Office for Young Astronomers

a. Objectives and domicile of the OYA Steering Committee

The prime purpose for the OYA is to run the IAU program on International Schools for Young Astronomers (ISYA). The OYA was established in 2015 by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (NASL) and the International Astronomical Union (IAU) with the aim to ensure a robust financial and organizational basis for the operation of the ISYA program. The OYA is a virtual office consisting of a Steering Committee with the overall responsibility for the OYA. The Steering Committee oversees the ISYA program on behalf of the IAU and the NASL, and it will report regularly to them via their respective Representatives. The Steering Committee is a supporting structure for the Director of ISYA and will work with the Local Organizers of each ISYA. The domicile of the OYA is the NASL in Oslo, Norway.

OYA’s financial support of the ISYAs is essentially dedicated to cover the travel and transportation costs of students and lecturers, both international and within the host country. The host institution shall cover the other expenses during the ISYA.

The OYA Steering Committee is composed of representatives of IAU and NASL. Its mandate is three years, renewable, in phase with the IAU General Assembly.

b. Steering Committee Members are:

  • The Chair of the Steering Committee is an IAU Executive Committee (EC) Vice-President, appointed by the EC, in charge of the "OYA portfolio".
  • An IAU member with notable, relevant experience related to the ISYA program, with a three-year renewable mandate;
  • A Representative from NASL, with notable, relevant experience related to education programs, with a three-year mandate, renewable;
  • The President of IAU Division C ("Education, Outreach, and Heritage"), who has a three-year mandate, normally not renewable;
  • The former Chair of the Steering Committee as advisor to ensure the continuity between successive Steering Committees.

c. Roles of the Steering Committee

The roles of the OYA Steering Committee include:

  • Appointment and re-appointment of ISYA Director and Deputy Director;
  • Approve the program (host country, curriculum and budget) of the forthcoming ISYA proposed by ISYA Director;
  • Discuss the ISYA organization and future over the medium-long term (host countries, collaborations with other international schools, development projects, etc.);
  • Assist the ISYA Director in its relations with Local Organizers, if necessary;
  • Trough Division C, coordinate ISYA activities, whenever possible, with other IAU-related or other international education and outreach activities (OAD, OAO; COSPAR Capacity Building Workshops, NEON Schools, etc.);
  • Organize and promote NASL activities during General Assemblies (Young Astronomers Lunch, Kavli Prize in Astrophysics presentations, and any future activity);
  • Approve and supervise expenses in the ISYA annual budget.


The present OYA Steering Committee:

Xiaowei Liu, OYA SC Chair, IAU Vice-President

Michèle Gerbaldi, IAU Member

Oddbjørn Engvold, NASL Representative

John Hearnshaw, President of IAU Division C

Edward Guinan, Advisor


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