RAS – Astro4Dev Mobility grants

Coordinated by the OAD in partnership with the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS)

Background: Under normal circumstances, this is a mobility grant, with the goal of establishing or nurturing research, education and/or development related collaborations between the United Kingdom (UK) and countries where astronomy research is not well established. Due to travel restrictions, in 2021  the grant will be used to fund:

  1. astronomy-for-development technical projects, or
  2. virtual attendance at the 2021 National Astronomy Meeting (NAM2021) of the UK.

Who can apply for a grant for an astronomy-for-development technical project? Researchers who are based in the UK, or those outside the UK who will collaborate with a UK partner in the astronomy-for-development technical project.

What is an astronomy-for-development technical project? These are technical projects that use astronomy-related tools, skills or techniques, and have the potential to impact on development through the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. The grant could be seed funding for initial development of an idea that could be put forward for future funding through other streams.

Examples of such projects include solar water purification, using infrared image detection to play a role in wildlife conservation, or developing radiative cooling technology to address water shortages in arid regions.

The grants could be used for the purchase of materials for prototype design, software subscriptions, hiring staff time, or even buying out of teaching commitments. Other well motivated spending categories will be considered.

Who can apply for virtual attendance to NAM 2021?  Astronomers, or graduate students from countries where astronomy research is not well established. Applicants must have an accepted abstract to NAM2021 to qualify for funding.

Applications open: 21 April 2021

1. Apply to the RAS-OAD NAM grant

2. Apply to the RAS-OAD technical project grant

Deadline for applications: 10 May 2021

Terms (Please read before applying for funding):

  1. The maximum RAS-OAD grant contribution for the astronomy-for-development technical project will generally be £3000. Additional support leveraged from other sources (agencies, foundations, etc) will also be acceptable and will be considered favourably in reviewing the applications.
  2. The duration of the astronomy-for-development technical project is a maximum of one year.
  3. After completion of the astronomy-for-development technical project, the project PI will be required to provide a report describing the activities undertaken, the potential for future work in this area, an account of the grant spending, and recommendations regarding further actions.
  4. Funding for virtual attendance of NAM 2021 will cover conference registration fees and, if required, an amount to cover connection costs.