The IAU’s Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) is pleased to announce the results of its 2020 call for proposals, with 21 projects selected to receive funding in 2021. These projects, which will address global challenges using astronomy-related innovations, include: online astronomy programmes in Indonesia and India; development of astronomy video content to be used in television lessons in Pakistan; training programmes for displaced populations in refugee camps in Algeria, Spain, Italy and Uganda; motivating and improving the welfare of prisoners in Nigeria; teaching coding using astronomical topics in Portugal, Mozambique and East Timor; mentoring and inspiring girls in primary schools in rural Kenya; and astronomy projects to celebrate indigenous culture and help students identify with their ancestral roots in Chile, Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe, Angola, and Portugal.
Although the call was announced in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the OAD received an enthusiastic response from the community, with 110 applications submitted. An independent review panel selected 21 proposals, which were later approved by the OAD Steering Committee. In total, €109 944 will be granted to the funded projects.
This was the ninth annual call for proposals run by the OAD. In light of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the OAD also ran a separate call in 2020, inviting proposals to address the immediate challenges caused by the pandemic. As a result of this additional call, a further 43 projects were funded in June 2020.
The annual call for proposals is open to anyone from anywhere in the world. The next call is expected to open in April 2021.
List of projects funded, in alphabetical order:
- AMANAR 2.0: A refuge in the stars, Algeria, Spain, Italy
- Asteroids workshop: A rocky adventure, Chile
- Astro Sprint, India
- Astrobus, Nigeria
- Astrolab Distant Training, Southern, Eastern and West African countries
- Astronomy for Environmental Protection in Gobi Desert, Mongolia
- Astronomy Motivation Activities,India
- Astro-prison, Nigeria
- Code learning with astronomical ideas, Portugal, Mozambique, East Timor
- COVID-19 in Amazonas — Astronomy strikes back!, Brazil
- Elimisha Msichana. Elimisha Jamii na Astronomia, (Swahili for “educate a girl, educate the entire community with astronomy”) Kenya
- Empowering Rational Capacity through Astronomy: A Distant Learning Approach from Bosscha Observatory, Indonesia
- Empowerment of Disadvantaged Rural Girl Children as Social Change Agents through Basic Education in Astronomy, India
- Interdisciplinary Radio Astronomy, global
- Knowledge access and sharing through Cultural Astronomy in Uganda’s Refugee settlements and host communities, Uganda
- Open Astronomy Clubs for Quality Education, Gender Equality and Distribution of Telescopes, Cameroon
- OruMbya — Astronomy as fuel of life: the resilience of stars in Yoruba, Afro-Brazilian and Indigenous Cosmogony, Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique, São Tomé and Principe, Angola and Portugal
- Pan-African School for Emerging Astronomers 2021, Africa
- Rediscovering Identity though Astronomy, Chile
- Upliftment of Space Technology and Astronomy Cell in Himalayas, India
- Video Astronomy Lessons for Pakistani School Children, Pakistan
The OAD has also compiled a list of recommended proposals that were approved by the reviewers but could not be funded. You can browse through the Recommended list and contact us for more details or to support one or more projects.