the African VLBI Network and African partner countries with South Africa in the SKA project. Hoare leads the project and the project is managed from Leeds. Leeds organised the recruitment of PhD/MSc students for UK partners.
Collaborator Contribution Staff from collaborating institutions are delivering some of the training in Africa. All UK partners will be hosting PhD or MSc students from the participating African countries.
Impact The collaboration has delivered an up-skilled cohort of young people with knowledge of radio astronomy, research and computing skills and an awareness of how these could translate in to the commercial sector, especially in the space sector. Links have been made between the academic institutions and the space industry in the UK and SA. Well-equipped computer labs have been established in each country. English skills have been provided where required. Collaborations at individual university level are being made between the six UK university partners and the six host sites for the in-country astrophysics training in African partner institutions. The partners were all part of the original application and all feed in to the development of the project over time via meetings at the DARA annual network meeting and Steering Committee meetings. Each partner has a collaborative agreement with the University of Leeds governing the relationship.
Start Year 2015
 
Description DARA 
Organisation University of Bristol
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This partnership has come together to deliver training in radio astronomy to countries in Africa that are part of the African VLBI Network and African partner countries with South Africa in the SKA project. Hoare leads the project and the project is managed from Leeds. Leeds organised the recruitment of PhD/MSc students for UK partners.
Collaborator Contribution Staff from collaborating institutions are delivering some of the training in Africa. All UK partners will be hosting PhD or MSc students from the participating African countries.
Impact The collaboration has delivered an up-skilled cohort of young people with knowledge of radio astronomy, research and computing skills and an awareness of how these could translate in to the commercial sector, especially in the space sector. Links have been made between the academic institutions and the space industry in the UK and SA. Well-equipped computer labs have been established in each country. English skills have been provided where required. Collaborations at individual university level are being made between the six UK university partners and the six host sites for the in-country astrophysics training in African partner institutions. The partners were all part of the original application and all feed in to the development of the project over time via meetings at the DARA annual network meeting and Steering Committee meetings. Each partner has a collaborative agreement with the University of Leeds governing the relationship.
Start Year 2015
 
Description DARA 
Organisation University of Cape Town
Department Department of Astronomy
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This partnership has come together to deliver training in radio astronomy to countries in Africa that are part of the African VLBI Network and African partner countries with South Africa in the SKA project. Hoare leads the project and the project is managed from Leeds. Leeds organised the recruitment of PhD/MSc students for UK partners.
Collaborator Contribution Staff from collaborating institutions are delivering some of the training in Africa. All UK partners will be hosting PhD or MSc students from the participating African countries.
Impact The collaboration has delivered an up-skilled cohort of young people with knowledge of radio astronomy, research and computing skills and an awareness of how these could translate in to the commercial sector, especially in the space sector. Links have been made between the academic institutions and the space industry in the UK and SA. Well-equipped computer labs have been established in each country. English skills have been provided where required. Collaborations at individual university level are being made between the six UK university partners and the six host sites for the in-country astrophysics training in African partner institutions. The partners were all part of the original application and all feed in to the development of the project over time via meetings at the DARA annual network meeting and Steering Committee meetings. Each partner has a collaborative agreement with the University of Leeds governing the relationship.
Start Year 2015
 
Description DARA 
Organisation University of Central Lancashire
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This partnership has come together to deliver training in radio astronomy to countries in Africa that are part of the African VLBI Network and African partner countries with South Africa in the SKA project. Hoare leads the project and the project is managed from Leeds. Leeds organised the recruitment of PhD/MSc students for UK partners.
Collaborator Contribution Staff from collaborating institutions are delivering some of the training in Africa. All UK partners will be hosting PhD or MSc students from the participating African countries.
Impact The collaboration has delivered an up-skilled cohort of young people with knowledge of radio astronomy, research and computing skills and an awareness of how these could translate in to the commercial sector, especially in the space sector. Links have been made between the academic institutions and the space industry in the UK and SA. Well-equipped computer labs have been established in each country. English skills have been provided where required. Collaborations at individual university level are being made between the six UK university partners and the six host sites for the in-country astrophysics training in African partner institutions. The partners were all part of the original application and all feed in to the development of the project over time via meetings at the DARA annual network meeting and Steering Committee meetings. Each partner has a collaborative agreement with the University of Leeds governing the relationship.
Start Year 2015
 
Description DARA 
Organisation University of Hertfordshire
Department Centre for Astrophysics Research (CAR)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This partnership has come together to deliver training in radio astronomy to countries in Africa that are part of the African VLBI Network and African partner countries with South Africa in the SKA project. Hoare leads the project and the project is managed from Leeds. Leeds organised the recruitment of PhD/MSc students for UK partners.
Collaborator Contribution Staff from collaborating institutions are delivering some of the training in Africa. All UK partners will be hosting PhD or MSc students from the participating African countries.
Impact The collaboration has delivered an up-skilled cohort of young people with knowledge of radio astronomy, research and computing skills and an awareness of how these could translate in to the commercial sector, especially in the space sector. Links have been made between the academic institutions and the space industry in the UK and SA. Well-equipped computer labs have been established in each country. English skills have been provided where required. Collaborations at individual university level are being made between the six UK university partners and the six host sites for the in-country astrophysics training in African partner institutions. The partners were all part of the original application and all feed in to the development of the project over time via meetings at the DARA annual network meeting and Steering Committee meetings. Each partner has a collaborative agreement with the University of Leeds governing the relationship.
Start Year 2015
 
Description DARA 
Organisation University of Manchester
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This partnership has come together to deliver training in radio astronomy to countries in Africa that are part of the African VLBI Network and African partner countries with South Africa in the SKA project. Hoare leads the project and the project is managed from Leeds. Leeds organised the recruitment of PhD/MSc students for UK partners.
Collaborator Contribution Staff from collaborating institutions are delivering some of the training in Africa. All UK partners will be hosting PhD or MSc students from the participating African countries.
Impact The collaboration has delivered an up-skilled cohort of young people with knowledge of radio astronomy, research and computing skills and an awareness of how these could translate in to the commercial sector, especially in the space sector. Links have been made between the academic institutions and the space industry in the UK and SA. Well-equipped computer labs have been established in each country. English skills have been provided where required. Collaborations at individual university level are being made between the six UK university partners and the six host sites for the in-country astrophysics training in African partner institutions. The partners were all part of the original application and all feed in to the development of the project over time via meetings at the DARA annual network meeting and Steering Committee meetings. Each partner has a collaborative agreement with the University of Leeds governing the relationship.
Start Year 2015
 
Description DARA 
Organisation University of Namibia
Country Namibia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This partnership has come together to deliver training in radio astronomy to countries in Africa that are part of the African VLBI Network and African partner countries with South Africa in the SKA project. Hoare leads the project and the project is managed from Leeds. Leeds organised the recruitment of PhD/MSc students for UK partners.
Collaborator Contribution Staff from collaborating institutions are delivering some of the training in Africa. All UK partners will be hosting PhD or MSc students from the participating African countries.
Impact The collaboration has delivered an up-skilled cohort of young people with knowledge of radio astronomy, research and computing skills and an awareness of how these could translate in to the commercial sector, especially in the space sector. Links have been made between the academic institutions and the space industry in the UK and SA. Well-equipped computer labs have been established in each country. English skills have been provided where required. Collaborations at individual university level are being made between the six UK university partners and the six host sites for the in-country astrophysics training in African partner institutions. The partners were all part of the original application and all feed in to the development of the project over time via meetings at the DARA annual network meeting and Steering Committee meetings. Each partner has a collaborative agreement with the University of Leeds governing the relationship.
Start Year 2015
 
Description DARA 
Organisation University of Oxford
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This partnership has come together to deliver training in radio astronomy to countries in Africa that are part of the African VLBI Network and African partner countries with South Africa in the SKA project. Hoare leads the project and the project is managed from Leeds. Leeds organised the recruitment of PhD/MSc students for UK partners.
Collaborator Contribution Staff from collaborating institutions are delivering some of the training in Africa. All UK partners will be hosting PhD or MSc students from the participating African countries.
Impact The collaboration has delivered an up-skilled cohort of young people with knowledge of radio astronomy, research and computing skills and an awareness of how these could translate in to the commercial sector, especially in the space sector. Links have been made between the academic institutions and the space industry in the UK and SA. Well-equipped computer labs have been established in each country. English skills have been provided where required. Collaborations at individual university level are being made between the six UK university partners and the six host sites for the in-country astrophysics training in African partner institutions. The partners were all part of the original application and all feed in to the development of the project over time via meetings at the DARA annual network meeting and Steering Committee meetings. Each partner has a collaborative agreement with the University of Leeds governing the relationship.
Start Year 2015
 
Description DARA 
Organisation University of Pretoria
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This partnership has come together to deliver training in radio astronomy to countries in Africa that are part of the African VLBI Network and African partner countries with South Africa in the SKA project. Hoare leads the project and the project is managed from Leeds. Leeds organised the recruitment of PhD/MSc students for UK partners.
Collaborator Contribution Staff from collaborating institutions are delivering some of the training in Africa. All UK partners will be hosting PhD or MSc students from the participating African countries.
Impact The collaboration has delivered an up-skilled cohort of young people with knowledge of radio astronomy, research and computing skills and an awareness of how these could translate in to the commercial sector, especially in the space sector. Links have been made between the academic institutions and the space industry in the UK and SA. Well-equipped computer labs have been established in each country. English skills have been provided where required. Collaborations at individual university level are being made between the six UK university partners and the six host sites for the in-country astrophysics training in African partner institutions. The partners were all part of the original application and all feed in to the development of the project over time via meetings at the DARA annual network meeting and Steering Committee meetings. Each partner has a collaborative agreement with the University of Leeds governing the relationship.
Start Year 2015
 
Description DARA 
Organisation University of South Florida
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This partnership has come together to deliver training in radio astronomy to countries in Africa that are part of the African VLBI Network and African partner countries with South Africa in the SKA project. Hoare leads the project and the project is managed from Leeds. Leeds organised the recruitment of PhD/MSc students for UK partners.
Collaborator Contribution Staff from collaborating institutions are delivering some of the training in Africa. All UK partners will be hosting PhD or MSc students from the participating African countries.
Impact The collaboration has delivered an up-skilled cohort of young people with knowledge of radio astronomy, research and computing skills and an awareness of how these could translate in to the commercial sector, especially in the space sector. Links have been made between the academic institutions and the space industry in the UK and SA. Well-equipped computer labs have been established in each country. English skills have been provided where required. Collaborations at individual university level are being made between the six UK university partners and the six host sites for the in-country astrophysics training in African partner institutions. The partners were all part of the original application and all feed in to the development of the project over time via meetings at the DARA annual network meeting and Steering Committee meetings. Each partner has a collaborative agreement with the University of Leeds governing the relationship.
Start Year 2015
 
Description DARA 
Organisation University of Zambia
Country Zambia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This partnership has come together to deliver training in radio astronomy to countries in Africa that are part of the African VLBI Network and African partner countries with South Africa in the SKA project. Hoare leads the project and the project is managed from Leeds. Leeds organised the recruitment of PhD/MSc students for UK partners.
Collaborator Contribution Staff from collaborating institutions are delivering some of the training in Africa. All UK partners will be hosting PhD or MSc students from the participating African countries.
Impact The collaboration has delivered an up-skilled cohort of young people with knowledge of radio astronomy, research and computing skills and an awareness of how these could translate in to the commercial sector, especially in the space sector. Links have been made between the academic institutions and the space industry in the UK and SA. Well-equipped computer labs have been established in each country. English skills have been provided where required. Collaborations at individual university level are being made between the six UK university partners and the six host sites for the in-country astrophysics training in African partner institutions. The partners were all part of the original application and all feed in to the development of the project over time via meetings at the DARA annual network meeting and Steering Committee meetings. Each partner has a collaborative agreement with the University of Leeds governing the relationship.
Start Year 2015
 
Description DARA 
Organisation University of the Western Cape
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This partnership has come together to deliver training in radio astronomy to countries in Africa that are part of the African VLBI Network and African partner countries with South Africa in the SKA project. Hoare leads the project and the project is managed from Leeds. Leeds organised the recruitment of PhD/MSc students for UK partners.
Collaborator Contribution Staff from collaborating institutions are delivering some of the training in Africa. All UK partners will be hosting PhD or MSc students from the participating African countries.
Impact The collaboration has delivered an up-skilled cohort of young people with knowledge of radio astronomy, research and computing skills and an awareness of how these could translate in to the commercial sector, especially in the space sector. Links have been made between the academic institutions and the space industry in the UK and SA. Well-equipped computer labs have been established in each country. English skills have been provided where required. Collaborations at individual university level are being made between the six UK university partners and the six host sites for the in-country astrophysics training in African partner institutions. The partners were all part of the original application and all feed in to the development of the project over time via meetings at the DARA annual network meeting and Steering Committee meetings. Each partner has a collaborative agreement with the University of Leeds governing the relationship.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Adjacent Government article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Magazine article
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.adjacentopenaccess.org/research-science-innovation-news/newton-funds-novel-development-op...
 
Description DARA Twitter Feed 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Twiiter feed from the DARA project website
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://twitter.com/dara_project
 
Description International Innovation Article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Hoare wrote an article for International Innovation online magazine that outlined the premise of the DARA project to policymakers and funders. The way that radio astronomy training can be used to upskill the population in African countries and increase STEM take up using ODA funding from Newton project was described.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.internationalinnovation.com/space-new-frontier-star-enterprise/
 
Description International Year of Light 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Hoare gave a talk at the IYL event in Accra, Ghana on the AVN project and the use of radio astronomy training as a vehicle for development.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.light2015.org/Home/Event-Programme/2015/Conference/Africa-Regional-Conference-under-the-t...
 
Description SSPI Podcast 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Podcast with the Director of Research at Space & Satellite Professionals, Lou Zacharilla on the occasion of DARA winning the SSPI Better Satellite World award in 2018. Interview with Prof Melvin Hoare (DARA PI), MR Ian Jones (CEO, Goonhilly Earth Sation Ltd) and DARA PhD students Naomi Frimpong and Saul Piri. Audience is mostly from the space and satellite industry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description STFC press release 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Online article on STFC website by one of the South African funded PhD students as part of the DARA project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.stfc.ac.uk/news-events-and-publications/features/reaching-for-the-stars/
 
Description School Outreach Event Mwembeshi Zambia 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Mark Thompson (Herts) and local staff trained their cohort of students in various hands on activities for radio astronomy and then delivered them in an afternoon visit to the school close to the Mwembeshi dish that will eventually become part of the AVN network.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description The Conversation article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Article by one of the DARA PhD students for The Conversation online magazine.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://theconversation.com/from-rural-kenya-to-a-phd-in-astronomy-how-partnerships-made-it-possible-...
 
Description Video interfiew at SKA Science Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Online video interview with Hoare about the DARA project
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.periscope.tv/w/1YqGoVaZyrBKv