Student Assistance

Funds to assist student costs associated with conferences and observatories are available from the ASA and other sources.

The ASA provides limited support for students to attend a conference.  

Assistance to attend the Harley Wood School is provided through the meeting organisers. However, it is generally expected that institutions will fund student attendance at the Harley Wood School.

The amount of money per student and how it is divided is left to the discretion of the meeting organisers, operating within a set of guidelines. The aim is to roughly equalise the cost of travel for all attendees using the cheapest reasonable mode of travel. (e.g. students from Western Australia could expect more support to attend an east coast meeting than a Sydney student, who may get none). A contribution to accommodation may be considered if sufficient funds are available, but Registration is unaffected by distance and therefore not funded. There is little point awarding very small amounts to many people so, if necessary, preference will be given to ASA members over non-members. Non-members may register as a member providing the Secretary receives their membership application prior to the closure date for early HWS registration. Payment of annual membership fees must then be received within 14 days of the closure date. This is intended to encourage students in the first year of their candidature to attend the Harley Wood School. We hope and expect subsidised non-members to join after the meeting.

Enquiries should be directed to the meeting organisers. Claims must be submitted to the ASA Treasurer, accompanied by original receipts.

Student Travel/Conferences

Limited travel funds are available to assist student members of the ASA to attend overseas and domestic research meetings. This does not include the Society’s annual scientific meeting and Harley Wood School for Astronomy which have other sources of student support. Registration fees for online conferences can be supported.

There are two application deadlines per year – 31 March and 30 September.

The Student Travel Assistance Scheme (STAS) has two components: conference travel and non-conference travel. The awards will be subject to the following rules:

  • The total available per student is $2500 during their candidature.
  • No more than $1500 can be awarded for any single trip or purpose.
  • A student is eligible for one award from each category (conference or non-conference).
  • Students would normally be expected to be making a presentation at a conference or workshop to be eligible for funding.
  • Students must have been financial members of the ASA for at least 6 months prior to making the application.

An example of non-conference meetings that are appropriate would be Busy Days meetings. Examples of non-conference meetings that are not appropriate include: a) Observing trips (usually funded elsewhere); b) Training sessions (for which the candidate’s institution is responsible). Workshops would usually count as conference meetings.

Students will not generally be supported in their first year of study and must be members of the Society for at least 6 months prior to the application deadline or departure, whichever is earlier.

Applications are required to be lodged in advance of travelling. In exceptional circumstances application may be for post-conference support, but the application must then be made within 1 month of returning and the 6-month mandatory membership period prior to departure must still have been met. Exceptional circumstances are limited to unforeseeable student out of pocket expenses arising from other funding sources not fulfilling their obligation or changes to the trip that could not have been avoided.

Attendance at ASA meetings (eg the Annual Scientific Meeting, Chapter sponsored meetings) is not eligible for funding under this scheme.

To apply for support you should complete the ASA Student Travel Assistance Scheme Application Form (Excel) and send it to Dr Marc Duldig, Joint ASA Secretary (marc.duldig -@- with abstracts of any papers being presented and a full budget for the trip indicating all expenses, any other sources of funding and which funding will cover which expenses. You may add any other material you feel is important.

If successful, after the trip or online conference/workshop, you will need to supply a short report of your involvement in the meeting before your grant will be processed. This need only be a few paragraphs and should confirm your actual travel details and papers presented, etc

You will be required to email to the ASA Treasurer copies of receipts for amounts of equal or greater value than the grant and a covering claim form (obtainable from the ASA Treasurer). The Treasurer will then arrange for a transfer of the funds into your bank account.

The ASA requires that you acknowledge this support in any publication resulting from the trip or conference/workshop.

Any enquiries should be directed to Dr Marc Duldig, Joint ASA Secretary.

Other sources of funds for student travel are also listed on the Travel Assistance page of the ASA’s Australian Astronomy web site. Ask your supervisor and Research/Scholarships office for further details.