The Astrophysics Research Institute has won a £1.2 million grant from the Science and Technology Facilities Council to support cutting-edge research at Liverpool John Moores University.

The funds will be investing in key projects led by ARI staff, including the evolution of massive stars and their subsequent stellar explosions as supernovae; observations of the polarised light from some of the most energetic explosions in the universe, work which follows on from the successful Liverpool Telescope observations of gamma-ray bursts; and studying the star formation activity in the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Professor Chris Collins, head of the ARI, said: “This Consolidated Grant renewal will maintain our current funding until 2021 as well as LJMU’s reputation as a global leader in astrophysics.

“This is fantastic news for the ARI, with the acknowledgment from the STFC panel that much of our research and public engagement work is at an internationally leading level.”

The STFC panel commented that LJMU’s application reflected the rapid growth of the ARI and the strong support it receives from the wider university.

The STFC review panel commented that a particular highlight in the research of ARI is the group’s access to the Liverpool Telescope and time-domain science that this enables.

The ARI was also awarded funds to directly support outreach and public engagement for research supported on the Consolidated Grant through links with schools and the National Schools’ Observatory.

This follows on from a recent £1m investment from the Science and Technology Facilities Council for a new Centre for Doctoral Training in data intensive science.