Research Program

Based on a careful analysis of strengths and opportunities, we aim to complement effectively the existing research lines, and to increase their impact exploiting their synergies. The research program is structured in four Action Lines: 

1) Positioning, 

2) Synergies, 

3) Communication and Outreach, and 

4) Coordination, Management and Vision.

We have selected five international initiatives led by IFCA researchers with an excellence partnership, and decided to plan an Action line for POSITIONING them supporting their activity through co-funding the required additional resources:

  • The ATHENA (Advanced Telescope for High Energy Astrophysics) project. In 2014 ESA selected Athena, a new generation X-ray observatory, as its next large science mission due for launch in early 2030s. 
  • The High Luminosity phase of the Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC) AT CERN. The upgrade of the accelerator and detectors, in particular the CMS detector. This initiative, foreseen to be fully committed by 2026, was approved by CERN Council in 2016 and integrated in the EU ESFRI roadmap, it is already in an intensive R&D phase.
  • The POL-CMB (polarisation of the Cosmic Microwave Background) project, for probing cosmic origins through a high sensitivity survey of the microwave polarization. It will be done with the next generation of ground-based experiments including QUIJOTE and space-based post-Planck initiatives like LiteBIRD (JAXA) or CORE (ESA/ISRO).
  • Two international initiatives led by the research lines on advanced computing and on meteorology and data mining, connected to the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and to CORDEX, the coordinated regional climate downscaling experiment, in relation to the Climate Change Service of COPERNICUS, the EU flagship programme on monitoring the Earth environment.

SYNERGIES profits from the IFCA unique composition of research groups, is to support the exploration of multidisciplinary challenges exploiting the synergies among research lines. Two initiatives are launched, around the "Nature of the Hidden Constituents of the Universe" and the development of "Data Science frameworks to address Big Data problems in Open Science". Different research lines are already collaborating in activities like the joint organization of specific workshops, or the organization of two new official masters in these areas, both coordinated by IFCA under the umbrella of CSIC/UIMP and UC.  

COMMUNICATION and OUTREACH addresses the need to strengthen the visibility of the institute and the relationship with society to secure the necessary support for a successful completion of our vision. Embedding science in the everyday culture and enlarging societal awareness are key components of our Outreach activities. 

To assure the coherence of the whole project we included the four Action Line integrating COORDINATION, MANAGEMENT, and VISION activities, aiming to reinforce the current administrative support, and also track and report project activities. A reinforced management structure will assure a global view of project activities, assuring that the research strategy being implemented is correct, tracking new ideas and proposals, promoting new initiatives, and also involving IFCA External Advisory Board. 

  • Joint Centre with the combined effort of Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and University of Cantabria (UC)

    Instituto de Física de Cantabria
    Edificio Juan Jordá
    Avenida de los Castros, s/n
    E-39005 Santander
    Cantabria, Spain

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