ann16024 — Announcement

Astrochemistry and exoplanets
30 May 2016
Two TGF Fellowships Awarded for 2016

Maria Nikolayevna Drozdovskaya, from Leiden University, and Laetitia Delrez, from the University of Liège, have been awarded The Gruber Foundation Fellowship

This year, the evaluation panel has decided to award the 2016 TGF Fellowship to two recipients, Maria Nikolayevna Drozdovskaya, from Leiden University, and Laetitia Delrez, from the University of Liège.

Laetitia’s work centres on the possibility of discovering and characterising potentially habitable Earth-sized exoplanets, and she will hold her fellowship in the Cavendish Laboratory of the University of Cambridge (UK). She said: “I feel very honoured and am deeply grateful to The Gruber Foundation and the IAU for this fellowship. It will help me to pursue research projects I am passionate about and to grow into a truly independent researcher.”

Maria, who will hold her fellowship at the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH) at the University of Bern in Switzerland, works on the interstellar origins of the complex organic content in solar systems. She said: “I couldn’t stop smiling when I heard the news! I am thrilled and honored that The Gruber Foundation has decided to support my research. Their support will be pivotal in allowing astrochemistry to blossom at the CSH.

More Information


The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 10 000 professional astronomers from almost 100 countries. Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomers.

The Gruber Foundation

With the aim to promote the science of cosmology and other branches of astronomy, The Gruber Foundation (TGF) has created the TGF Fellowship Programme.

The IAU Executive Committee recognizes this contribution to our science and shares the desire of TGF to give this distinction the highest possible scientific standing and international character. Accordingly, at its 73rd meeting in Manchester, UK, in August 2000, the IAU EC decided to collaborate with TGF in the nomination of candidates and the selection of recipients, effective as of 1 January 2001.

With funding from TGF, one Fellowship will be awarded every year. A Fellowship amounts to US $50,000 and will be given as a stipend covering travel, subsistence and research expenses supplementing a postdoctoral appointment at the host institution starting no later than 1st October of the award year. The Fellowship may be held in conjunction with any other fellowship or award. The Fellowship will be awarded to an extremely promising, young astrophysicist, working in any field of astrophysics, either theoretical, observational or experimental. Applicants in the last months of their PhD, having already made successful contacts for a post-doctoral position, or post-docs in their first year of appointment, are encouraged to apply. In the case of applicants at the PhD level, the PhD must have been awarded by the start of the Fellowship, i.e., not later than Oct. 1st of the award year. There are no limitations on nationality, but, while the scientific quality of the application is the prime criterion, preference will be given to applicants from countries in difficult economic conditions.

The host institute for the postdoctoral appointment, must be a center of excellence in the applicant's field of research and located in a country different either from that where the PhD was awarded, or from where the first post-doc contract is being completed (in the case of a second post-doc). While the IAU Secretariat will administer the stipend, the host institute should agree to offer basic research facilities, since the TGF stipend is intended to cover primarily travel, living and research during the post-doctoral appointment. However, upon agreement between the host institute and the IAU General Secretary, some part of it can also be used for salary, on the condition that the host institute covers at least the salary overheads (social benefits, salary and income taxes, personal insurance, etc.) and all other similar legal obligations valid in the country where the host institute is located, so that the recipient should eventually be able to use freely the full amount of the fellowship.

The application procedure is available here.

A list of past recipients and their citations is available here.



Piero Benvenuti
General Secretary, International Astronomical Union
Paris, France
Tel: +33 1 43 25 83 58

Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Press Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 320 06 761
Cell: +49 173 38 72 621

About the Announcement



Astrochemistry and exoplanets
Maria Nikolayevna Drozdovskaya
Laetitia Delrez