sci19013 — Announcement

Announcing the JWST Master Class Workshops in Europe

An opportunity to learn everything about planning a JWST proposal

23 December 2019

Sarah Kendrew (ESA)

With new telescopes come exciting new opportunities. Technological innovations and state-of-the-art instrumentation hold the promise of scientific breakthroughs, answers to long-standing questions and perhaps unexpected new problems that will stimulate new areas of research. The James Webb Space Telescope carries many such promises — its combination of a 6.5-metre primary mirror and the broad infrared wavelength coverage will break new ground in all areas of astrophysics. But big opportunities come with big challenges. How do we ensure that JWST scientific return is maximised for its community of users? How do we help the science community get ready for its exciting potential, so they can hit the ground running after launch?

For several years, we at ESA have worked hard to prepare the European astronomical community for the JWST. Europe has a significant involvement in the JWST mission, through its main instrument contributions (NIRSPEC and a key contribution to MIRI). The JWST itself will be placed into orbit by an Ariane 5 launcher. The European astronomical community is equally involved and engaged in JWST science, through the instrument teams’ Guaranteed Time Observations and the Early Release Science programs. Of the 13 accepted ERS proposals, five have a European PI or co-PI.

Two dedicated workshops have already taken place at the ESA European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Madrid, introducing the capabilities of the new flagship telescope and its instruments. In February 2020, in parallel with similar efforts in the US, we will host a “JWST Master Class” at ESA/ESAC, inviting community representatives from 15 ESA member states to an intensive 2 ½ day workshop introducing participants to the observing proposal policies and the available proposal tools for the first JWST observing cycle. In addition, the agency will host representatives from Australia, Japan and South Africa to support these countries’ participation in JWST science.

The Master Class will follow a “train the trainer” approach: it will focus on providing participants with the background knowledge and training materials to host workshops in their own local communities. The instructors will introduce them to the Proposal policies for JWST Cycle 1, the suite of documentation available for the JWST, and a recommended roadmap for proposal preparation. They will provide training materials for the many observational modes for the JWST, from workhorse modes such as imaging and integral field or multi-object spectroscopy, to those specialised for specific science cases, such as coronagraphic imaging and aperture masking interferometry. Much of the content will be in the form of hands-on exercises with the JWST suite of proposal tools: the Target Visibility Tools, the Exposure Time Calculator (ETC) and the Astronomers’ Proposal Tool (APT). Participants will prepare for the workshop by completing pre-Master Class assignments, to better take advantage of the intensive ESAC training.

After the ESAC Masterclass in early February, participants will host Master Class workshops in their own countries, to engage their local communities and provide their colleagues with the skills and expertise required to generate successful JWST observing proposals. The Master Class workshops will be offered between February and April 2020. In Figure 1, we show the geographical distribution of the Master Class workshop. You are all encouraged to attend these workshops, as they will provide essential tips to help you prepare a successful JWST Cycle 1proposal. A full list of workshop venues and dates is shown in Table 1.

For the past three decades, you have been immensely successful in competitively winning time on the Hubble Space Telescope. Our goal is to continue this trend for Hubble’s successor, the JWST. With the Master Class and local workshops around Europe, we hope to give you the best possible start ahead of the launch and start of observations, and enable new and exciting science with this new flagship space observatory.

If you’re interested in attending one of the workshops, please consult the list of venues and dates online and get in touch if you have any questions.

Below is a list of JWST Masterclass Workshops’ dates and locations:

Principal Investigator(s) JWST Masterclass Workshop Location Dates
Bogdan Alexandru Dumitru
Laurentiu Caramete
Romania 17–18 February 2020
Šarūnas Mikolaitis Lithuania 20–21 February 2020
Hakim Atek France 24–25 February 2020
Kalliopi Dasyra
Tanio Diaz-Santos
Vassilis Charmandaris
Greece 27–28 February 2020
Aarynn Carter
Sasha Hinkley
United Kingdom 2–4 March 2020
Steffen Rost
Vladimir Karas
Czech Republic 3–5 March 2020
Agata Karska Poland 11–13 Mar 2020
Raphael Shirley Spain 12–13 March 2020
Ágnes Kóspál Hungary 16–17 March 2020
Luis Colina
Santiago Arribas
Spain 16–17 March 2020
Francesca Annibali
Simone Ieva
Italy 18–20 March 2020
Nanda Kumar Portugal 23–24 March 2020
Maria Drozdovskaya Switzerland 23–24 March 2020
Eduardo Banados Germany 24–25 March 2020
Libby Jones United Kingdom 27 March 2020
Arjan Bik Sweden 2–3 April 2020
Nina Bonaventura
Gabriel Brammer
Denmark 15–17 April 2020


Sarah Kendrew
ESA JWST Instrument Scientist, STScI
Baltimore, USA

Antonella Nota
ESA/JWST Project Scientist, STScI
Baltimore, USA

About the Announcement



Locations of the JWST Master Class Workshops in 2020
Locations of the JWST Master Class Workshops in 2020

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