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The Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (KIAA) is jointly supported by Peking University and an endowment made possible by a generous gift from the Kavli Foundation, USA. KIAA was established in June, 2006 and started operation in 2007. KIAA's mission is to establish an international center of excellence in astronomy and astrophysics that promotes the development of basic astrophysical research. Its primary goal is to foster frontier research in a vibrant intellectual environment. With English as its working language, KIAA is engaged in theoretical and observational initiatives, development and utilization of astronomical facilities, and training of undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. KIAA regularly sponsors thematic workshops, conferences, and a range of other academic activities to facilitate scientific exchange with the domestic and international astronomy community. It is establishing exchange and visiting programs with other Kavli institutes and a network of universities and astronomy centers worldwide.
The program of KIAA focuses on four major areas of astrophysics: 1) observational cosmology, galaxy formation and evolution; 2) star formation, stellar and planetary systems; 3) gravitational physics and high-energy phenomena; and 4) computational astrophysics.
The Institute is under the leadership of its Director Luis C. Ho, Associate Director X.-B. Wu, Gregory J. Herczeg, and coordinator J. S. Chen. An international Science Advisory Committee provides guidance concerning proposed academic activities, assistance on major projects to set research directions, and review of new faculty appointments. A Governing Board, which reports to the President of Peking University, has been established to oversee the management and operations of the Institute. KIAA works closely with the Department of Astronomy, via coordination of research activities, sharing of research facilities and resources, training and supervising of students, and joint participation in the routine operations of the Institute. Together with several joint appointments with the Department of Astronomy and other institutions, KIAA currently has 25 professors, approximately 30 postdoctoral fellows, a number of visiting scholars, and five administrative staff members. The following is a chart showing the overall organizational structure of KIAA.
研究所的主要研究领域包括：1) 观测宇宙学，星系的形成与演化；2) 恒星形成，恒星与行星系统; 3) 引力物理和高能现象；4) 计算天体物理。
研究所现任所长何子山，副所长吴学兵、Gregory J. Herczeg, 协调人陈建生。由国际科学顾问委员会(SAC)在学术活动、重大计划、研究方向和教师聘用等方面提供指导。刚刚成立的理事会直接向北京大学校长报告工作，以监督研究所的管理运行。研究所与天文学系合作密切，人员共聘，资源共享，联合开展科学研究和人才培养。经与天文学系和其它天文单位联合聘用，研究所目前有25位教师，约30名博士后和许多访问学者。下图为科维理天文与天体物理研究所整体组织架构图。