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Astronomy for Development - OAD/ICTP Grants



The vision of the OAD aligns very strongly with that of ICTP in terms of stimulating high quality education in developing regions. Recognising astronomy as a “gateway science” and a means to excite young minds and stimulate a general interest in all areas of science, technology and innovation, the OAD and ICTP are working together to realise common goals. The focus is on university level education, which is one of three areas of interest for the OAD, the other two being school level education and the public understanding of science. However, the supported activities straddle all three of these areas, especially in least developed regions.



  1. Networks.

    In order to stimulate astronomy in universities, with the aim of using it as a gateway science for Mathematics and Physics, a group of scientists at two or more institutions, or the institutions themselves, may develop a network relationship. More than half of the institutions involved in the network must be from a developing region. The networking plan, which will cover a period of up to one year, may comprise various areas of collaboration including but not limited to:

    i. Exchange of lecturers

    ii. Exchange/Development of curricula

    iii. Student exchange/interaction programmes

    iv. Co-supervision over a distance

    v. Research collaboration

    There will be support for up to 3 networks per year, up to a maximum amount of €5000 per proposal.


    Applications for Networks

    A network project proposal should include:

    • A detailed scientific and financial plan for one year;
    • The list of member institutions/individuals;
    • A description of the facilities of the member institutions that will be involved in the network;
    • A justification for the proposed network;
    • The commitment of the member institutions to contribute substantially to the expenses of the project, in particular, to offer hospitality and local services.


     Please send an email copy, in pdf format, of your proposal to both and to indicating clearly that this is an OAD-ICTP Network application.


  2. Individual travel grants.

    There may be occasions where there is a need for individual scientists to travel to other countries in the region in order to build collaborations, strengthen partnerships and establish regional development plans. This is especially the case for developing regions where there may be a limited number of astronomers in a wide geographic region. Alternatively, there may be occasions when an astronomer from one region, who has established prior contact with scientists in another, developing, region, wishes to spend at least three months of their sabbatical year in the developing region. Up to 5 such travel grants per year will be supported, of up to €2000 each, with the understanding that all local expenses are covered by the host institution.


  3. Meetings and workshops.

    In order to bring together people for discussions around astronomy-for-development activities several meetings and workshops are envisaged around the world. These would mostly take the form of a regional workshop to strengthen collaborations and develop plans for regional activities. The contents of such a workshop could range from a purely scientific meeting to something similar to the OAD workshop ( which covered the three focus areas (universities, schools, and public). Support for up to €5000 each for 2 meetings per year will be provided.


    Applications for Astronomy Meetings

    For meetings between July and December applications have to be in by the 31st  of January of the same year. For those meetings between January and June applications have to be received by the 31st of July of the previous year. Applications are only accepted on-line: Astronomy on-line application for scientific meetings.


  4. Queries.

    Please direct any queries to do with the guidlines to  Kevin Govender  at the OAD.

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