Facilities > ALMA/NAASC > ALMA Ambassadors Program

ALMA Ambassadors Program

by Dong-Chan Kim last modified Aug 13, 2019 by Loreto Barcos

Charlottesville Hands-on ALMA Outreach Event (Apr 26-27 & May 9-10, 2011)


2019 ALMA Cycle 7 Ambassadors during their training in February at the NRAO headquarters in Charlottesville, VA

The North American ALMA Science Center (NAASC) supports the ALMA Ambassador Postdoctoral Fellows Program in preparation for the ALMA Call for Proposals every year. The ALMA Ambassador Program provides training and a $10,000 research grant (other forms of payment are available, see below) to postdoctoral researchers interested in expanding their ALMA/interferometry expertise and sharing that knowledge with their home institutions through the organization of ALMA proposal preparation workshops and by serving as the local ALMA expert.

The NAASC will sponsor selected postdocs at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia on February 11-13, 2020 to receive in depth training.  This mandatory training will include topics related to ALMA proposal writing; including interferometry basics, ALMA science capabilities, recent ALMA headlines, and use of the Observing Tool, as well as guidance with speaking on these topics. The postdocs must host a proposal preparation workshop at either their home institution, or an institution they propose, (similar to an abbreviated version of Community Day and NRAO Live! events from previous observing cycles) in advance of the ALMA proposal deadline in April, as well as make themselves available to help their local community between the call for proposals and the deadline. ALMA Ambassadors will need to provide feedback about the program and their events within a month after the ALMA deadline. This will help the NAASC improve the ALMA Ambassadors program, and our communication to users. Another responsibilities of the ambassadors may include to provide support in NRAO Community day events and to participate as Technical Secretaries in the ALMA Review Panels of the corresponding cycle (while the observatory moves toward the distributed peer review model).

The NAASC will provide travel support for the training, as well as all talk materials, supplies, and infrastructure for the ALMA Ambassador workshops, including live support from NAASC staff during the workshops themselves. A \$10,000 monetary grant is offered in support of the selected postdocs' independent research programs. If the awardee is not able to receive the monetary grant, the NAASC can offer up to \$10,000 in science travel reimbursement (must be used within 12 months of training) or up to \$10,000 for the host institution to support students or summer researchers.

In order to promote the Ambassadors own science among the local astronomical community, they will be asked to participate of a poster session hosted by the NAASC and open to NRAO scientific staff, and UVa astronomers and students, during the training in February.  

Postdocs with some radio or sub-mm interferometry experience are preferred. Postdocs must be based at a North American institution. Although not required, we will consider multiple postdoctoral applicants from the same institution/region, especially from more highly concentrated places. If applicants want to host a workshop in a different place from their host  institution, they will need to justify and explain their choice.

Application for the 2020 ALMA Cycle 8 Ambassadors Program is now OPEN.

Click here for the application

Please send completed application and current resume to Katelyn Sevin () no later than October 21st, 2019 (5PM ET).

If interested in learning more about the training we are offering, regardless of requirements, please contact Loreto Barcos-Munoz (lbarcos@nrao.edu)
to discuss possible opportunities. 

Previous and current ALMA Ambassadors and Community Day events can be found here.  Although the NAASC aims to host Community Day events in new locations each year, ALMA capabilities are continuously evolving and so revisiting a location is always a possibility; we encourage all interested scientists to apply.