ann23030 — Announcement

Voting session at the International Astronomical Union General Assembly 2018
12 September 2023
Call for Applications for New IAU National Members

The IAU is inviting applications from organisations interested in joining the IAU National Membership. Proposals should be submitted by 1 December 2023, and will be considered at the IAU XXXII General Assembly in South Africa in 2024.

The IAU welcomes applications for its National Membership for any country that wishes to promote and develop professional astronomy in their community. National Members are organisations representing a national professional astronomical community desiring to actively participate in international frameworks. They also support the IAU’s mission of promoting and safeguarding the science of astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education, and development, through international cooperation.

Applications for National Members are open every three years and close eight months prior to the IAU General Assemblies. National Members at the time of the General Assembly assign one representative to vote on the new members on their behalf. National Members are paramount in deciding the future of the Union by determining the overall policies, approving changes to the Statutes and Bye-Laws, electing the Executive Committee to implement its decisions, and approving budgetary decisions, as well as appointing the Special Nominating Committee, Finance Committee, and Membership Committee. Additionally, National Members can nominate Honorary, Individual, and Junior Members and propose to host General Assemblies [1].

National Members can be organisations by which scientists of the corresponding nation or territory adhere to the International Science Council (ISC), a National Society or Committee for Astronomy, or an institution of higher learning. Applications for IAU National Membership should include [2]:

  • A description of the organisation requesting IAU National Membership, including its role in the astronomical activity of its country. The basic organisational structure, key personnel and funding sources of the organisation should be explained.
  • An overview of recent and planned professional astronomical activities in the country, including a listing of astronomical institutes and the number of professional astronomers and their astronomical or astronomy-related projects.
  • The class of IAU National Membership the country seeks and the proposed Category of Adherence (Bye-Laws §VII.25)[2].

The IAU Executive Committee is also interested in details of the specific benefits to local astronomical activity and development that a prospective National Member hopes to gain from membership in the Union.

"With over 12,000 active professional astronomers from more than 100 countries worldwide, the IAU strives to unite the international astronomical community while voicing and supporting our members’ individual contributions to advancing astronomy.” says IAU President Debra Elmegreen. “We invite new national organisations to participate in our decision-making process and be actively involved in paving the path for the future of astronomy globally.”

“For over a century, the IAU has brought astronomers together to share their discoveries and launch international collaborations,” adds Jose Miguel Espinosa, IAU General Secretary. “With our 85 national member countries, we welcome new applications to join our union and look forward to your participation in our pursuit of a truly representative, diverse international community.”

Submissions are accepted until 1 December 2023. To submit an application, please fill out the application form and email the IAU General Secretary, copying the IAU Membership Coordinator.


[1] The procedure for submission and approval of a National Membership application is described in the Working Rules (Working Rules §II.1-2), with important references in the IAU Statutes §IV.5-10, Bye-Laws §I.1-2.

[2] National Members have the right to vote on IAU issues. For budget issues, each NM has a number of votes equal to one greater than the number of its Category; for non-budget matters, each National Member has 1 vote. Categories can range from I to XII (Bye-Laws §VII). Organisations applying to become National Members may request a discussion with the President to understand the most appropriate category. National Members with Interim and Observer Status cannot vote (Statutes §VII).

More information

The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 12 000 active professional astronomers from more than 100 countries worldwide. Its mission is to promote and safeguard astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomers.



Lina Canas
IAU Membership Coordinator

José Miguel Rodriguez Espinosa
IAU General Secretary

Debra Elmegreen
IAU President

Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Director of Communications
Cell: +1 520 461 0433/+49 173 38 72 621

About the Announcement



Voting session at the International Astronomical Union General Assembly 2018