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Telescopes for All 2022

An IAU Global Outreach Project


Application deadline extended to 15 June



In 2022, the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO) will team up once again with the Belgian project Sterren Schitteren Voor Iedereen (Stars Shine for Everyone — SSVI), Bresser and Leiden University to distribute 15 telescopes to underserved communities around the world. The special edition telescopes celebrating OAO’s 10th anniversary are signed by astronauts, Nobel laureates, astronomy communicators and scientists with inspiring roles in their communities.


We welcome proposals for projects that will broaden the horizons of children, parents and educators alike, sparking an interest in science and raising awareness of equal opportunities for pursuing a career in astronomy.


Submission Process

Submission should state:

  • Your name and email
  • The community or communities contemplated by your project,
  • The country where your project will take place,
  • Your proposal (max 2000 characters, with spaces included, in English);
  • Attached a letter of support from a local organisation. The institution could be your local IAU National Outreach Coordinator (NOC), a university, school, NGO, government, etc, but it should not be directly involved in the project. The letter should address the institution's knowledge of and experience of your work and recognise the relevance of the project to the underserved community and the impact it may produce in that community.

Proposals and recommendations must be written in English and submitted via this form by 23:59 local time on 15 June 2022.


Please notice that you will need a Google account to upload supporting documents. If you don't have a Google account, please email your application to Your email should clearly state your name and email, the community or communities contemplated by your project, the country where your project will take place, your proposal (max 2000 characters, with spaces included, in English) and an attached recommendation from the IAU National Outreach Coordinator or a letter of support from local organisation.



Proposals with attachments must be submitted by 23:59 local time on 15 June 2022.


Winners will be announced by 30 June 2022.


Judging Criteria

Submissions will be evaluated by a representative from IAU OAO, SSVI and Leiden University and will be considered based on:


1. Creativity (if your proposal is original or has an original component to it),

2. Impact (how it will affect the communities where it will be implemented),

3. Sustainability (if and how you will continue to use the telescope beyond the project).

4. Communities that are underserved in terms of telescopes provisions in the area/region will be given priority.


The selected proposals will be sent to the NOCs of their country for final endorsement.



This project is open to the public worldwide.


The IAU NOCs are also eligible to participate and the IAU OAO will accept proposals directly. These proposals must include a letter of support from a local institution (e.g. university, school, NGO, governmental, etc).


The Telescopes

​The telescope is a self-built Newton telescope, custom made with Bresser parts by the amateur telescope building group Kijkerbouw of the Public Observatory Armand Pien (Ghent University) Belgium for SSVI. The equipment comes complete with a telescope tube with a mount completely in wood, a viewfinder, zenith prism, solar filter, three Plössl eyepieces, and an electronic eyepiece (webcam). With this telescope, it is possible to observe the Moon, the planets of our solar system, some of their moons and the brightest Messier objects (e.g. the Orion Nebula, globular clusters, double stars).


IMPORTANT: The use of a solar filter is mandatory to observe the Sun. Severe eye damage will occur if you don't use a solar filter.


Notes on Shipping

Winners will be sent a telescope (in one single package) without a tracking number. Please be advised that telescopes can’t be shipped to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Crimea. Further, there may be disruptions when sending telescopes to Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Oman, State of Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. These shipment restrictions in no way prohibit individuals and groups from these countries to apply, but they may interfere with the Telescope for All project’s ability to ship awards and the timeline for recipients to receive them. Further, please notice that it is not possible to resend the telescope, so an accurate and physical address (not a P.O. Box) and contact phone number must be provided.


Notes on Taxes

Shipping packages will include documentation on the educational value of the telescopes, a certification of donation, and a receipt on the customs value of the telescope (50 Euros). Nevertheless, the recipient of the telescope will be responsible for any local expenses (like customs taxes).



Sterren Schitteren Voor Iedereen (Stars Shine for Everyone - SSVI) is a cooperation between Volkssterrenwacht A.Pien vzw (Public Observatory Armand Pien) and Ghent University. The project is based on the idea that “all children in special education and vulnerable people should have the opportunity to admire the starry sky with the help of a telescope,” according to project leader and founder Jean-Pierre Grootaerd.


SSVI is carried out by the amateur telescope making group Kijkerbouw of the UGent Public Observatory Armand Pien in Ghent, Belgium. Belgian astronauts Dirk Firmout and Frank De Winne parented the project SSVI and Science4Girls. SSVI is in collaboration with the Euro Space Society and Universe Awareness.


Bresser has generously donated the telescopes to SSVI and Telescopes for All project. Telescopes for All is also possible thanks to the support from Leiden University.


Agreement with Applicants

  • All decisions of the project organisers about any aspect of the Telescopes for All, including eligibility or disqualification of applications, comments and images, and final distribution, are final and cannot be appealed.
  • By submitting information for the Telescopes for All about the conducted proposals, applicants consent to the use, reproduction, publication, transmission and dissemination of their name and information relating to the project by the organisers and/or partners, without compensation, in any publications or promotional material, to promote the projects and its winners.
  • The winners of Telescopes For All agree to send images and a short written report documenting the use of telescopes, within 15 days of receiving an e-mail request from organisers (IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach, Sterren Schitteren Voor Iedereen (Stars Shine for Everyone — SSVI), Bresser and/or Leiden University)
  • Telescopes for All and the organisers reserve the right to make changes to the project at any time without prior notice, to temporarily interrupt the project, or to cancel the project without justification or being in any way accountable for this decision. No damages or compensation may be claimed by applicants to the project.
  • By submitting a proposal, applicants acknowledge that Telescopes for All, the organisers, and collaborators are not responsible for any local expenses (such as customs taxes) associated with receiving the telescope if the applicant wins a telescope.
  • Telescopes for All, the organisers, and the collaborators are not responsible for injury acquired through the use of a telescope acquired through Telescopes for All. Telescope users are responsible for their use of the telescope.



Please address questions to:

Suzana Filipecki Martins (she/her)

International Outreach Officer, IAU OAO


Jean Pierre Grootaerd

Stars Shine for Everyone





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 Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO) is a joint project of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The mission of the OAO is to engage the public in astronomy through access to astronomical information and communication of the science of astronomy. This is implemented through a network of IAU National Outreach Coordinators (NOCs) and the IAU’s engagement initiatives with the public. The work of the OAO is about building bridges between the IAU and the global astronomy community, and through international collaboration, to make astronomy accessible to all.



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