IAU PhD Prize to Recognise Excellence in Astrophysics

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The International Astronomical Union’s (IAU) PhD Prize recognises outstanding scientific achievements in astrophysics around the world. Each IAU Division has, once a year, the opportunity to award the prize to the candidate that has carried out the most remarkable work in the previous year (i.e. a PhD Thesis which has been defended between the 16 December during the last year and 15 December this year). Theses that are in preparation or submitted but not yet defended by the deadline of a given year will have to be submitted the following year. 

The recipient of each award receives a range of prizes, tailored by each Division at their discretion. A standard prize includes airfare and accommodation to attend the next IAU General Assembly, where certificates will be awarded. Other prizes might include the opportunity to present their thesis work at Division Days, an invitation to attend presentations to the IAU Executive Committee meeting and dinner at the General Assembly, and the possibility of presenting a talk at either a plenary or special session.

Candidates are required to submit: an abstract of their thesis suitable for public consumption; a 1500-word thesis summary; three letters of recommendation (including one from the PhD advisor); and a CV. The winner of each Division will be decided by the Division’s standards and methods — guided by the Division Steering Committee — and possibly with corroborating external consultation or additional letters of recommendation.

The IAU PhD Prize is open to candidates from any country, regardless of whether the country has an IAU National Membership. On top of this, a separate prize is available to applicants from developing countries (defined as those not in the OECD).

The deadline for all applications is 15 December every year, to include all applications since the previous year’s deadline. To access the application form, kindly check here

Please note that the deadline is at 11:59 PM in the IAU office in Paris, France (GMT+1).

About IAU

The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together almost 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. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world’s largest professional body for astronomers.

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