Apply for Remote Fellowship at IAU Office of Astronomy for Development


The IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) seeks inspired individuals from any relevant background for its remote fellowship program.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU), in partnership with the South African National Research Foundation (NRF), established the global Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in Cape Town, South Africa.  The OAD exists as a global coordinating centre for “astronomy-for-development” activities. It is tasked with establishing and strategically coordinating Regional Offices and Language Expertise Centers worldwide and implementing an annual call for proposals and global flagship projects. In addition, the OAD seeks inspired individuals from any relevant background for its remote fellowship, who will help continue the realisation of the vision “Astronomy for a better world”.

Due to the global pandemic, the fellowships can be carried out either remotely or, in some cases, on-site in Cape Town. OAD Fellowships are usually awarded in special circumstances where a person’s existing voluntary contributions to the OAD are evaluated to be at an exceptional level, and the Fellowship is used to complete a specific project. However, the OAD also welcomes proposals from individuals not previously associated with the work of the Office but who demonstrate the enthusiasm and potential to contribute to the vision of the OAD. A Fellowship grant will be awarded in the form of a once-off payment for remote fellowships or a monthly stipend for on-site Fellowships. The grant amount will depend on the project or activity that the individual will be working on and their qualifications and agreed time commitment.

Currently, the OAD seeks individuals who will be able to drive or assist in any of the following:

  • Activities strongly related to one of the OAD Flagship projects;
  • Coordination of information and communications related to projects and creation of communication products. e.g. gather and edit videos from OAD projects; produce infographics, posters, update social media strategy, organise projects information (see list of all funded projects);
  • Development and coordination of volunteer management system (see existing portal)
  • Exploration of ways that astronomy can positively contribute to mitigating the effects of the pandemic (see existing work);
  • Development of technical projects for the OAD – these will entail using astronomy tools, skills or methodologies to help tackle technical challenges in development-related fields (an example of a technical project); and
  • Any new or innovative idea centred around astronomy-for-development.

All applications should be submitted electronically to  in the form of a brief CV (including references) and a 1-paged motivation. The motivation should include a description of the project they propose to work on, the related time that would be committed to it (e.g. six months full time, three months part-time) and any related logistics that may need to be considered.

For any queries about this position, please contact Kevin Govender

Click here to get real time data and information on every Segments and players in the African space and satellite industry.