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ALMA Ambassadors Program

by Dong-Chan Kim last modified Oct 26, 2020 by George Privon

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


2020 ALMA 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 year ALMA Call for Proposals. The ALMA Ambassador Program provides training and up to $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 a local ALMA expert.

The NAASC will sponsor selected postdocs at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia the week of 15 February 2021 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 selected 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. Ambassadors will also make themselves available to help their local community between the call for proposals and the deadline. Ambassadors may also be asked to provide support for NRAO Community day events and to participate as Technical Secretaries in the ALMA Review Panels.

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. Up to 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.

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

Postdocs with some radio or sub-mm interferometry experience are preferred. Postdocs must be based at a North American institution. We will also consider multiple applicants from the same institution/region, especially from geographic regions with high density astronomical communities. Applicants may propose to organize a workshop at their home institute or another institute. Proposals for non-home institutes should include a justification in the application.

Applications for the 2021 ALMA Cycle 8 Ambassadors Program are now closed.

Note about COVID-19: We are currently planning to hold the ALMA Ambassadors training in-person at NRAO the week of 15 February 2021. We also plan for the Ambassadors' workshops to be held in person. However, we continue to monitor the situation and may convert events to a virtual format if warranted. If you have concerns or questions please contact us at .

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.