Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics

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OPPORTUNITY: OAD-IUCAA FELLOWSHIP FOR AFRICAN SCIENTISTS/COMMUNICATORS

Background: There has always been a close relationship between South Africa, home to the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development, and India, home to the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), going back long before the levels of professional astronomy currently enjoyed. Over recent years, the relationship between the OAD and IUCAA has grown stronger through numerous personal interactions at meetings and conferences, where the invaluable experience of IUCAA has been used to shape and inform global activities of the OAD. Both IUCAA and the OAD recognise astronomy as a “gateway science” and a means to excite young minds and stimulate a general interest in science, technology and innovation. This happens at all levels including university level education, school level education, and public understanding of science. OAD and IUCAA will work together to use the power of astronomy for global development.

Areas of Collaboration:

1.  Human Capital Development: University Level Education

Scientists and lecturers from developing regions, particularly those interested in using astronomy to improve university level education in their home countries, will be provided with the means to travel to IUCAA and stay for a period of up to a few weeks.

2.  Human Capital Development: Education and Outreach

Science communicators and educators from developing regions, particularly those interested in using astronomy as a tool to stimulate mathematics and science education, will be provided with the means to travel to IUCAA and stay for a period of up to a few weeks.

3.   Visiting Experts Programme

Experts from IUCAA (researchers, instrumentation scientists or outreach staff) will be invited, where possible, to travel to developing regions, for a period of up to a few weeks, both to assist with local astronomy development as well as explore collaborations between IUCAA and institutions in that region.

4.  Testing of Educational Resources

The OAD, through its Task Forces on Universities and Research (Task Force 1), Children and Schools (Task Force 2) and Public Outreach (Task Force 3), will develop various educational resources and also acquire resources which need to be tested. Through this partnership IUCAA will provide the expertise wherever possible to help the OAD test such resources. The extensive education and outreach programme provides an ideal platform to test educational materials while IUCAA’s expertise at university level will enable them to provide technical advice on materials such as undergraduate curricula, etc.