IAU Opens Applications for its 2021 PhD Prize


The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is inviting applications for its 2021 PhD prize. The prize is an award that celebrates the outstanding accomplishments made globally by PhD researchers in astrophysics. Thus, the deadline is 15 December 2021 at 23:59 CET, and the application form is available here.

IAU awards the annual prize in each of the nine IAU Divisions to recognise the most remarkable thesis work done in the previous year. Thus, eligible PhD theses for the 2021 Prize are the theses that have undergone defence between 16 December 2020 and 15 December 2021. On the other hand, theses still in their preparatory or submission phase by 15 December 2021 are not eligible for the 2021 Prize.

Each recipient will receive a range of prizes tailored at the discretion of the awarding Division. Furthermore, a standard prize includes airfare and accommodation to attend the next IAU General Assembly, where certificates will be presented. For winners of the 2021 prize, this will be the XXXI IAU General Assembly in Busan, Republic of Korea. Other prizes might include the opportunity to present their thesis work at the Division Days meetings and an invitation to attend presentations at the IAU Executive Committee meeting. The prizes also include dinner at the General Assembly and the possibility of presenting a talk at either a plenary or special session.

Candidates are to submit: 

  • An abstract of their thesis that is pitched at a level suitable for the public; 
  • A 1500-word thesis summary; 
  • Three letters of recommendation (including one from the PhD advisor); and 
  • A CV. 

Each Division’s standards and methods will guide the selection of the winner from each Division. Furthermore, the Division Steering Committee will guide the selection process, possibly with corroborating external consultation or additional letters of recommendation.

The IAU PhD Prize is open to candidates from any country, regardless of its IAU membership status. In addition, IAU will award a separate prize to applicants from developing countries (defined as those not in the OECD).

You can apply for the prize and get more information regarding it here.

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