Due to the global pandemic, the fellowships can be carried out remotely. Contact us for more information.

The principle: OAD Visiting Fellowships are awarded in special cases where a person’s contributions to the OAD are evaluated to be at an exceptional level. They are awarded to volunteers who work with us on any of the projects on the OAD Ideas List (or on ideas of their own), which we believe will contribute to the vision of the OAD. A limited number of these fellowships will be awarded each year. OAD Visiting Fellows will spend their time in Cape Town working on, and ideally completing, their projects.

The process: Interested individuals should get in touch and brainstorm with us about a project of their choice. Based on their initial contributions to the project from the person’s home base, they could then be awarded an OAD Visiting Fellowship to spend time in Cape Town to continue, and ideally round up, that project. Selection will be based on the individual’s contributions, skills, motivation and potential to complete the project during their time at the OAD.

The deal: The Fellowship will cover flights to Cape Town, accommodation near the OAD and a modest daily subsistence allowance for a negotiated period (the duration of the Fellowship will be flexible and depend on the person’s availability and nature of project, typically in the range of a few weeks to a few months). The person then gets to spend time at the OAD headquarters, as well as enjoy the beauty of Cape Town (a city rated by both the UK Guardian and the US New York Times as the number 1 holiday destination for 2014!).

Past Fellows at the OAD

Below are some of the fellows who have passed through the OAD. You can find their profiles and contacts on the OAD Team page.

Silvia Verdolini
Silvia is an astronomer from Italy.
At the OAD, she was involved in several of the international projects and activities, with a focus on helping to develop an impact evaluation cycle for OAD-funded projects. She worked on the development of a framework for measuring knowledge and skills in Physics summer schools, organized OAD events at the IAU-General Assembly, helped to run the 2015 call for project proposals, assisted in project management, and represented the office in numerous workshops and seminars.

Tibisay Sankatsing Nava
Tibisay is a science communicator who spent time at the OAD as a volunteer intern and later as a visiting fellow. At the OAD, she spearheaded the development of a new communications strategy and branding. She managed the OAD’s communication portfolio during her time here, establishing the tools and methods.

Ramasamy Venugopal
Ram is an engineer from India who visited the OAD twice as a visiting fellow.
At the OAD, he worked on a project to provide university and school students easier access to remotely operable telescopes. On his second stint, he was the trial manager for a service evaluation of an activity run by the SAAO at primary schools in Cape Town. He also represented the office in conferences and workshops, coordinated projects funded by the OAD and in general, was in charge of updating the website and managed the communications and PR tasks for the office.

Wanda Diaz-Merced
Wanda is an astrophysicist from Puerto Rico.
She obtained her PhD from the University of Glasgow in Scotland. She also spent time doing research at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. A long time collaborator with the OAD, Wanda has worked on projects such as AstroSense and run workshops at the school for the blind in Cape Town. She is currently expanding on her work in improving Accessibility and encouraging greater inclusion in Science through her work in Astronomy.

Paul A. Wilson
Paul is an astronomer from the UK/Norway.
He lead the development of the OAD Data Science Toolkit aimed at teaching data science with astronomy. Paul developed ways to help astronomers identify and learn skills within astronomy that also comprise important data science skills. Paul also worked on providing people outside of astronomy with teaching materials which use astronomy applications to introduce data science skills.