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Astronomy Advisory Panel

The purpose of the Advisory Panel is to provide a link between Science Board and the astronomy community, and represent the needs of the community to STFC. The remit of the panel includes Technology Development, Theory, High Performance Computing and Data Curation issues within its area.


  • Prof Stephen Serjeant (Chair), Open University
  • Prof James Bolton, University of Nottingham
  • Dr Poshak Gandhi, University of Southampton
  • Prof Christiane Helling, University of St Andrews
  • Prof Paolo Mazzali, Liverpool John Moores University
  • Prof Ben Stappers, University of Manchester
  • Dr Noelia Noël, University of Surrey
  • Dr Aprajita Verma, University of Oxford

Terms of reference

The Advisory Panel is tasked to:

  • Maintain an overview of activities within the area;
  • Develop and maintain a science vision and long term strategy /roadmap by assessing the merit of current and future science opportunities;
  • Develop and maintain a technology roadmap for their area of research;
  • Consult and interact with the community to ensure its views are canvassed and there is an appropriate and effective route for communication with STFC on strategic programmatic issues;
  • Provide advice to Science Board on specific questions as requested;
  • Liaise with other Advisory Panels when appropriate.

The Advisory Panel is required to report on these activities to Science Board on a regular basis. The science strategy developed by the Advisory Panel will be used by Science Board as input to ongoing strategy development and in future Programmatic Reviews.

Programmatic Review 2012 – Community Consultation

The Astronomy Advisory Panel (AAP) invited community input to the 2012 STFC programmatic review via a questionnaire, the deadline for which was 5th September 2012. This was followed by a Town Meeting held on 18th September 2012 at UCL. The resulting draft AAP report to the 2012-13 STFC Programmatic Review was made available to the community for comment via a web form with a deadline of midday of Thursday 25th October 2012. Following the consultation, the final version of the report was submitted on 1 November 2012.

Exoplanets UK research review 2014/15:

A review of exoplanet research in the UK being undertaken by members of the AAP and SSAP, along with specialists working in this area.

Input from the Astronomy Advisory Panel to the Balance of Programmes Exercise 2016 (BoP1)

The Astronomy Advisory Panel (AAP) invited community input to the Balance of Programmes Exercise 2016 (BoP1) via a questionnaire with a deadline of 22nd August 2016. Following the consultation, the final version of the AAP report was submitted to the Balance of Programme 2016 (BoP1 )Sub Group in September 2016.

Developing a World class research programme (STFC Priority Projects)

In June 2018, STFC launched the “Developing a World Class Research Programme” consultation to identify potential priorities for future investment.  Following a wide consultation exercise,  a full list of projects, together with their business cases, were reviewed by Science Board, Executive Board and Council.  More information regarding this programme including a link to the full list of proposals selected for inclusion in the resulting portfolio is available at our research programmes page

The Astronomy Advisory Panel (AAP) received a total of 47 project summaries in response to the 2018 Priority Projects exercise.  A list of the AAP projects (where permission to publish has been given) is available in this document.

Last updated: 19 April 2021


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