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Application deadline: 07 February 2022

The African Astronomical Society (AfAS) is the primary pan-African professional society representing astronomers from across the continent. AfAS aims to create and support a globally competitive and collaborative astronomy community in Africa and to be the voice of astronomy in Africa while contributing to addressing the challenges faced by Africa through the promotion and advancement of astronomy.

The AfAS Seed Research Grant

Launched in 2021 by the AfAS Early-Career Researcher Sub-Committee, AfAS Seed Research Grant supports research projects in Astronomy (including Astrophysics and Space Science) conducted by postgraduate students and/or early career researchers that are based in Africa. Three (3) grants of 1 200 Euros each will be awarded to outstanding applicants in 2022. The seed funding may be used for international/domestic travel, lodging, computer equipment and other research-related expenses.


  • Applicants can be citizens of any country, provided 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 scientific research institute in Africa.
  • Applicants must be enrolled in a postgraduate level or they must have received their PhD degree within the past three years.

Application Procedure

Applicants should submit the following documents combined in one single PDF to Dr Charles Takalana (charles.takalana@afasociety.org) by 07 February 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 research title and abstract, the scientific rationale and an introductory background, the methodology and expected results, as well as the proposed timeline and a budget breakdown;
  • A motivation letter addressed to the AfAS Seed Research Grant Committee;
  • A proof of registration (for postgraduate students) or a 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 07 February 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 which 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 be reviewed and ranked by the AfAS Seed Research Grant Committee which is composed of senior astronomers and members from the AfAS Science Committee. Applicants will be evaluated 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: 07 February 2022
  • Application review process: during February 2022
  • Notification of successful applicants: by mid-March 2022


Dr. Zara Randriamanakoto

Early Career Representative Officer, African Astronomical Society

Email: zara@saao.ac.za

Dr. Charles Takalana

Head of Secretariat & Assistant General Secretary, African Astronomical Society

Email: charles.takalana@afasociety.org