OAD-SAAO Call for Proposals
The global Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) is a joint partnership between the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) through the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) with the support of the Department of Science and Innovation (ISD) . The mission of the OAD is to further the use of astronomy, in all its aspects, as a tool for development. Every year, the OAD invites proposals for projects that use astronomy as a tool to address one or more challenges related to sustainable development. The call for proposals is open to anyone from anywhere in the world.
The Call for Proposals is divided into two stages of application. The first stage is open to everyone while only selected proposals from Stage 1 will be invited to Stage 2. Detailed information is provided below for the Stage 1 process; more information for Stage 2 will be provided after the end of Stage 1 in August 2022.
“Astronomy for Development is about PEOPLE, not the STARS”
The proposed project should address a problem or challenge related to development and the project should use Astronomy (or Basic Sciences) as a tool to address this problem. Eg. Sustainable, local socio-economic development through Astronomy
This flagship aims to use an astronomical facility, such as an observatory or planetarium, as a “hub” within a small town or village to stimulate various associated socio-economic benefits for the local community. Benefits could include job creation through astronomy-related tourism; community skills development; educational programs; stimulation of local innovation; alternative activities for youth in order to keep away from negative/harmful activities; and infrastructure development. The establishment of such a facility in close collaboration with relevant government, industry, academic and development partners, including local and traditional leadership, will ensure the sustainability of the initiative.
The deadline for stage 1 proposals is 31 May 2022. The outcome of the proposals will be announced in mid-November 2022.
From the experience of funding 180 projects (and reviewing more than 1000 proposals) since 2013, and with input from the regional offices around the world, the OAD has identified flagship projects that encapsulate the idea of astronomy for development, and which have the potential for global roll-out. This is to use astronomy as a tool to address a challenge or promote an SDG such as Sustainable Cities and Communities and Quality Education. The themes for this proposal are:
1. Sustainable, local socio-economic development through Astronomy
2. Science diplomacy through Astronomy: Celebrating our Common Humanity
3. Knowledge and Skills for Development
4. Basic sciences for sustainable development
5. COVID-19 and astronomy for development
- Benefits could include job creation through astronomy-related tourism; community skills development; educational programs; stimulation of local innovation; alternative activities for youth in order to keep away from negative/harmful activities; and infrastructure development.
- Partnerships with relevant NGOs, humanitarian organisations, artists, government and academia, among others.
- Relevant skills development for the global astronomy education, outreach and research communities.
- Evidence of the effectiveness of inserting astronomy-related interventions into a suite of activities for people in refugee camps or similar.