The IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) has released its 2017 Annual Call for Proposals today. This call has been altered from previous years to enhance engagement with project leaders and the potential impact of projects.
The OAD has administered five calls for proposals between 2012 and 2016. During this time, over 100 projects have been selected and funded by the OAD. As we move towards the end of the decadal Strategic Plan (2010–2020) and towards a new plan, the call for proposals has been remodelled based on the OAD’s experience as well as feedback received from various stakeholders.
The new call for proposals consists of two application stages. The Stage 1 proposal (due 31 May 2017) is open to proposers from anywhere in the world. Proposers submit a brief online application with the key aspects of their project. Stage 1 proposals, typically only 2 pages long, will be scored by the OAD Task Forces based on a set of defined criteria.
Selected proposals will be invited to submit a more comprehensive Stage 2 application. During Stage 2, teams will engage and work closely with the OAD, its Regional Offices where applicable, and other experts, who will provide guidance and feedback to improve the application. Based on these interactions, proposers may modify their Stage 2 application and submit by 15 September 2017. The revised Stage 2 applications will be reviewed by the OAD Task Forces, which will make recommendations on projects to be funded. After final approval from the Steering Committee, applicants will be notified of the results in November 2017.
A comprehensive new "Getting Started" section provides background information on Astronomy for Development, project design, needs analysis, monitoring and evaluation, surveys, assessments, etc. More information, including timelines and scoring criteria, is available on the OAD website.
About the IAU and OAD
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is an organisation that brings together about 12 000 distinguished astronomers from around the world. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world’s largest professional body of astronomers. 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.
The IAU established the Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) in partnership with the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa. The OAD was officially opened on 16 April 2011 at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in Cape Town, South Africa. It is tasked with the implementation of the IAU Strategic Plan including the establishment of Regional Offices and three astronomy-for-development “Task Forces”. As of 2017 the OAD had administered a total of €515,364 in IAU grant funds, which was awarded to 106 projects that reached over 85 countries across the world. Since its establishment the OAD has negotiated the establishment of nine regional offices around the world (based in Armenia, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Jordan, Nigeria, Portugal, Thailand and Zambia) with two of these offices serving as a joint language centre (Chinese and Arabic), and one serving as a dedicated language centre (Portuguese). In parallel the OAD registered over 600 volunteers and formed nine partnerships with organisations sharing in the OAD vision.
Director, IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD)
Tel: +27 21 460 9350
Cell: +27 82 487 8466
Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Press Officer
ESO ePOD, Garching, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6761
Cell: +49 173 3872 621