No 36 – 01/09/2017

SGAA/SSAA News No 36 – 01/09/2017

1. Next General Assembly of the SSAA, Zürich, 6 October 2017
2. Call for MERAC Funding, extension of the deadline until September 18 (17h).
3. Saas-Fee lectures 2018

1. Next General Assembly of the SSAA 

It will be held in Zürich on Friday 6 october 2017.
A detailed program of the GA assembly is appended below and
more d’étals about this meeting can be found at 
the webpage

Please register for this event BEFORE SEPTEMBER 20

Call for candidacies to the SSAA Committee

This year, we shall have to renew the members of the SSAA committee, some Members
will get out and some candidates have indicated their interest for
being considered in the election process that will take place during the
next GA in Zürich:

in the last three years (2015-2017), the members of the committee have been

– president, Georges Meynet
– vice-president Prasenjit Saha
– secretary Kevin Schawinski
– treasurer Kevin Heng

A new Committee will have to be elected during the next GA.
Any persons who would be interested to be candidate can announce herself or
himself to the secretary Kevin Schawinski (

At the moment, four persons have expressed their interest (in alphabetical order):

Adam Amara (ETHZ), 
Margit Haberreiter (PMOD/WRC), 
Georges Meynet (Unige), 
Christoph Mordasini (Unibe)

Call for ideas for the Saas-Fee lecture 2019

During the next GA will be chosen the topic of the Saas-Fee lecture 2019.

Please send any proposals to the secretary Kevin Schawinski (

In 2016, we had four proposals and this is indeed a healthy sign that
these lectures, after nearly 50 years of existence, still raise a lot
of interest

Call for ideas for the 50 years of the SSAA in 2018

During this next GA, some ideas to celebrate the 60 years of the SSAA
will be debated: some special event during the GA, the set up of a national 
SSAA prize for young astronomers working in Swiss institutes,…

2. Call for MERAC Funding: deadline for submission of projects: September 18th (17h)

The SSAA is pleased to announce the second 2017 call for MERAC awards.

Since 2013 the SSAA committee distributes Funding and Travel 
Awards (20’000 Euro in total) sponsored by Foundation MERAC (Mobilising 
European Research in Astrophysics and Cosmology), a nonprofit foundation 
in Switzerland to recognize, encourage and promote the research and 
mobility of young European Astrophysicists and Cosmologists.

The recipients of the MERAC awards are listed here:

The objectives of the grants are to cover travel costs, participation 
at international conferences, short stays abroad, costs for collaborations, 
or alike, to support the development of research projects by young 
astrophysicists. The grants do not cover expenses for scientific apparatus 
or equipment.

The grants are subject to the following conditions:
– The grantee must be employed by or affiliated with a Swiss research 
 institute or University.
– The grants must be used to cover project costs, not or only partially 
 covered by other institutions. 
– The grant has to be used within two years, after which unused funding 
 must be reimbursed to the SSAA.
– The grantee provides the SSAA with a financial report and short final 
 report on the use of the grant.  
– The grantee allows the MERAC Foundation to make his/her biography and 
 project summary public.

Applications will be received twice per year (March 1, and september 18). 
They must include a short biography, a research project description with 
a summary, and a budget estimate. In case of a multiple applications, the 
list of other solicited funds shall be given. The applications should be 
limited to a maximum of 5 pages, in a single pdf file, to be sent to 
to with copy to

3. The 48th Saas-Fee Advanced Course of the Swiss Society for Astrophysics and Astronomy will be devoted to:

Black-Hole Formation and Growth

Saas-Fee, Switzerland
January 28 to February 3, 2018

The advanced Course will review the state of knowledge, open questions and forecasts and will cover the following topics: Foundation of Gravity, early Universe, primordial black-holes, black holes at all scales, black-hole merging and gravitational waves, black-hole accretion and feedback, black hole growth on cosmological time scales.

27 hours of lectures will be given in English by three experts:

Course 1: Black holes across cosmic history
Prof. Tiziana Di Matteo (Carnegie Mellon University)

Course 2: Black hole merging and gravitational waves
Prof. Neil Cornish (Montana State University)

Course 3: Black hole accretion and feedback
Prof. Andrew King (University of Leicester)

The lectures will be held in the morning and in the late afternoon leaving free time for informal discussions, studies, and outdoor activities (skiing) in the afternoons. The course is intended mainly for post graduate, PhD students, astronomers and physicists who wish to broaden their knowledge. The lecture notes will be published by Springer-Verlag in the Saas-Fee lecture series.


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Switzerland, and related topics visit our Website

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