LJMU scientists secure £1.2m grant to study explosions and huge stars in deep space

The Science and Technology Facilities Council has awarded the cash to the Astrophysics Research Institute  at the university as it cements its position as a global leader in astrophysics. Tony McDonough reports

Liverpool John Moores University researchers have secured a £1.2m grant


Scientists at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) will study massive stars and explosions in outer space after securing a £1.2m research grant.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) has awarded the cash to the Astrophysics Research Institute (ARI) at the university and their key projects will include:

  • The evolution of massive stars and their subsequent stellar explosions as supernovae
  • Observations of the polarised light from some of the most energetic explosions in the Universe, work which follows on from the successful Liverpool Telescope observations of gamma-ray bursts
  • Studying the star formation activity in the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy 

Professor Chris Collins, head of the ARI said: “This Consolidated Grant renewal will maintain our current funding until 2021 as well as LJMU’s reputation as a global leader in astrophysics.

“This is fantastic news for the ARI, with the acknowledgment from the STFC panel that much of our research and public engagement work is at an internationally leading level.”

The STFC panel said that LJMU’s application reflected the rapid growth of the ARI and the strong support it receives from the wider university.

The review panel commented that a particular highlight in the research of ARI is the group’s access to the Liverpool Telescope and time-domain science that this enables.

Funds were also awarded to the ARI to directly support outreach and public engagement for research supported on the Consolidated Grant through links with schools and the National Schools’ Observatory.

This follows on from a recent £1m investment from the STFC for a new Centre for Doctoral Training in data intensive science.


LIVDAT is a partnership between LJMU and the University of Liverpool which will address the science data skills need, by supporting 20 PhD students, who will be trained to analyse data from astrophysics, accelerator science, nuclear or particle physics research, as well as to problems posed by industry and other organisations.

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