"This is a proposal for an ambitious programme of state of the art hydrodynamical simulations, designed to answer some key questions about the role of disc self-gravity in planet formation. The programme is also designed so as to maximize the synergy with the new observational constraints from high resolution imaging data from the Atacama Large Millimetre Array that will become available over the timescale of the grant. The five year programme should provide definitive answers about whether planet formation is able to get going during the early, self-gravitating phase of disc evolution and how, if so, it would affect the further evolution of the disc. The topic of gravitational disc fragmentation as a route to planet formation is currently in a state of crisis, with recent simulations undermining what had become a consensus view on the subject. A dedicated and carefully constructed approach, as detailed here, is required to solve this problem."
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