The Australia-China Consortium for Astrophysical Research (ACAMAR) is a joint Australia-China research centre between the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Australian Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources and AAL to collaborate on areas of common interest within astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology.

Acamar (Eridani) is a bright naked-eye star visible from both Australia and China. Credit: ACAMAR.
ACAMAR5 delegates at the Healesville venue in Melbourne, April 2019. Credit: AAL.

Acamar (Eridani) is a bright naked-eye star visible from both Australia and China.

In Australia, ACAMAR aims to:

  • build upon existing arrangements
  • maximise the scientific return on investment in astronomy infrastructure;
  • develop human capital in the field of astronomy, and
  • enhance our common scientific understanding of the universe.

ACAMAR is currently supporting collaboration on projects connected with The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), SKA and Antarctic Astronomy, but is actively encouraging other opportunities and will facilitate collaborations in other large projects.

AAL took over responsibility for Australian operations of ACAMAR in early 2018, and since then ACAMAR has successfully managed the following events and projects:

  • ACAMAR5 workshop in Melbourne (2019), ACAMAR6 virtual workshop (2020) and ACAMAR7 virtual workshop (2021)
  • ACAMAR Astroinformatics School
  • ACAMAR themed workshops: Radio Astronomy from the Moon, Future of Traditional Survey Science, Fast Radio Bursts, Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer (all in 2021)
  • ACAMAR Visiting Fellowship Scheme
  • ACAMAR SKA PhD Scholarship.

To date more than 20 Chinese PhD students have been awarded SKA Scholarships, allowing them to visit or enrol with selected Australian universities and research institutions. Almost half have completed their studies and two have received funding but are on hold due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. ACAMAR Australia is also working with Chinese counterparts to explore a new PhD scholarship scheme using the Chinese SKA fund.

ACAMAR Visiting Fellowships

The inaugural ACAMAR Visiting Fellowship scheme awarded five successful Chinese applicants to make extended visits to Australia and enhance collaborations on areas of common interest. Successful applicant Professor Di Li, Chief Scientist of the Radio Division at Chinese Academy of Sciences, visited Australia for a month in 2019, spending time at The University of Sydney, CSIRO Marsfield, and The University of Tasmania.