Opportunities at IAU Office of Astronomy for Development

The IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) seeks inspired individuals from any relevant background, either online or in-person in Cape Town, interested in contributing to its mission.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU), in partnership with the South African National Research Foundation (NRF), established the global Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in Cape Town, South Africa.  The OAD exists as a global coordinating centre for “astronomy-for-development” activities, tasked with establishing and strategically coordinating Regional Offices and Language Expertise Centers across the world and implementing an annual call for proposals as well as global flagship projects. The OAD seeks inspired individuals from any relevant background who will help continue the realization of the vision “Astronomy for a better world”.

Volunteers, remote or on site in Cape Town: Volunteers from various backgrounds are invited to contribute to specific tasks.

Internships, remote or on site in Cape Town: Interns are typically current or recently graduated students. An internship stipend will be awarded in the form of a once-off payment for remote contributors, or a monthly stipend for on-site interns. The amount will depend on the project or activity that the individual will be working on, as well as their qualifications and agreed time commitment.

Fellowships, remote or on site in Cape Town: Fellows are experienced professionals with domain expertise who are able to contribute for a few weeks to months. A stipend will be awarded in the form of a once-off payment for remote contributors, or a monthly stipend for on-site fellows.

No deadlines; applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

See below for a list of possible tasks for volunteers, interns, and fellows. You are welcome to propose your own project ideas.

Currently the OAD seeks individuals who will be able to work on any of the following:

Impact study (1): OAD projects aim to create positive benefits in communities through astronomy based interventions. The individual will work with the operations manager to analyse the data submitted by projects and create appropriate charts and infographics. (see for example using Grapher, an open source tool to visualise data)
Impact: https://www.astro4dev.org/projects-impact/
Preferred: experience in data visualisation, data handling

Impact study (2): The individual will use the data submitted by 2022 projects to develop an impact report of projects funded in the year.
Preferred: experience in report writing, data analysis

Astronomy for Mental Health: The individual will assist the ‘Astronomy for Mental Health’ project lead in developing materials and planning activities.
Astronomy for Mental Health: https://www.astro4dev.org/astronomy-for-mental-health
Preferred: experience in astronomy education or psychology or mental health

Communications (1): The individual will speak with and interview some of the projects funded by the OAD and write articles based on them.
Preferred: media/communications background

Communications (2): The individual will create/edit videos from existing materials (videos, photos) submitted by OAD projects.
Preferred: experience in video editing

Communications (3): The individual will review the OAD’s social media channels and content and propose updates to its social media strategy.
Preferred: familiarity with content creation for social media, especially Facebook, Twitter

Communications (4): The individual will explore the creation of a Tiktok account and curate content for Instagram and Tiktok.
Preferred: experience with content creation for Instagram and Tiktok

Office inventory: The individual will work at the OAD’s office in Cape Town. The main task will be to take stock of material in our office and storage facilities and work with the team to reorganise it.

Any other ideas that you may have on astronomy-for-development.

If you are interested, send a brief CV (including references) and a 1-page motivation to fellowships@astro4dev.org. The motivation should include a description of the project, why you are suitable to carry it out, time that would be committed to it (e.g. 6 months full time, 3 months part time) and any related logistics that may need to be considered.

For any queries, please contact Kevin Govender (kg@astro4dev.org).

Opportunities with our partners

From time to time, opportunities come up at partner organisations, some of which are listed below.

1. Social media for an international astronomy project
2. Administrative tasks: drafting of minutes in meetings, logistics for events (booking flights, accommodation etc)
3. Someone willing to travel and assist at outreach events in South Africa
For more information and to be connected with the relevant partner organisation, please contact Kevin Govender kg@astro4dev.org