Graduate School for Multimessenger Astronomy

Helmholtz Association funds International Research School

Active galactic nuclei (artist's impression) are cosmic objects that emit various messenger particles. Credit: DESY, Science Communication Lab

The Helmholtz Association is funding an international graduate school for multi-messenger astronomy, which DESY is organising together with the Humboldt University Berlin, the University of Potsdam and the Israeli Weizmann Institute of Science. The concept convinced the reviewers in a two-stage selection process. Multi-messenger astronomy is the term used to describe the observation of the universe via various messengers such as light and other electromagnetic radiation, particles such as neutrinos and gravitational waves. The combination of such observations allows new insights into high-energy phenomena such as star explosions and cosmic particle accelerators.

The “International Helmholtz-Weizmann Research School for Multi-messenger Astronomy” is funded for six years with a total of 1.8 million euros from the Helmholtz Association's Initiative and Networking Fund. The graduate school is to form the foundation stone for structured doctoral training in the field of astroparticle physics at DESY and also strengthens the partnership with the Weizmann Institute in Israel.

“Multi-messenger astronomy is a rapidly developing field that provides us with previously unattainable insights into the high-energy universe. I am pleased that the international doctoral school is expanding DESY's focus on multi-messenger astronomy,” says Christian Stegmann, head of the DESY site in Zeuthen.

Initiator Marek Kowalski, Leading Scientist at DESY, sees the school as an internationally unique opportunity for doctoral students: “The multi-messenger School brings together experts for the various messenger particles and combines the experience of scientists from experiment and theory. From optical light to hard gamma radiation and from neutrinos to gravitational waves, we cover all aspects. This offers students an outstanding starting position in future projects of multi-messenger astronomy.”

A longer research stay in the respective partner country is planned within the framework of the graduate school in order to gain international experience at an early stage. An annual meeting of all students will ensure a strong network. Speakers of the new graduate school are Marek Kowalski for DESY, David Berge for Humboldt University, Huirong Yan for Potsdam University and Eli Waxman for the Weizmann Institute. The first call for applications is scheduled for spring 2019.