Radio astronomers and STEM

The Problem

  • Limited expertise in radio astronomy across low to middle income nations around the world
  • A lack of people development programmes across the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields in those nations
  • Limited engagement in STEM subjects among young people.

Our research

  • Collaborated with other UK Universities including Leeds as the lead partner, to develop an intensive people development programme that has been implemented across Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America
  • Created self-sustaining radio astronomy hubs as well as technical training programmes
  • Collaborated with governments and schools to influence and support new radio astronomy projects.

Research Impact

  • Upskilled thousands of young people in graduate, masters’ and PhD-level training
  • Stimulated entrepreneurial activity as well as job and wealth creation, helping nations to seize economic opportunities from new radio telescope networks
  • Engaged thousands of schoolchildren in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
  • Influenced the allocation of £5.5 million in UK government overseas aid.


  • Prof Mark Thompson
  • Antonio Chrysostomou
  • Prof Martin Hardcastle
  • Dr Jan Forbrich
  • Matt Jarvis