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Solar System Advisory Panel

The purpose of the Advisory Panel is to provide a link between Science Board and the 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 their area.


  • Chair: Ineke de Moortel – University of St Andrews
  • Deputy Chair Jonathan Eastwood – Imperial College London
  • Mark Burchell – University of Kent at Canterbury
  • Yvonne Elsworth – University of Birmingham
  • Prof John Bridges  - University of Leicester 
  • Dr Richard Morton – University of Northumbria
  • Dr Suzie Imber – University of Leicester
  • Dr Ashley King – Natural History Museum

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.

SSAP Roadmap documents

Solar Physics Facilities Review: 2017 - 2025+

A review of solar physics facilities has been undertaken by specialists working in this area, including the Chair of the SSAP.

Exoplanets UK research review 2014/15

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

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

The Solar System Advisory Panel (SSAP) invited community input to the Balance of Programmes Exercise 2016 (BoP1) via a questionnaire with a deadline of 25th August 2016. Following the consultation, the final version of the SSAP 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 on our research programmes page

The Solar System Advisory Panel (SSAP) received a total of 29 project summaries in response to the 2018 Priority Projects exercise.  A list of the SSAP projects (where permission to publish has been given) is available in this document.

Astronomy Programme Evaluation

The Solar System and Astronomy Advisory Panels (SSAP and AAP) were invited to provide input to the Astronomy Programme Evaluation which would feed into the next STFC Balance of Programmes Review (BoP2) .  Both panels requested community input via questionnaires with a deadline of 28th November 2018.  More information regarding the process and the resulting evaluation reports for all of the PPAN research disciplines can be found here.

Last updated: 19 April 2021


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