National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS
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Site Visit 2017

The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) has decided to grant a 4-year extension to PlanetS running from 2018 to 2022. This decision is based upon the excellent report by the international review panel who visited the NCCR on June 8 and 9, 2017 at the University of Bern. The panel listened to talks, discussed with NCCR members and visited the Icelab, the Visualization lab, the Mass Spectrometer lab, and the CHEOPS lab.

At the third site visit, PlanetS not only had to report about the achievements of the first three years, but also present its vision for the future. To allow for a more flexible and innovative use of its resources, the NCCR management wants to reorganise the structure and organisation of the program. So far, the research is grouped into seven different projects. In the future, there will be only three domains labelled «Early stages of planet formation», «Planetary systems architectures, formation & evolution», and «Atmospheres, surfaces and interiors». «Each domain has a spokesperson,» Willy Benz explained: «It’s the new generation who is now speaking.»

In the pre-proposal for the next phase which had to be submitted already at the end of February 2017, the NCCR had to include different scenarios according to whether the budget will remain the same, increase or decrease. Using the feedback received from the panel, the coming months will be dedicated to further sharpening the various new ideas in time for the submission of the full proposal due end of February 2018. A special two-day meeting of the Board and the future project leaders dedicated to this task is already planned for November 7-8. «Fall will be extremely busy,» says Willy Benz. The level of funding will be decided based on this full-proposal.

Talking about astronomy
Witnessing the great transit
Categories: Internal Newsletter

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