MPIA Research Group obtains competitive research funding for German-Australian Cooperation

November 17, 2022

The independent Lise Meitner group of Maria Bergemann at MPIA has successfully obtained funding in a competitive program by the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD. It is aimed at strengthening scientific ties between German and Australian institutions.

The German Academic Exchange Service’s “Programm des Projektbezogenen Personenaustauschs Australien 2023–2025,” literally the “Program of project-related exchange of Personnel with Australia 2023–2025” is aimed at allowing world-class researchers from Australia and Germany to collaborate on joint projects. The selection process is highly competitive – to qualify for funding, the project needs to pass a scientific review in both countries. The program is open for projects from all of the humanities and sciences and has a sizeable applicant pool. The Australian side of the program is funded by Universities Australia.

The project by Maria Bergemann’s group at MPIA in partnership with Ashley Ruiter at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, “Uncovering the Galaxy’s history of thermonuclear nucleosynthesis with spectroscopic surveys,” is the only astronomy project among the 45 projects approved for funding. It pairs the strengths of two world-class groups: Bergemann’s group includes leading researchers in the field of spectral modeling and chemical abundance analysis of stars – creating reliable physical models that link the physics of a star’s atmosphere with the properties of the star’s spectrum. The groups of Ruiter and co-investigator Seitenzahl at UNSW specialize in binary evolution, supernovae type Ia, modeling, nucleosynthesis, and stellar population synthesis. The groups jointly receive on the order of 40.000 Euros to be used for extended research visits of the partner groups to Germany and to Australia over a period of two years.

Maria Bergemann says: “For us, especially for the Ph.D. students involved (from MPIA: Philipp Eitner and Nicholas Storm), this is a great unique opportunity to carry out an exciting cross-disciplinary research project in close collaboration with our Australian colleagues. The joint effort strengthens the ties between the partner institutes and paves the way towards the scientific exploitation of next-generation astronomical facilities, such as 4MOST, in which we have a leading role here at MPIA.”

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