The host institution (see description at the official website for IA) combined expertise, includes all major topics in Space Sciences, namely;
- Solar System Science and Exploration,
- Origin and Evolution of Stars and Planets,
- Galaxies and Clusters of Galaxies,
- Formation and Evolution of Large Scale Structure,
- Fundamental Physics and Cosmology,
- Scientific and Technological Development of Astronomical Instrumentation,
- Astronomical Surveys and Coordinated Exploitation and Mining of Space and Ground Datasets.
The researchers in the institute are organized within the following teams (the contact of the team leader is provided):
- Origin and Evolution of Stars and Planets (Dr Margarida S. Cunha)
- Galaxies, Cosmology, and the Evolution of the Universe (PD Dr Polychronis Papaderos)
- Instrumentation and Systems (Dr Alexandre Cabral)
The consolidated expertise in the host institution includes a large fraction of the human resources working in space sciences in Portugal and more than 70% of the national production in international journals in space sciences listed in ISI. This is the scientific area with the highest relative impact factor (more than twice above the international average) and by far the field with the highest average number of citations per article in ISI for Portugal (as provided by the latest report from ISI’s Essential Science Indicators – ESI and quoted in the national report on scientific productivity by GPEARI).
In recent years the research institute have successfully host to completion over 20 PhDs and many MSc’s. The host institutes have already participated in several funded European networks for training (RTNs and ITNs), corresponding to large European consortia of institutes working together towards PhD training in topical areas. The institutions also have an increasing expertise in the technological development of instrumentation for ESO and ESA telescopes and missions, with the advanced training being a fundamental part of this expertise.