Facilities > ALMA/NAASC > ALMA Ambassadors Program

ALMA Ambassadors Program

by Dong-Chan Kim last modified Oct 28, 2021 by George Privon

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

The North American ALMA Science Center (NAASC) supports the ALMA Ambassador Fellows Program in preparation for each year's ALMA Call for Proposals. The ALMA Ambassador Program provides training and up to $10,000 research grant (details below) to postdoctoral researchers, senior graduate students, and early career researchers interested in expanding their ALMA/interferometry expertise and sharing that knowledge with their home institutions. ALMA Ambassadors will:

  • Organize and support a proposal preparation workshop or a data processing/analysis workshop,
  • Participate in a workshop hosted by the NAASC to receive training on proposal preparation and/or data analysis, as well as presentation techniques. This workshop will also include a science symposium for Ambassadors to present their research to the Charlottesville astronomical community,
  • Support their local community with ALMA proposal preparation and data analysis,
  • Assist the NAASC in supporting the North American ALMA community. This may include activities such as: participation in ALMA proposal reviews (e.g., review of Student Observing Support applications, serving as Technical Secretaries for ALMA Review Panels) and participation in the NRAO Synthesis Imaging Workshop
Applications for the ALMA Cycle 9 / 2022 ALMA Ambassadors program are now closed. Submitted applications are under evaluation.
Cycle 8 2021 ALMA Ambassadors Virtual Training
Cycle 8 2021 ALMA Ambassadors during their virtual training in February 2021.

Program Objectives

ALMA Ambassadors have focused on training the North American community in the preparation of observing proposals for the main ALMA proposal call, including discussion of radio interferometry basics and the updated capabilities of ALMA. Beginning in this cycle, Ambassadors will also have the option to support the ALMA user community via training in data processing and analysis techniques.

ALMA Ambassador Training Workshop

The NAASC will sponsor selected Ambassadors at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia the week of 14 February 2022 to receive in depth training. This mandatory training will include topics related to ALMA proposal writing, including interferometry basics, ALMA science capabilities, recent ALMA results, and use of the Observing Tool, as well as guidance with speaking on these topics. The selected Ambassadors 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) 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 events (e.g., the Synthesis Imaging Summer School) and to participate in proposal evaluation processes.

Ambassador Science Symposium

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.

Program Support and Grants

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 Ambassadors' 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 to support students or summer researchers.

Eligibility and Requirements

Applicants may be postdoctoral researchers, senior graduate students, or other early career researchers based at an institution in North America. 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. Experience with radio or sub-mm interferometry is preferred but not required.

The application window for the ALMA Cycle 9 / 2022 Ambassadors Program is now closed.

Previous Ambassador Events

Current ALMA Ambassadors and Community Day events (as well as information on past 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.

2020 ALMA Ambassadors during their training in February 2020 at the NRAO headquarters in Charlottesville, VA


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cycle 8 2021 Ambassadors and Community Day events were held in a virtual format. The 2021 ALMA Ambassadors Events have concluded but information and slides are available here.

In order to protect NRAO staff and visitors from the COVID-19 virus while visiting our facilities, all visitors must be vaccinated against the virus. As a result, Ambassadors will be required to have a vaccination in order to visit the NAASC to participate in the training workshop. Ambassadors will be asked to provide information on their vaccination status prior to their visit.

We continue to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation. We plan to hold training and Ambassador events in-person, with a small virtual component. However, if the situation warrants, events will be moved to a virtual format. If you have concerns or questions please contact us at .