ann22019 — Announcement

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2 May 2022
Office of Astronomy for Development Opens 2022 Call for Proposals

The IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) has released its 2022 Call for Proposals for projects that aim to use astronomy to advance sustainable development. The OAD’s mission is to further the use of astronomy, including its practitioners, skills and infrastructures, as a tool for sustainable development globally, and the annual call is a key activity in pursuing this goal.

The call for proposals 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 summary of their project idea, which will be scored by an independent panel of reviewers based on defined criteria. The deadline for Stage 1 applications is 31 May 2022.

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 application. Proposers may then modify their application and submit a revised version by 15 September. The revised Stage 2 applications will be scored by the reviewers, who will make recommendations on projects to 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 2023. Given that the COVID-19 global pandemic may continue to have an impact, project proposers are asked to consider creative strategies for implementation and to 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 Themes specified.

A new Theme included in this call is Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development, in view of the United Nations resolution recognising 2022 as the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development (IYBSSD). Since basic sciences such as physics, chemistry and mathematics are essential to astronomy, the OAD invites proposals for projects that use any field(s) of basic science in the pursuit of one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The full list of Themes in this call is as follows:

  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. Basic sciences for sustainable 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 2022.

More information

The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 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 2022, 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).



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

Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Director of Communications
Cell: +1 520 461 0433/+49 173 38 72 621

About the Announcement



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