Weekly Round-Up Of Space And Astronomy Opportunities For Africans

Our Friday weekly round-up curates opportunities that are still open for application. The Opportunities portal aggregates job vacancies, internships, scholarships, calls for abstracts, fellowships, contests, exchange programmes and other opportunities that are available to Africans who are interested in space and astronomy. Simply put, it’s an aggregator for space and astronomy-related opportunities for Africans.

Have you missed any opportunities this week? Check out the weekly round-up below:

Apply To Participate In The IAF Online Competition for Young Influencers in Space

The International Astronautical Federation is organizing with the Russian Space Agency, ROSCOSMOS, the Global Space Exploration Conference GLEX 2020 in St. Petersburg from 9-11 June 2020. IAF is looking for young influencers to help promote on social media, the vision of peace through space.

The winners of the IAF Online Competition for Young Influencers will be invited and fully sponsored by the IAF to attend GLEX 2020 in St. Petersburg and share their experiences with the space community.

What are the Requirements?

To participate in the IAF Online Competition for Young Influencers, applicants need to be:

  • Between the ages of 18-35 on 1 January 2020;
  • Passionate about space and science fiction;
  • Active on social media across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, Blogs or LinkedIn:
    • Regular postings ensuring a daily dialog with the followers
    • A minimum of 100.000 followers
    • High engagement rate of followers
    • Alexa Rank for bloggers
    • Content related to space and science fiction

 The prize

  • Round trip airfare between the candidate’s residence country and St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
  • Support (in kind-services or funding), lodging and meals during the candidate’s stay in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
  • Assistance with visa arrangements provided
  • Free registration to the Global Space Exploration Conference GLEX 2020
  • Participation in all social and cultural visits and events
  • VIP status

The application video must be received by IAF Secretariat by the 28 February 2020, 15:00 (CET Paris time)

Click Apply To Participate In The IAF Online Competition for Young Influencers in Space to apply and get further information.

Application Available For RAS-OAD Astro4Dev Grants

The Royal Astronomical Society- Office of Astronomy for Development ( RAS-OAD) mobility funding has the goal of establishing or nurturing research, educational and/or development-related collaborations between the United Kingdom (UK) and countries where astronomy research is not well established.

Scientists, engineers or educators (including graduate students) either based in the UK or who will travel to the UK or the EAS meeting in 2020 are eligible to apply.

Terms (Please read before applying for funding)

  1. The visit should be preceded with detailed communication with a well-established contact person in the destination country. This contact could be via a Regional Node of the OAD, or personal contact. In either case, the proposed visit should have a strategic rationale. The application process will be an iterative one, in which the OAD and the Regional Node (where applicable) will provide strategic guidance. Potential applicants should, therefore, contact the OAD early in the process (at least 8 weeks before the proposed travel).
  2. A plan for the visit should be drawn up and submitted in consultation with the OAD, bearing in mind that the bulk of the preparatory work should be done by the applicant. The online application form contains the details required for the plan.
  3. The plan should include a discussion of options for continued collaboration after the RAS-OAD supported the visit.
  4. For an expert visiting from the UK, the expert should interact closely with the hosting scientists/engineers/educators and their students, and should also deliver topical lectures and seminars that could be of broader interest at the host institution. Possible activities involving all three focus areas should be considered (i.e. areas of school-level education; public understanding of science; university-level education and research)
  5. For a visitor to the UK, a clear programme of wider participation in research, student supervision and public engagement should be presented…

Deadline for applications:  1 March 2020

Click Application Available For RAS-OAD Astro4Dev Grants to apply and get further information.

Apply To Work With Iziko Museums of South Africa

Iziko Museums of South Africa are African museums of excellence that empower and
inspire all people to celebrate and respect our diverse heritage. Iziko Museums of South Africa seeks to appoint a motivated employee in the following position:

Education Department
Planetarium Manager


  • Relevant Postgraduate qualification (Natural Science/Engineering/Computer
    Science focus)
  • At least five years’ experience in museum and/or astronomy or science environment with at least three years at the management level
  • Computer literacy in MS Office Suite
  • Proof required of valid driver’s licence.

Key Responsibilities

  • To manage staff who are responsible for facilitating and presenting planetarium presentations, shows, lectures and workshops for learners, educators and the public
  • Provide guidance and input relating to Astronomy
  • Participate in strategic planning and budgeting
  • Compile and submit monthly, quarterly and annual reports for the Planetarium and audio-visual activities to the Director Education


Basic Salary Range: R359 604 – R486 552 per annum, plus benefits. Iziko benefits comprise generous contributions towards a designated retirement fund (compulsory), a designated medical aid (voluntary) and a housing subsidy (voluntary). Other employment conditions such as working hours and leave entitlement are also generous.

Deadline: Friday, 14 February 2020.

Click Apply To Work With Iziko Museums of South Africa to apply and get further information.

Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2020 Opens Abstract and Grant Submission

Communicating Astronomy with the Public conference is a platform for facilitating the exchange of ideas and best practices in science communication, outreach, and related aspects. Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, will host the world’s largest conference on astronomy communication on the 21st–25th of September 2020.

Professionals from science communication, informal education, planetaria and science centres, as well as professional and amateur astronomers, journalists and creative types, are invited to attend the conference to exchange ideas and best practices. Under the central theme of “Communicating Astronomy for a better world: environment, culture, and peace”, the Scientific Organising Committee (SOC) is inviting proposals for oral presentations, posters, and workshops to be submitted online by 15 March 2020.

The topics for the conference are:

  1. Current Challenges in Astronomy Communication;
  2. Best Practices in Public Outreach;
  3. Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Empathy in Communicating Astronomy;
  4. The Media’s Role in Astronomy Communication;
  5. Using Multimedia, Social Media, Immersive Environments and other Technologies for Public Engagement with Astronomy;
  6. Astronomy and Climate Change;
  7. Astronomy Communication to Promote Peace;
  8. The Role of Astronomy in Bridging Cultures;
  9. Communicating Astronomy in the Asia–Pacific Region.

Participants will also have the opportunity to add their own topics for discussion during the event’s “unconference” slots.

Networking activities will encourage learning from peers, identifying potential partners, and strengthening the links between Asia–Pacific and international science communicators.

The SOC is also planning two special sessions:

10. The legacy of the IAU100 Celebrations

11. Communicating Astronomy: The IAU Strategic Plan 2020-2030

The International Astronomical Union will offer a small number of grants or fee waivers to selected participants from around the world.

Important dates

31 January 2020

  • Abstract submission opens;
  • IAU Grant application opens;

15 March 2020

  • Abstract submission deadline;
  • Grant application deadline;

10 May 2020

  • Grant winners announcement: Speakers and Poster Presenters notified.

Click Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2020 Opens Abstract and Grant Submission to apply and get further information.

Application Open For The 2020 ASSA and Cooke Astronomy Scholarships

The Astronomical Society of Southern Africa (ASSA) is administering two scholarships:

  • The ASSA Scholarship, funded by ASSA, and
  • The Cooke Scholarship, funded by a donation from the PE People’s Observatory Society.

ASSA Scholarship

The purpose of the ASSA Scholarship is to encourage the study of astronomy. The Scholarship is available in support of 2nd and 3rd-year undergraduate studies in astronomy (and, in exceptional cases, Honours), at a Southern African university.

Cooke Scholarship 

The Cooke Scholarship, instituted in 2018, is intended to support astronomy studies at a recognized South African university.  Up to R20,000 is available to fund studies at undergraduate (2nd year on) or postgraduate studies.

The scholarships are intended to encourage the study of astronomy, at undergraduate (2nd year up) or, in exceptional cases, postgraduate level, at any Southern African university, including those which offer astronomy courses to part-time students in distance-learning mode.

Criteria are a demonstrated interest in astronomy and a good academic record. Preference will be given to:

  • previous scholarship-holders who have made good progress in their studies;
  • applicants who are not in receipt of other scholarships or similar funding;
  • (for the ASSA Scholarship) ASSA members.

The scholarship will contribute towards academic fees and the cost of prescribed books, and is valid for one year. Payment of academic fees will be made directly to the university concerned. Scholarship awards shall be based on an evaluation of the applications and the recommendations of the relevant university department. Applicants may be required to be interviewed at an ASSA Centre convenient to them.

Applications must be submitted to ASSA no later than 7 February 2020. One application should be submitted for consideration for both scholarships.

Deadline: 7 February 2020.

Click Application Open For The 2020 ASSA and Cooke Astronomy Scholarships to apply and get further information.