Isabelle Main

Professor Baraffe is a leading expert in Astrophysics research.

Professor Isabelle Baraffe appointed to Science and Technology Facilities Council

Professor Isabelle Baraffe has been appointed as a new member of the Science and Technology Facilities Council, it has been confirmed.

Professor Baraffe, Head of Astrophysics at the University of Exeter, was announced as one of 10 members of the Council, the senior strategic body of the prominent organisation on Friday, March 23 2018 by the Board of UK Research and Innovation.

She will serve a three-year term on the Council once it comes into effect with the launch of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) on 1 April 2018.

The STFC Council will work with the new Executive Chair, Professor Mark Thomson, to deliver the organisation’s aims and objectives, as well as support UKRI's overall mission to maintain the UK’s world-leading position in research and innovation.

The Council will be responsible for advising and making decisions, as delegated to it by the UK Research and Innovation Board, on scientific, research and innovation matters.

Professor Baraffe said: “I am delighted and honoured to accept this position as member of the Council and play a role in shaping the vibrant research landscape in the UK.

“My research activities in the field of astronomy and astrophysics tackle some of the key scientific challenges of STFC, including understanding our origins and finding out whether or not life exists elsewhere in the Universe.

“My vision of research is perfectly aligned both with the Council’s outlook and with the UKRI’s ambition. I am convinced that top research needs to be performed within a framework of excellence, to be competitive and international, to rely on the most advanced technology and to build strong links across disciplines."

Professor Baraffe is a leading expert in Astrophysics research, focusing on stellar and planetary physics and evolution, and planetary atmospheric dynamics. 

She has been awarded several prizes and distinctions throughout her distinguished career, including an Advanced European Research Council (ERC) grant, a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award and a Bronze medal from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France.

Professor Baraffe also gave the Biermann lectures at the Max-Planck Institut for Astrophysics in Garching in 2015.

Welcoming the announcement Professor Thomson, the STFC Executive Chair Designate said: “I am delighted to welcome the members of the new STFC Council. Their expertise and experience will be invaluable for STFC and will enable STFC to continue to deliver and support world-class research innovation and skills.

“I would also like to express my thanks to Professor Sir Mike Sterling (Chair) and the members of STFC’s previous Council for all their support and hard work for STFC.”

All members will take up their positions from 1 April 2018. The members of the Council will serve terms of between one and four years. These staggered terms will balance continuity with evolving membership of the council in future.

Date: 23 March 2018

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