The Ministry of Science and Innovation published yesterday the provisional resolution of the qualification of the Centres and Units of Excellence, granting the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias the recognition as a Centre of Excellence for the third consecutive time.
The National Research Agency (AEI for its Spanish initials), which depends on the Ministry of Science and Innovation, has published the provisional resolution awarding the new Qualifications of the Severo Ochoa Centres of Excellence, whose aim is to recognize, reward, and promote high level scientific research at the Spanish Centres and Units which have a high level of excellence in their international fields. The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias is among those awarded this qualification, which implies renewal, making it one of the 6 Spanish research centres which have obtained this seal of excellence on 3 occasions (the maximum number posible since the creation of the Programme of Institutional Reinforcement).
The titles ‘Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence’ and ‘María de Maezu Unit of Excellence’ are aimed at improving the capacity of high level research centres, to organize and carry out their research work, improve their strategies to attract, appoint, train and retain tallent, improve relations with other centres of reference, and popularize the results of their investigation to the general public. The process of evaluation and selection is carried out independently by an international scientific committee, comprising researchers of recognized prestige and impact.
Four more years of excellence
The Qualification as a “Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence” is valid for four years, and entails the assignation of grants valued at 4 million euros per year during this period. The award will allow the implementation of a cutting edge Research Programme, and a Human Resources Programme an international level, by incorporating into the IAC a dozen of postdoctoral researchers, several engineers and managers, complemented by some fifteen predoctoral students during the period 2020-2023.
In this new four year period, the IAC will put emphasis on the development of its line of Astrophysical Instrumentation, and the lines of research in Solar Physics; Exploration of the diversity of Planetary System; Physics of Stars and the Interstellar Medium; the Milky Way and the Local Group; the Evolution of Galaxies and High Energy Astrophysics and Cosmology.
The requirements, the levels demanded, the criteria and the procedures for evaluation and selection related to scientific excellence do not make distinctions between the Centres and the Units, which have been selected for their scientific results and for their strategic programmes after a rigorous evaluation by international scientists of recognized prestige.