The ECOGAL project unites four research groups in Europe at the forefront in observational astronomy, numerical astrophysics, instrument development, and astroinformatics. The ERC grant funding will create about 30 jobs for postdoctoral fellows, PhD students, and other staff in the grantees' research team over the six years project duration.
The primary science goal of ECOGAL is to build a unifying predictive model of star and planet formation in our galaxy, the Milky Way. The participating researchers will analyse data coming from several large observing campaigns with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and a multitude of smaller programmes, totalling to more than 1000 hours of observing time. Part of the funding will be used to provide new components for the future ALMA Band 2 receivers — the highly sensitive detectors that will be installed on each of ALMA’s 66 antennas — which is a longer-term benefit for astronomers observing with this telescope.
The European Research Council (ERC) is the foremost European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. ERC synergy grants are awarded to small teams of excellent researchers whose host institutions are based in Europe. Worth in total €363 million in 2019, these special grants will enable groups of two to four top researchers to bring together complementary skills, knowledge and resources in one research project with the goal of tackling some of the most complex research problems, often spanning multiple scientific disciplines.
European Southern Observatory
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