AFAS Launches 2022 Seed Research Grant Application

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The African Astronomical Society (AfAS) Early-Career Researcher Sub-Committee has launched the 2022 AfAS Seed Research Grant. The Grant supports research projects in Astronomy (including Astrophysics and Space Science) by postgraduate students and/or early career researchers that are based in Africa. Outstanding applicants will receive three grants of EUR 1,200 (USD 1,369) in 2022. In addition, Successful applicants can use the funding for international/domestic travel, lodging, computer equipment and other research-related expenses. 

Eligibility 

  • Applicants can be citizens of any country if they are based in Africa during the 2021-2022 academic year; 
  • Applicants are currently conducting research in Astronomy (including Astrophysics and Space Science) at an academic or research institute in Africa;
  • Likewise, applicants must be at a postgraduate level or they must have received their PhD degree within the past three years. That is, between November 2018 – November 2021. 

Application Procedure 

Applicants should submit the following documents in one single PDF to Dr Charles Takalana by 31 January 2022: 

  • A detailed curriculum vitae including a full list of academic publications and contact details of two academic referees; 
  • A research proposal (maximum 3 pages), including (but not limited to) the following 
    • research title and abstract;
    • the scientific rationale and an introductory background; 
    • the methodology and expected results; 
    • the proposed timeline and a budget breakdown.
  • A motivation letter addressed to the AfAS Seed Research Grant Committee; 
  • Proof of registration (for postgraduate students) or proof of employment (for early career researchers) at an academic or scientific research institute. 

Applicants should also arrange for signed recommendation letters from two academic referees to be sent directly to Dr Charles Takalana by 31 January 2022. At least one letter must be from a senior scientist (e.g. the advisor) familiar with the applicant’s research work. 

Incomplete applications or files received after the deadline, as well as applications that do not meet the conditions of eligibility will not be taken into consideration. 

If you are submitting any supporting documents in your local language, you must attach at least an informal translation into English. 

Selection criteria 

Applications will undergo review and ranking by the AfAS Seed Research Grant Committee. The committee comprises senior astronomers and members of the AfAS Science Committee. Applicants will undergo evaluation by the jury based on the following criteria: 

  • Quality of the research proposal (e.g. significance of the research statement); – Publication track record, commensurate with the applicant’s career stage; – Excellence of the overall academic performance and achievements;
  • potential impact on growing research collaborations in Africa. 

AfAS reserves the right not to accept any application in part or in whole. 

Grant Awards Agreement 

No funds will be released until AfAS has received the grant agreement signed by the successful applicants. The selected recipients are also required to submit a report including research updates and a financial report with expenses and scanned receipts of major expenses in the year following the award of the seed grant. 

Estimated Timeline 

  • Opening of the call: 15 November 2021 
  • Closing of the call: 31 January 2022 
  • Application review process: during February 2022 
  • Notification of successful applicants: by mid-March 2022 

Enquiries 

Dr Zara Randriamanakoto, Early Career Representative Officer, African Astronomical Society  

Dr Charles Takalana Head of Secretariat & Assistant General Secretary, African Astronomical Society  

For more details on AfAS please visit here.

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