One application was received and successful for a 2023 Research Grant. The project is Photometry of variable stars brighter than ~6th magnitude utilising neutral density filters to mitigate scintillation noise caused by short exposure times by Mark Blackford

In 2022 the Astronomical Association of Queensland (AAQ) called for applications for a grant from the Edward Corbould Research Fund (ECRF). The grant was to fund astronomical research by Australian amateur astronomers commencing in 2023.

From October 2022 applications for funding up to the value of $5,000 were invited, to be received by the AAQ General Secretary no later than 28 February 2023. Projects requiring in excess of this amount could be considered under special circumstances.

The ECRF has been established to encourage and assist astronomical research. Projects in any field of astronomy are considered. Projects would normally comprise observational research which has defined objectives and timeline, adds to the body of astronomy or space knowledge, and is appropriate for publication. Funds may be requested to support any aspect of the research including appropriate equipment (excluding office equipment and items which form an inherent part of a larger whole such as a telescope mirror), consumable items or essential travel but excluding personal remuneration. Applications for funding solely for travel to conferences or for planning research will not be considered.

If you have a astronomical research project in mind, we would like to hear from you. Yes, grants for 2023 have closed, but you can prepare for the next time we offer a grant!

If applying for grants or writing proposals would put you off, please approach us anyway. We have experienced amateur researchers who are quite happy to guide you through a proposal, get you started in your research and help you reporting on, or writing up, your project’s outcomes.

The application is in the form of a research proposal and includes the following:

  • A statement of the aims of the project.
  • Details of the proposed methodology including analysis of the data to be collected.
  • A timeline for the project.
  • An itemised list of proposed expenditure. Where appropriate you would rank items in terms of priority: 1 – those essential for the project; 2 – those considered necessary to maintain a reasonable rate of progress to bring the project to completion; 3 – other items which would be useful in supporting the project.
  • A short CV of the applicant including relevant astronomical experience.
  • A letter of support for the project from a scientist/renowned amateur working in the field covered by the proposal.
  • A review of any relevant scientific literature, supported by a list of references.
  • Further details on the requirements can be found in the PDF ECRF Grant Applications Guide.

Applicants are expected to use the ECRF Application form 2023 for making an ECRF Grant submission. There is a PDF version and a Microsoft Word version.

The signed copy of the application is required to be sent by post or scanned and lodged via email to the General Secretary of the AAQ at the address below.

Sufficient biographical and project information has to be provided to allow the Research Committee to determine if the recipient is capable of achieving the project’s aims and the project is scientifically worthwhile. Applicants requesting more than one item of equipment or consumables should provide a list of priorities showing which items are essential and which could be left to a subsequent year.

Applications are reviewed by the AAQ Research Committee which makes recommendations to the AAQ Council. If, in the Research Committee’s opinion, no worthy project is proposed in any year then no funds will be granted for that year.

Applicants must be Australian citizens. Successful applicants who are not members of the AAQ are required to join the AAQ before funds can be disbursed and must remain members during the period of the grant. The current membership fees are published in our Membership Pack. Successful applicants who are not already AAQ members will be advised in time so that they may make membership applications to be received by the General Secretary prior to 1st June for subsequent election to membership at the June 2023 Council Meeting.

Successful applicants must submit annual project progress reports to the General Secretary to be printed in the AAQ Annual Proceedings over the life of the project up to a maximum of 7 years. They must also provide evidence to the General Secretary of the expenditure of the grant in the form of receipts, photographs etc.

Equipment purchased under the ECRF grant remains the property of the AAQ. If the project is of limited duration the equipment is to be either returned to the AAQ or the applicant may purchase the equipment from the AAQ at its depreciated value. Equipment is depreciated at a rate of 20% per annum after the first twelve months with the equipment written off after a 7 year period. Where the equipment is lost, stolen or damaged during the grant recipient’s custodianship, the recipient must tell the Council as soon as possible. The Council reserves the right to ask the recipient to make a contribution to the repair or replacement of the items.

Contact the General Secretary for further details or enquiries.
The General Secretary,
Astronomical Association of Queensland,
PO Box 6101,
St Lucia QLD. 4067.