2012 Call for Proposals


for projects relating to Task Force 1: Astronomy for Universities and Research

to be implemented in the 2013 Calendar Year


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 is tasked with establishing and strategically coordinating Regional Nodes (ROADs) and Language Expertise Centres (LOADs) across the world as well as three Task Forces (TFs), namely:

i.Astronomy for Universities and Research (TF1)

ii.Astronomy for Children and Schools (TF2)

iii.Astronomy for the Public (TF3)

The bulk of the implementation of projects is to be carried out by volunteers, coordinated by the Task Forces with the support of the OAD. The OAD will also source the necessary funding beyond IAU allocations.

Task Force 1 (Universities and Research) was established in May 2012 and is now calling for projects relevant to this area of astronomy for development. More information about the OAD and its activities can be found at www.astro4dev.org

2.Call for Proposals

The IAU has earmarked a minimum of €80000 to support projects and activities related to all three Task Forces. Task Force 1 (TF1), through the OAD, now issues this open call for proposals to access this funding. Proposals which are not funded through this process but which are ranked by TF1 to be significantly important will go onto a “wish list” for which the OAD will continue fundraising efforts.

In general proposals should seek to align with the IAU’s 10 year strategic plan, but with specific focus on Universities and Research. Some examples of possible activities are given here (note that one of the IAU’s flagship programmes, the International School for Young Astronomers, is not included since it has its own separate budget).

Visiting astronomer programmes or exchange programmes
National or regional astronomy schools and workshops: typically 4-5 day duration
Astronomy education research equipment and laboratory small grant programme (e.g. computers, laboratory equipment, small teaching telescopes, CCDs , software, spectrographs etc.)
Sabbatical leave visit programme – travel funds for astronomers to spend their sabbatical in a developing country university (or institute) to provide educational and technical advice
Grants for the development and implementation of undergraduate astronomy courses and laboratories in developing countries.(e.g. using distance learning methods, Virtual Observatory and robotic telescopes resources as well as open source text books for astronomy)
Technology internships e.g. instrument specialists to visit universities in developing countries
University twinning programmes – develop long term (at least 2 years) links and cooperative programmes between institutes and universities with those in developing host countries
Innovative university astronomy education and research programs not listed above (e.g. support or enhance the development of innovative teaching, laboratory and undergraduate research programmes in developing countries). Fresh ideas for high impact programmes are most welcome.
All proposals should be submitted via the Application Form which can be downloaded below.

3.Funding Conditions

i.A minimum of €80 000 has been allocated to all three Task Forces and will be distributed depending on the quality of the proposals

ii.Only completed application forms will be considered

iii.Projects will only be funded for the 2013 calendar year. For multi-annual projects only the budget for the first (or next) year will be approved. As a consequence, multi-annual projects should have a sustainable deliverable at the end of the first year (to overcome an interruption of the funding).

4.Selection Criteria

The following criteria will be considered in the selection of projects

i.Alignment with the goals of IAU’s 10 year strategic plan

ii.Quality and relevance of content

iii.Innovativeness and creativity of approach

iv.Clear timeline indicators

v.Cost effectiveness of the project including a detailed budget

vi.Potential to raise funds from other sources

vii.Range of stakeholder participation (e.g. partnerships with universities / industry / government)

viii.Degree of impact of the project with potential for sustainability and broader reach (including usefulness to or overlap with other groups of stakeholders, e.g. other Task Forces)

5.Proposal Evaluation

The proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by the members of the Task Force and recommendations submitted to the IAU Development Oversight Committee. Allocations will be made based on the TF recommendations.

6.Proposal Requirements

All proposals must be submitted in completed application forms and sent by email to proposals@astro4dev.org. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the proposal has been received in order by the OAD. All proposals received will be acknowledged by email.

7.Closing Date

The deadline for submitting proposals is 23:59 UTC on Monday, 15th October 2012.

All applicants will receive feedback during December 2012 for projects to be implemented in the 2013 calendar year.


Please direct enquiries to Kevin Govender (Director OAD), preferably by email at kg@astro4dev.org. Alternative contact information:

Telephone: +27 (0) 21 460 6297; Fax: +27 (0) 21 447 3639; Mobile: +27 (0) 82 487 8466; Website: www.astro4dev.org; Skype: kevindran; Twitter: @govender; Postal address: P.O. Box 9, Observatory, 7935, South Africa; Physical address: SAAO, Observatory Road, Observatory, 7925, South Africa.


TF1 Call for Proposals 2012 (.pdf)
TF1 Application Form 2012 (.pdf)
TF1 Application Form 2012 (.doc)

Although English is the working language of the OAD, we will be happy to arrange translations of the call and documents if you need it. Please contact Kevin Govender (kg@astro4dev.org) if you would like to request a translation

Même si l’anglais est la langue utilisée au bureau d’astronomie pour le développement (OAD), nous mettons volontiers à disposition des traductions des documents d’appel d’offre si vous en avez besoin. Veuillez prendre contact avec Kevin Govender (kg@astro4dev.org) si vous avez besoin d’une traduction.

Aunque la OAD trabaja mayoritariamente en inglés, nos ofrecemos a organizar traducciones para la convocatoria de propuestas y documentos relacionados. Para solicitar una traducción, por favor póngase en contacto con Kevin Govender (kg@astro4dev.org).

Несмотря на то, что рабочим языком для OAD является английский, мы готовы организовать перевод документов, если Вы нуждаетесь в этом. Пожалуйста, свяжитесь с Kevin Govender <kg@astro4dev.org>, если Вам необходим перевод документов

虽然英语是OAD的工作语言,但是如果您需要翻译成所需语言的文件,我们将很高兴为您提供翻译服务。如果需要翻译,请用电子邮件与Kevin Govender联系 (kg@astro4dev.org)。

على الرغم من أن اللغة الإنجليزية هي لغة العمل فيOAD، إلا أننا سنكون سعداء

بالقيام بترجمة الدعوة والوثائق إذا كنت في حاجة إليها.

يرجى الاتصال بـ كيفين غوفيندر (Kevin Govenderkg@astro4dev.org) إذا كنت ترغب في طلب ترجمة.

Embora Inglês seja a língua oficial do OAD, traduções para Português do formulário e das regras podem ser requisitadas. através do email kg@astro4dev.org