The 2016 Call for Proposals is now LIVE!
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) established the global Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) in order to fulfil the IAU’s 10 year Strategic Plan. This plan aims to realise the global developmental benefits of astronomy. The OAD coordinates an annual call for proposals to fund projects in three areas: (i) Astronomy for Universities and Research, (ii) Astronomy for Children and Schools, and (iii) Astronomy for the Public.
Call for Proposals
The OAD invites proposals for projects that use Astronomy as a tool to address an issue related to sustainable development. It is open to anyone from anywhere in the world. The selection process will take into account the qualifications and experiences of the individuals in the team. Although the working language of the OAD is English we will endeavour, through our regional offices, language centres and volunteers, to assist anyone who wishes to communicate in another language. Please contact us as early as possible if language, accessibility or any other assistance is required.
The timeline below will be followed for the 2016 call:
30 June 2016 – Open Call for Proposals issued
15 July 2016 – Deadline for Expressions of Interest
15 August 2016 – Expressions of Interest feedback provided by OAD and its Regional Offices
15 September 2016 – Deadline for full submission of proposals
31 October 2016 – Completed applications are reviewed by OAD Task Forces
30 November 2016 – Funding recommendations by Task Forces approved by OAD Steering Committee
15 December 2016 – All projects notified and grant agreements sent to successful projects
31 January 2017 – Grant Agreements signed and funds transferred
July 2017 – mid year report
31 December 2017 – Final Report from projects on completion of implementation
Please verify that you agree to/abide by the following before beginning your application. Contact us in case of queries.
- The proposed project should address a problem or challenge related to development.
- The project should use Astronomy as a tool to address this problem.
- One or more project deliverables should be ready by the end of the implementation year (2017); proposals are welcome for projects that run over several years, although funds will only be released annually according to the proposed budget per year and subject to a review of progress.
- All distributable project resources, materials, etc. should be released to the public under an appropriate license (e.g.Creative Commons) allowing free use and adaptation.
- Proposers should be able to provide a verified bank account through which funds can be paid if the project is selected for funding.
- All projects should adhere to the Principle of Universality of Science as defined by ICSU, the parent body of the IAU.
- All project team members listed in the proposal should have discussed the proposal and are committed to executing the project. The project team should be prepared to provide verification of qualifications and/or reference letters if requested by the OAD.
- The proposers should obtain all necessary permissions and authorizations, as required by their national laws, to carry out their work, such as written parental consent when working with minors, permission to use copyrighted material etc.
- The project team should support the evaluation of their project by the OAD (if an evaluation is feasible and if the project is selected for evaluation)
- Proposals should ideally be submitted via the online Application Form. All proposals received will be acknowledged by email. However, if one is unable to submit one’s proposal online for any reason, they may contact us at least a week before the deadline to arrange for an alternative submission method. This includes anyone with visual or other impairments who may require assistance.
- Application forms should be complete, including detailed budget, and received at the OAD before the deadline.
- Projects can be proposed by a single person or by a team of people.
The IAU earmarks approximately €110,000 per year for this open call for project proposals, with individual project grants generally ranging between €500 and €15,000.
2. Hunger– End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
3. Health– Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages
4. Education– Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
5. Women– Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
6. Water– Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
7. Energy– Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
8. Employment & Economic Growth– Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all
9. Infrastructure & Innovation– Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation
10. Inequality– Reduce inequality within and among countries
11. Urban Safety & Welfare– Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
12. Production & Consumption– Ensure sustainable production and consumption patterns
13. Climate Change– Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
14. Marine Conservation– Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
15. Environment preservation– Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss
16. Peace, security, equality– Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
17. Implementation– Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development
• Summer schools, teacher training, etc. could work towards goal 4 (Education)
• Using astronomy to support a sense of common humanity may contribute to goals 16 (Peace, Security) and 10 (Inequality)
• Projects that build science/technology skills and human capital could further goals 8 (Employment) and 9 (Infrastructure & Innovation), as well as 17 (Implementation)
- Clear description and relevance of the problem or challenge that the project will try to address.
- Level of need for proposed activities in the region/project location.
- Likelihood that the project will make a positive impact in addressing the problem/challenge
- Feasibility of the project (i.e. what are the chances that this project will be successfully completed?)
- Innovation and creativity, improving on what has been shown to work
- Replicability (can the project be repeated by others?) and Scalability (does the project have potential to be expanded across the world?)*
- Consideration of potential risks (e.g. safety and security, financial, unintended consequences on target audience, etc.)
- Appropriate consideration of diversity (e.g. gender, (dis)abilities, culture, etc.)
- Cost-effectiveness (i.e. amount of positive results expected from total project cost).
- Importance of IAU funding for leveraging funding from other sources.
- Endorsement, where applicable, by one of the OAD’s Regional Offices (these offices cover several geographic or language regions of the world)
* As a guide, proposers should consider the OAD Project Gaps described below.
The table maps the Selection Criteria and Scoring to questions on the application form (Download as PDF)
OAD Project Gaps
Considering the response to the previous calls for proposals, the following “Gaps” have been identified by the OAD and may evolve from year to year. These represent areas of need to be considered when developing proposals that could be expanded/repeated. Note that one or more of these gaps could be incorporated into, rather than define, projects (for example, a summer school or teacher training project could incorporate the development of materials). Although not compulsory nor explicitly part of the selection criteria, these “gaps” serve as a guide to proposers to address other criteria such as replicability and scalability.
- Interdisciplinary collaborative projects, especially between natural and social sciences.
- Material/Methods for teaching related subjects (e.g. basic mathematics, statistics, engineering, programming, etc.) using Astronomy.
- Problem sets and assessments (e.g. short tests administered before and after a training workshop/school)
- Career information, using national and/or international data.
- Parenting and early childhood development (e.g. guidelines for parents to encourage learning in their children).
- Literacy and numeracy using astronomy (e.g. using astronomy to improve the teaching of reading, writing and counting/basic arithmetic).
- Resource development (e.g. open-access course materials, culturally relevant astronomy, etc.).
- Research reviews (i.e. finding and summarising relevant research that may be available on what works and what doesn’t work for project types typically funded by the OAD).
Expressions of Interest
Ahead of submitting a full project proposal, the OAD and its Regional Offices invite brief Expressions of Interest by 15 July 2016. These Expressions of Interest allow potential project proposers, including those with an undeveloped idea, to explore collaborations with other proposers and/or receive feedback from the OAD and its Regional Offices. The process is intended to assist proposers in developing their final project proposals, connecting with potential collaborators in the region, strengthening their project designs by incorporating measurement and evaluation, minimising the duplication of ideas across projects and obtaining endorsement where applicable from OAD Regional Offices. These Expressions of Interest are therefore strongly recommended by the OAD and its Regional Offices, who will review and respond to the Expressions of Interest by 15 August 2016.
Note that the Task Forces who review the final proposals will not see that project’s Expressions of Interest.
Project Selection Procedures
After the Expressions of Interest phase described above, the full proposals received by 15 September 2016 will first be reviewed by the OAD for completeness, anonymised, and then sent to the appropriate Task Force. Task Force members will score the proposals based on the selection criteria above and make the appropriate recommendations for final funding allocation. The whole process will be overseen, and final recommendations approved, by the OAD’s international Steering Committee.