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The ?IAF has just announced a special grant/scholarship to help get students and young professionals over to the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), being held in Italy next year. This is a MASSIVE conference, with around 3000 people in attendance (and if I recall, around 1000 students/young professionals). The breadth of content is amazing, with papers presented on topics from space elevators, policy, exploration, propulsion systems, space debris ... you name it.

Two people from Australia have won a grant recently, and it's time that a New Zealander was in that ranking.
The deadline is very soon - APPLY NOW!

I attended the conferences myself (both SGC and IAC) in Prague, 2010 - and it was amazing. I'll be heading back to IAC next year (but alas, am too old to apply to the grant). If anyone has any questions, please contact me and I'll be happy to assist.

-- Mark Mackay

IAF Emerging Space Leaders Grant

The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) has announced its 2012 Emerging Space Leaders Grant Programme (formerly known as the Youth Grant Programme) that provides opportunities for students and young professionals to participate the annual International Astronautical Congresses.

The young people selected to participate in the 2012 Emerging Space Leaders Grant Programme will participate in the 63rd International Astronautical Congress (IAC) scheduled to take place in Naples, Italy from 1 to 5 October 2012. The individuals selected will also be given the opportunity to participate in other activities held the week prior and during the Congress such as the UN/IAF Workshop and the Space Generation Congress (a dedicated conference for students/young professionals).

Students and Young Professionals between the ages of 21 and 35 on 1 January 2012 with space-related career interests are encouraged to apply for the programme. Up to twelve students and young professionals will be selected by the IAF to participate in the 2012 programme.

Who should consider applying?

  • Individuals interested in pursuing careers involving the development, application and use of space systems, space science research, the policy, legal, social and cultural aspects of space activities, international cooperation on space programs and other similar subjects.
  • Persons who – for financial, sponsorship or other reasons – would not otherwise be able to attend an International Astronautical Congress.
  • Young people who wish to meet and interact with other colleagues from around the world with similar interests.
  • Individuals who hope to utilise the knowledge and experiences they gain during the IAC in their own careers and in enhancing space and related activities in their home countries.

What does the grant include?

  • Round trip air fare between the candidate’s home country and Naples, Italy.
  • Support (in kind-services or funding) for local transportation, lodging and meals during the candidate’s stay in Naples, Italy.
  • Assistance with visa arrangements provided by the IAC Local Organising Committee and the Government of Italy.
  • Registration in the 63rd International Astronautical Congress as well as the Space Generation Congress (27 – 29 September 2012) and the 2012 UN/IAF Workshop.
  • Assignment of an experienced volunteer “mentor” to provide advice on Congress activities before the IAC, to meet with the grant recipient during the IAC and to follow the recipient’s career and activities upon returning to his/her home country. A student or young professional advisor with previous IAC experience and planning to attend the 63rd IAC will also be assigned to help each grant recipient benefit fully from the Congress and related meetings.

Australians have been successful in the first two rounds of the IAF Grant Scheme, Mary D’Souza from the University of Queensland in 2010 and Eloise Matheson in 2011. Both students also participated in the ISEB Student Program and the UN/IAF Workshop and reported that the overall experience was invaluable for helping them move into the professional phase of their career in the space industry.

More details, including how to apply, can be found on the IAF website  

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