ann21031 — Announcement

2018 Kathmandu Astrophysics School in Nepal
7 May 2021
Office of Astronomy for Development Releases 2021 Call for Proposals

The IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) has released its 2021 Call for Proposals for projects that aim to use astronomy to support and advance sustainable development. The mission of the OAD is to promote astronomy, including its practitioners, skills and infrastructures, as a tool for sustainable development globally. The annual Call for Proposals is a key activity through which the OAD pursues this goal.

The call is open to anyone from anywhere in the world (regardless of whether they have a background in astronomy), and is conducted in two stages. In Stage 1 proposers are asked to submit a brief description of their project idea, which will be scored by an independent panel of reviewers based on defined criteria. The deadline for submissions in this stage is 31 May 2021.

Selected proposals will be invited to submit a more comprehensive Stage 2 application. During Stage 2, teams will work closely with the OAD, its Regional Offices where applicable and other experts, who will provide feedback to improve the proposal. Proposers may then modify their Stage 2 application and submit a revised version by 15 September 2021. The revised Stage 2 applications will be scored by the reviewers, who will make recommendations on which projects should be funded. After final approval from the OAD Steering Committee, applicants will be notified of the results.

Projects selected through this call will be implemented in 2022. Given that the COVID-19 global pandemic may continue to have an impact in 2022, project proposers are asked to consider creative strategies for implementation and build in mitigation plans.

The call includes Themes identified by the OAD based on the experience of previous projects, input from Regional Offices, and issues of current relevance. Proposers can choose to submit an application under one of the following Themes:

  1. Sustainable, local socio-economic development through astronomy
  2. Science diplomacy through astronomy: Celebrating our common humanity
  3. Knowledge and Skills for Development
  4. COVID-19 and Astronomy for Development
  5. Tech and Astronomy for Development

Any applicants who lack training or experience in writing proposals can request proposal writing support from the OAD. Applicants will be matched up with an astronomer or other expert who will guide and advise the applicant on the proposal structure and language. This form of support is not meant to help the applicant improve their proposal concept, but only to communicate it better.

The deadline for Stage 1 applications is 31 May 2021.

More information

The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together almost 12 000 active professional astronomers from more than 100 countries worldwide. Its mission is to promote and safeguard astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, 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 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. As of 2021, the OAD has administered approximately €1,000,000 in grant funds, awarded to more than 200 projects across the world. Since its establishment the OAD has negotiated the establishment of eleven regional offices around the world (based in Armenia, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Jordan, Netherlands, Nigeria, Portugal, Thailand, USA 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). 



Ramasamy Venugopal
IAU Office of Astronomy for Development
Tel: +27 21 460 9350

Kevin Govender
IAU Office of Astronomy for Development
Tel: +27 21 447 0025

Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Press Officer
Cell: +49 173 3872 621

About the Announcement



2018 Kathmandu Astrophysics School in Nepal
The Astro4All project in Ireland