Aims of the School

Surveys have always been among the most widely used tools of astronomers to make sense of the observable Universe. Building on the heritage of such a long tradition, modern astronomy has seen an accelerating pace of survey experiments across the electromagnetic spectrum, devised to answer fundamental questions about cosmology, galaxy formation, the history of our own Milky Way, stellar astrophysics and much much more.

High-energy astrophysics have pioneered all-sky surveys, and the imminent advent of sensitive, large field of view imaging telescopes, such as eROSITA, promise a further revolution, as the emergence of the three-dimensional structure of the cosmic web over the history of the Universe displays very distinctive features when observed in X-rays, where both the most massive collapsed structure (clusters of galaxies) and the most energetic events in the life of galaxies (AGN and Quasars) reveal themselves unambiguously.

AHEAD aims at providing young astronomers the specific theoretical and practical skills to successfully exploit the current and future generation of large surveys. We will include in-depth discussion of both high-energy experiments and multi-wavelength surveys across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. To this end, world class experts in several fields will deliver lectures and conduct hands on sessions, including analysis of real catalogs and data. The students will have the opportunity to interact with renowned scientists in a highly motivating environment.


The school will consist of eight sessions, with each one being a mixture of lectures and tutorials.

Invited speakers:

Antonis Georgakakis (National Observatory of Athens), All-sky X-ray surveys

Mara Salvato (MPE), The magic art of cross-matching

Marina Rejkuba (ESO), The ESO archive

Francesco de Gasperin (Hamburg Observatory), All-sky Radio surveys

Anne-Marie Weijmans (University of St. Andrews), All-sky spectroscopy

Elena Pancino (INAF Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory), GAIA unleashed

Dalya Baron (Tel Aviv University), Machine Learning and wide surveys

Johan Comparat (MPE), Cosmological surveys


Registration is now open for PhD students and young Postdocs.

The school is funded by the AHEAD project and it is free of charge (lodging included for non-local participants).

If applying from outside the EU, please refer to the list of eligible non-EU countries.

The number of participants is limited to 40.

We request that each applicant submits, using the registration form below, the following documents:

  • an up to date Curriculum Vitae
  • a cover letter by the applicant, detailing their motivation to participate in this school
  • a letter of recommendation from the applicant's supervisor
  • The Scientific Organizing Committee will evaluate all the applications received within 16.09.2018, when the registration will be closed.