ann24001 — Announcement

Science and astronomy in southern Botswana
15 January 2024
Office of Astronomy for Development: Results of the 2023 Call for Proposals

The Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) is pleased to announce the results of its latest call for proposals. 12 projects around the world will receive a total of 96 700 euros in 2024. In addition, two ongoing multi-year projects, selected in previous years, will receive 17 967 euros for their second and third years of funding.

The new projects will cover Asia, Africa, South and Central America, and the Middle East. The selected proposals include: astro-tourism initiatives near petroglyph sites in Mongolia and the Tharparkar Desert in Pakistan; a community education programme in rural Honduras; a remote internship for marginalised students from Central America and the Caribbean; a collaboration between astronomers and artists in a Brazilian favela; projects advancing girls’ education and empowerment in Ethiopia and Kenya; and teacher training workshops in Timor-Leste and Palestine.

This was the OAD’s 12th annual call for proposals, and it received 100 applications at stage 1, from which 45 were selected for stage 2. An independent review panel, comprising experts from astronomy and development fields, evaluated the applications and made the final selections, which were later approved by the OAD Steering Committee.

The annual call for proposals is open to anyone from anywhere in the world. Since it began in 2011, the IAU has granted close to 1.3 million euros to more than 200 projects, reaching people in over 100 countries. The next call is expected to be announced in April 2024. 

The projects funded, in alphabetical order, are:

  1. Astro-Petroglyphs Mapping, Bayan-Ulgii province, Mongolia
  2. Astronomy and Science education in remote Honduras
  3. Astronomy Videos for Kids in Pakistan (with a co-host tin India to be added, with the aim of increasing the appeal to the sub-continent)
  4. BARCo: Bringing Astronomy to Rural Communities of Colombia
  5. Central America & Caribbean Bridge
  6. Closer to the sky: co-creating astronomical knowledge in the favela complex of Cantagalo Pavão Pavãozinho (PPG) in Rio de Janeiro (with a partner project in India, and collaborators in Argentina, Chile, Italy, and the UK)
  7. Elimisha Msichana Elimisha Jamii na Astronomia (Educate a Girl Educate the entire Community with Astronomy), Kenya and Uganda
  8. Fostering Socioeconomic Development through STEM Education and Astrotourism in the Tharparkar Desert, Pakistan
  9. Internet of Things for Light Pollution Control and Space Science Development, Nigeria
  10. Pan-African School for Emerging Astronomers 2024 (in collaboration with other IAU Regional Offices of Astronomy for Development)
  11. SciGirls – Empowering girls and female teachers through astronomy in rural areas affected by conflict, Ethiopia
  12. Strengthening the Knua Prátika and Building future astronomers for Lorosa’e land, Timor-Leste
  13. Tactile Experience: An Astronomy Development Tool for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Nigeria
  14. Teacher Training Program for Astronomy Education (TTPAE), Palestine

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.

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.

The IAU established the Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) in partnership with the South African National Research Foundation (NRF), and supported by the South African Department of Science and Innovation. The OAD, located at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in Cape Town, South Africa, aims to help further the use of astronomy, including its practitioners, skills and infrastructures, as a tool for development.



Ramasamy Venugopal
IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD)

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

About the Announcement



Science and astronomy in southern Botswana