Office for Young Astronomers

a. Objectives and domicile of the OYA Steering Committee

The prime purpose for the OYA is to run the IAU program on International Schools for Young Astronomers (ISYA). The OYA was established in 2015 by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (NASL) and the International Astronomical Union (IAU) with the aim to ensure a robust financial and organizational basis for the operation of the ISYA program. The establishment of this office followed a previous agreement signed in 2008 between NASL and the IAU. The OYA is a virtual office consisting of a Steering Committee with the overall responsibility for the OYA. The Steering Committee oversees the ISYA program on behalf of the IAU and the NASL, and reports regularly to them via their respective Representatives. The Steering Committee is a supporting structure for the Director and Deputy Director. The domicile of the OYA is the NASL in Oslo, Norway.

The financial support provided by the IAU and NASL to the ISYAs is essentially dedicated to cover the travel and transportation costs of students and lecturers, both international and within the host country. The host institution shall cover the other expenses during the ISYA.

The IAU Office will perform the financial management of each ISYA.

The OYA Steering Committee is composed of representatives of IAU and NASL. Its mandate is three years, renewable, in phase with the IAU General Assembly.

b. Steering Committee Members are:

  • The IAU Assistant General Secretary (ex-officio member);
  • An IAU member with notable, relevant experience related to the ISYA program, with a three-year renewable mandate;
  • Two representatives from NASL, with notable, relevant experience related to education programs, with a three-year mandate, renewable;

The Chair of the Steering Committee is elected by the members of the SC.

c. Roles of the Steering Committee

The roles of the OYA Steering Committee include:

  • Select the ISYA Director and Deputy Director for eventual appointment by the IAU Executive Committee and NASL Executive;
  • Approve the program (host country, curriculum and budget) of the forthcoming ISYA proposed by ISYA Director;
  • Discuss the ISYA organization and future over the medium-long term (host countries, collaborations with other international schools, development projects, etc.);
  • Coordinate ISYA activities, whenever possible, with other IAU Offices, or IAU-related, or other international education and outreach activities (for example, COSPAR Capacity Building Workshops, NEON Schools, etc.);
  • Prepare an Annual Assessment of the OYA, which will be forwarded, to the IAU and the NASL;
  • Assist the ISYA Director in its relations with Local Organizers, if necessary;
  • Organize and promote NASL activities during General Assemblies (Young Astronomers Lunch, Kavli Prize in Astrophysics presentations, and any future activity);


The present OYA Steering Committee:

Diana Worrall,  IAU AGS
Michèle Gerbaldi, IAU Member
Per Barth Lilje, NASL Representative
Edward Guinan, Advisor, NASL Representative


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