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Particle Physics Town Meeting 2010. John Womersley Director, Science Programmes March 2010. Outline. Programme Prioritisation and implementation Particle Physics Grants New Accelerator Centre at Daresbury Drayson/Sterling Review of STFC UK Space Agency

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particle physics town meeting 2010

Particle Physics Town Meeting 2010

John Womersley

Director, Science Programmes

March 2010



Programme Prioritisation and implementation

Particle Physics Grants

New Accelerator Centre at Daresbury

Drayson/Sterling Review of STFC

UK Space Agency

Comprehensive Spending Review

programme prioritisation1
Programme Prioritisation

Focuses support on highest priorities within each area

Support (at reduced funding levels) the following projects:

  • Particle Physics
    • ATLAS + upgrade, CMS + upgrade, and LHCb at LHC, GridPP, T2K, SuperNEMO, neutron EDM, IPPP at Durham
  • Nuclear physics
    • NUSTAR at FAIR
programme prioritisation2
Programme Prioritisation
  • Astronomy
    • ESO telescopes (VLT, VISTA and ALMA), R&D for ELT and SKA; KMOS, Dark Energy Survey, SuperWASP, operation of ING, and JCMT (SCUBA2) to 2012
  • Space
    • Aurora, Cosmic Vision (including LISA, LISA Pathfinder and Solar Orbiter missions), GAIA, Rosetta, Bepi-Colombo, Herschel, Planck and JWST (MIRI) missions, post-launch support for Swift, Stereo and Hinode
  • Particle Astrophysics
    • Gravitational wave searches
programme prioritisation3
Programme Prioritisation
  • Increased support for Diamond
    • though not as much as the full aspiration
  • ISIS
    • though not as much as the full aspiration
  • ILL
    • Flat cash
  • ESRF
    • Reduced UK share after 2016/7 as Diamond 
  • Vulcan – 10 PW upgradeHiPER – 2010 fusion review
programme prioritisation4
Programme Prioritisation
  • Balances the budget from 11/12 onwards (flat cash)
  • Supports campuses and gateway centres
  • Supports new accelerator centre at DL
    • also Cockcroft Institute and MICE
  • Assumes international subscriptions all held to flat cash
    • except ESRF (2016) as Diamond 
    • any ESO subscription growth for ELT will be found within the astronomy programme
  • Reduces funding for studentships and fellowshipsby 25% across the board
particle physics advisory panel
Particle Physics advisory panel
  • Highest Priority:ATLAS and CMS exploitation and upgrades; LHCb exploitation; nEDM,eEDM,T2K,theory
  • Involvement essential:Direct dark-matter search experiments;LHCb upgrade; Linear Collideraccelerator and detector R&D;neutrino detector R&D/neutrino factory accelerator R&D;Neutrinoless double-beta decay;CDF/D0
  • Limited involvement:High-precision muon experiments;MINOS;NA62
  • Future opportunities:High-luminosity flavour factory; Future high-precision kaon experiments; LHeC; Muon collider
  • Involvement not foreseen:CNGS; Precision charm experiments; g – 2; Belle; MEG; Nova; Precision neutrino mass experiments; Reactor neutrino experiments.

Projects supported

Roll-out of commitments or limited support

particle astrophysics advisory panel
Particle Astrophysics advisory panel
  • Essential: Gamma rays, Neutrinos, Dark Matter, Gravitational Waves
  • Essential for exploitation of current facilities: CMB-Polarisation, Cosmic rays
  • Encourage innovative ideas and support for small projects: Inverse Square Law test, eEDM

Projects supported

Roll-out of commitments or limited support


Feedback letters sent to all PIs.

PPAN and PALS reports released at These include the feedback on each project.

internal savings
Internal savings
  • This plan is predicated on internal savings:
    • 20% of savings in 2010-11 will come from internal cuts to operational budgets and staffing costs (£11M)
    • Reductions in programme support will also affect staff within STFC departments who are funded as part of project grants
  • Ongoing efficiency gains each year to re-invest in science
  • Essential that STFC delivers on these

We have completed a thorough reprioritisation of STFC’s programme, starting with community consultation.We will support only the highest priority items in each area. This requires some painful reductions in support - in all the areas of science supported by STFC. STFC has presented an affordable, sustainable plan within a constrained budget. The programme priorities give us a firm basis for prudent planning in tough times to come.

new accelerator centre
New Accelerator Centre
  • The centre will focus on accelerator science and technology development
    • for future major scientific facilities
    • for the broader applications of accelerators in novel areas such as security, energy, and medicine.
  • Accelerator workshop held in Swindon in June 2009 identified many opportunities in both areas, but no clear mechanism to take forward
  • Centre will seek partnerships and external funding to enable this mission
  • Focus on applications will complement Cockcroft which is perhaps more academic in focus
    • but co-location should lead to strong partnership
  • Will work closely with new Security Futures Centre
  • Gateway centre role
  • Need a name for the centre
    • National Centre for Accelerator Applications?
broader accelerator strategy
Broader Accelerator Strategy
  • In addition to the new accelerator centre (including ALICE and EMMA), STFC will continue to support
    • The Cockcroft Institute
    • The John Adams Institute

subject to successful review of a new proposal after 2012

    • high power proton driver R&D
    • the MICE experiment at RAL.
implementation 1
Implementation - 1
  • We expect all existing ASTeC staff to transition to the new centre
  • We expect (almost?) all Photon Science Dept staff at DL to transfer, and possibly some Technology Dept staff later
  • We foresee that the centre will occupy the ASTeC office space in the CI building
  • Centre will operate ALICE and EMMA as a test facility
    • allow ALICE operation for science if self-funded
  • 2010/11 budgets have been set on this basis
alice r d @ daresbury rf srf high brightness e gun laser ns ffag vacuum cryogenics diagnostics
ALICE R&D @ Daresbury (RF, SRF, High Brightness E-Gun, Laser, NS-FFAG, Vacuum, Cryogenics, Diagnostics)

Existing accelerators



Generically applicable






MEIS and High Power


Front End Ion Source


High brightness E-gun


Laser Source/Diagnostics




accelerator r d @ daresbury rf srf high brightness e gun laser proton vacuum cryogenics diagnostics

Future potential

Accelerator R&D @ Daresbury (RF, SRF, High Brightness E-Gun, Laser, Proton, Vacuum, Cryogenics, Diagnostics)

Vacuum Support


Laser Room

Control Room

High Brightness

Injector Test Facility

SRF Module and Security R&D Facility

Advanced X-Ray Source (Security, Energy, Health)




Laser & Plasma





SRF Cleanroom and Processing




High Current





Existing enclosure

Existing AND being utilised/implemented right now

  • PP experimental grants are now in process of being issued
    • for 2+2 years from 1 October 2010.
  • Grant funding level follows PPAN recommendations
  • Following council’s guidance, LHC upgrade non-core posts will not be issued until the schedule and priority of the GPD upgrades is better understood.
    • Input from PPAN and from CERN
  • PP theory – Proceeding with very small standard grant round this year
grants review
Grants Review
  • Council has asked us to review the rolling grant mechanisms and process
    • Concern that PP system is overly complex
    • Many outside STFC appear to believe rolling grants are “outmoded”, are “entitlements” etc.
  • Will set up a small panel with outside members
  • TOR being drafted
studentships and fellowships
Studentships and fellowships

2010 studentship allocations announced – 235 studentships, a 10% reduction.

2010 Advanced fellowships offered – 12 fellowships, no reduction

Cancellation of the postdoctoral fellowships protected the studentships and advanced fellowships from an expected 25% reduction.

Consultation underway on balance of Studentships vs. Advanced fellows vs. Postdoctoral fellows for future years.

impact on universities
Impact on Universities
  • By the end of any transition period, there will have been a significant reduction in grants and projects support for universities
    • In addition to the 25% grant reductions from CSR 07
  • We will work with the universities, Funding Councils, EPSRC and other stakeholders, to understand the impact on physics departments and ensure that physics in the UK remains vibrant
    • BIS report Higher Ambitions – the Future of Universities in a Knowledge Economy (2009): “We must use scarce resources well. In future this should mean more research concentration, not less, especially in the high cost scientific disciplines.”
announcement from lord drayson
Announcement from Lord Drayson

“...there are real tensions in having international science projects, large scientific facilities and UK grant giving roles within a single RC. It leads to grants being squeezed by increases in costs of the large international projects which are not solely within their control. I will work urgently with Professor Sterling, STFC and the wider research community to find a better solution by the end of February 2010.”

Lord Drayson 16 December 2009

input to the review
Input to the review
  • Michael Sterling met with Lord Drayson, BIS, other Research Coucil chairs & CEOs, astronomy & physics Heads of Departments, RAS forum, IOP, Wellcome.
  • Input to BIS on programme spend by subject by year – past and planned future, international subscriptions, facilities.
  • Independent input from community, other organisations.
  • Formal submission from Michael Sterling to Lord Drayson with recommendations.
lord drayson s announcement on 4 march
Lord Drayson’s announcement on 4 March

International subscriptions:

  • ‘For the remainder of this spending review, 2010/11, the Department expects to continue to provide STFC with a level of protection similar to that which has been provided this year and last in respect of the additional costs of international subscriptions due to exchange rate changes’
  • ‘From the next spending review onwards, BIS is looking at options for managing the currency risks better. BIS is working closely with the Bank of England on how to reduce the exposure of the STFC’
what does this mean in practice
What does this mean in practice?
  • For 10/11, it means STFC has to find the first £3M of any fluctuation due to NNI and exchange rate, and we should get compensation for any additional requirement.
  • This assumption was already built into the prioritisation planning.
  • From 11/12 onwards we may have full compensation but mechanism not agreed. Still potentially a risk to the Science Budget.
lord drayson s announcement on 4 march1
Lord Drayson’s announcement on 4 March

National facilities

  • ‘From 2011/12, RCUK will work with STFC to agree the availability and support requirements for our large domestic facilities, Diamond, the Central Laser Facility and ISIS, at the beginning of each CSR period, with indicative planning covering the subsequent spending period, a total of some six years. 
  • The funding for the delivery of these agreed requirements will be allocated separately to STFC by BIS starting from the beginning of the next spending round, 1st April 2011, and will be managed independently from the remainder of its budget allocation.  This will further increase STFC’s planning ability and will separate the funding of these facilities from STFC’s grant-giving function’. 
work on this started before the review
Work on this started before the review

BIS asked the Research Councils to look at future funding arrangements for facilities in July 2009. Defined as the UK based facilities - CLF, ISIS and Diamond.

Cross Council discussions led by RDG.

Developed key principles that a good funding option would need to address:

how to best target science and extract the most benefit from large scale research facilities

how to optimise the operation

how to choose and manage the acquisition of large scale research facilities.

rcuk has agreed the following aims
RCUK has agreed the following aims

Funders understand the operating costs and the drivers of costs at all stages for each facility – open book accounting

Funders agree the desirable levels of long term support, but also regular reviews to allow for changes if needed

Enable funders to commit to costs before demand is established but negotiate extra access at cost if level of demand changes

Allow appropriate access by international researchers and UK researchers who do not currently hold Research Council grants

No change to concept of the capital costs being funded from the Large Facilities Capital Fund

what does this mean in practice1
What does this mean in practice?

Required capability and funding for each facility agreed at the beginning of each CSR period, with indicative planning for additional 3 years (3 + 3 model).

This funding to be allocated by BIS to STFC on a ring fenced basis.

RCUK Implementation group to be established to fill in the (many) details e.g. upgrade / replacement funding, international access, access for non grant holders.

New model to begin April 2011.

uk space agency
UK Space Agency
  • Announcement by Lord Drayson in December 2009 that there will be a new executive agency to replace BNSC and bring together the six Government Departments, two Research Councils, TSB and the Met Office.
  • Launch event 23 March 2010 – Lords Mandelson and Drayson
uk space agency1
UK Space Agency
  • Agency to come into being on 1 April 2010
  • Additional funding announced for the International Space Innovation Centre (ISIC) at Harwell - £12M from the BIS Strategic Investment Fund, total cost £40M. Co-located with the ESA centre at Harwell.
  • Space Agency to take over ESA subscription, and to represent the UK internationally
  • Manage major EU projects including GMES, Galileo and the EU satellite centre.
  • Space science grants to be “dual-key” STFC+UKSA
  • CEO to be recruited.
csr preparation
CSR preparation
  • Discussed at STFC Council in March 2010
  • Will start to develop scenarios (good and bad)
  • Base on the existing PPAN and PALS rankings
  • We are discussing how PPAN, PALS and SB can be involved in the process

Reasons for worry?

  • Public finances

Reasons for optimism?

  • Successful work by the community to make science an election agenda item and raise its profile
    • Thanks - and please keep it up
  • Opportunities offered by LHC, etc.
  • We have good arguments
  • Drayson Review and Space Agency means we are starting from a blank-ish slate
understanding the universe
Understanding the Universe

In the next decade:

  • Our new ground and space-based astronomical observatories will help to reveal the large scale structure of the Universe and better understand the nature of dark matter and dark energy
  • Our experiments at the LHC will reveal the basic laws of nature at energies where our current models fail
  • We expect to directly detect, for the first time, gravitational waves from distant cosmic phenomena
  • We will explore the origins of the elements at FAIR
  • We will land a rover on the surface of Mars and search for evidence of life

… and much more


VISTA telescope

Accepted by ESO December 2009

prioritisation process
Prioritisation Process
  • in October Science Board defined target funding envelopes for each panel:
  • Each panel was also asked to explore ±£10M scenarios
A small strategic shift of resources driven by the goal of supporting the fuller exploitation of our facilities, and maximising the impact of major public investments.

Strategic Initiatives


STFC Facilities

Grants, projects, students


rcuk 14m

Research Councils UK agreed that the other Research Councils will make up to £14M available to STFC from within the Science and Research Budget.

This exceptional action, in FY2010-11 only, will assist STFC to move to a sustainable new strategy in line with the level of resource already provided to STFC by Government in CSR07.

In particular it has removed the risk that STFC's existing research grants to universities for scientific exploitation activities would need to be terminated early.