AAO Return to Work Scholarship Award


A Women-in-Astronomy workshop held in May 2011, focused amongst other things, on how to retain highly qualified women in their chosen field of Astronomy. As a world leading institution in astronomy, the AAO wishes to be at the forefront of any such targeted initiatives.

AAO targeted initiative

The AAO is offering a discretionary award to assist staff return to work after extended absence as a primary carer. Although open to all staff, preference will be given to female researchers. The AAO will set aside up to $35,000 per annum as a pool of funds to support any qualifying activity.

Application to be considered for an award will be by making a case for one or more components of the scholarship. Application will be to the AAO Director and is subject to the availability of funds and a sound case being made. The AAO Director and General Manager will jointly consider all applications. The AAO reserves the right to make no award if it believes the applications lack sufficient merit.

Award Details

The AAO scholarship is available to any AAO ongoing/ fixed term/ fixed task staff member returning to work after at least 18 weeks of leave as primary carer for either a newborn child, sick relative or an aged parent.

The following activities qualify for support

  • The hire of a research assistant
  • Paying for observing support relief
  • Hosting workshops
  • Going on sabbatical
  • Conference and travel support
  • Hosting visiting scientists
  • Meeting the costs of family travel to conferences and sabbatical locations
  • Child care/or nanny costs

The award is to be taken within eighteen months after returning from leave. Applications should be 1-2 pages in length making a case for one or more of the components listed above. A budget or cost estimates should be provided.