No 47 – 17/2/2021

SGAA/SSAA News No 47 17/02/2021

  1. Registration online to the Society
  2. Annual membership payment through the webpage
  3. Travel support SSAA – invitation to apply for grants (deadline for applications March 31st 2021)
  4. Call for “Astronomy Outreach” projects (deadline for applications March 31st 2021)
  5. Call for MERAC Funding and Travel Awards (deadline for applications March 31st 2021)
  6. Call for the Edith Alice Müller Award 2021 (deadline for applications May 1rst 2021)
  7. 50th Saas-Fee lectures held in 2021
  8. Opportunity to organize an ÖGAA/SGAA activity at the joint meeting of the Swiss and Austrian Physical Societies
  9. Next GA of the SSAA in 2021
  10. NEW, job opportunities
  11. European Astronomical Society (EAS) MEMBERSHIP
  12. Obituary André Baranne
  13. General information on the Society

  1. Registration online to the Society
    Each member of the SSAA is asked to register on the new website and to provide his/her contact details.
    If you have changed your affiliation/e-mail please change the information accordingly. This will ensure that the SSAA has your correct contact information.
    You can directly access the registration page here
    Otherwise go to the web page

  1. Annual membership payment through the webpage
    The 30 CHF annual SSAA membership payment for 2021 can be made online:
    You can also set an automatic annual payment by clicking on the “Subscribe” button (but in that case you need to have a PayPal account).
    Please pay any late membership fee as well.

  1. Travel support SSAA – invitation to apply for grants (total amount to distribute CHF 5000.-)
    In 2021 the SSAA (Swiss Society for Astrophysics and Astronomy) will
    have some money from the sc|nat available for travel money for young scientists.
    The SSAA now invites applicants to apply until March 31st 2021.
    A form has to be filled here

The request should provide the date, place, and the reason for the
travel, as well as the cost to be covered by the SSAA.
Travel money for young scientists is given preferentially to Ph.D.
students but also young Post-Docs, whereby the money may be used for
observing runs, visits to other institutions, conferences, research
schools etc. In the application it should be clarified in a few words
why this travel is important for the research project of the applicant.
Particularly encouraged to apply are young researchers who are in a
situation where it is not so easy to get the money from other

  1. Call for “Astronomy Outreach” projects

In 2021, the SSAA offers financial support of up to 5000 CHF for projects on Astronomy Outreach.
Funding is possible for diverse outreach projects, including support for
exhibitions, the preparation of material for schools, the organization
of events, and alike. Projects will be funded on a competitive basis.
Please send a brief project description and your budget request
to with copy

The deadline for the call is: March 31st 2021.
Requests may also be supported outside this call, if funding permits.

  1. Call for MERAC Funding and Travel Awards

The SSAA is pleased to announce the 2021 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 31st, and September 1rst).
They must include
1) a short biography,
2) a research project description with a summary,
3) and a budget estimate.
4) 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

  1. The Edith Alice Müller Award 2021

In order to celebrate, in 2018, the half-century of the Swiss Society of Astronomy
and Astrophysics (SSAA), the SSAA Committee decided to create a yearly
award rewarding one astronomer, author of an excellent PhD thesis.
It is named the Edith Alice Müller Award in recognition for the scientific
research done by Edith Alice Müller (1918-1995) on the composition of the Sun
and for her involvement in promoting Astrophysics at the international level.
She was the first woman to be appointed General Secretary of the International
Astronomical Union.

Students having presented a PhD thesis in Switzerland in 2020 (for the Award in 2021).

To promote high quality astrophysical thesis in Switzerland and support the
access to this field of science for both female and male young researchers.

The awardee will receive a sum of CHF 1 000.– and a diploma.

Submission for the Edith Alice Müller Award must be sent to the following
address :
Deadline for receiving applications in 2021 is May 1rst 2021.
Documents needed :

  1. A letter of the thesis supervisor that describes the thesis
  2. The thesis manuscript
  3. A CV of the candidate
  4. A list of publications of the candidate
    The SSAA will contact the applicants during the third week of
    September to give them the result of the evaluation process.
    The award will be officially delivered at the yearly General Assembly
    of the Society.
    The list of the awards from previous years can be found below

  1. 50th Saas-Fee lectures held in 2021

The 50th Saas-Fee Course of the Swiss Society for Astrophysics and Astronomy will be held online from 15 to 19 March 2021.
The subject of the course is ‘Astronomy in the era of big data’, with three lecturers:

– Prof. Suzanne Aigrain (University of Oxford): Gaussian Processes for time series analysis
– Prof. Roberto Trotta (Imperial College London): Bayesian Statistics
– Prof. Marc Huertas-Company (Paris Observatory): Machine learning in Astronomy

Details can be found at
Further announcements from the organizers will follow.

  1. Possibility to organize an ÖGAA/SGAA activity at the joint meeting of the Swiss and Austrian Physical Societies

The Austrian Astrophysical Society, ÖGAA, informed us of the possibility to organize joint activities
during the joint meeting of the Swiss and the Austrian Physical Societies (SPS and ÖPG) to be held 30.8.-3.9.2021 in Innsbruck.
If you are interested in this, please send a message by March 31st to and/or, the contract person for the ÖGAA.

  1. Next General Assembly of the SSAA in 2021

The next General Assembly will be held on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 October 2021
The format and location of the meeting is still TBC due to the COVID situation.

  1. NEW: job opportunities

If you would like to make some job announcement in the next e-news.
please send an e-mail to
with the appropriate information.

  1. European Astronomical Society (EAS) MEMBERSHIP

The EAS offers free membership to any member of the SSAA working as a researcher in astrophysics in Switzerland. You can opt in during the registration process to SSAA, or later in your profile interface. By ticking the box–> YES, I want to be an EAS member via the SSAA–, you agree that the SSAA transmits your detailed information to the EAS Office, and you agree that the EAS will make use of these data for EAS-related matters only. The EAS will also publish your first and last names, institution, and country on its EAS website, behind a login. The EAS Office will send login details at the beginning of each year.
SSAA members that are currently ordinary members of the EAS need also to tick this box in the SSAA profile interface if they wish to have the free membership via the SSAA. Otherwise, they will be considered as EAS paying members (40 EUR).
The benefits of EAS membership can be found at:
In particular, EAS members profit from discount registration fees for the EAS annual meeting (formerly EWASS). The membership is, however, not immediate, so in case you plan to attend an EAS annual meeting please be sure to tick the box to accept the EAS membership well in advance of your registration to an EAS annual meeting.

  1. Obituary André Baranne

A dear former colleague of many members of SSAA, André Baranne, passed away end of January. Since André Baranne had collaborations with several Swiss colleagues this is to inform the Swiss astronomical community of this sad news.
A more detailed tribute page is available online:

  1. General information on the Society

For more information concerning the SGAA/SSAA, astronomy in Switzerland, and related topics visit our Website
For any information and messages to be circulated via the SGAA/SSAA mailing list please e-mail your text to the secretary: in plain ASCII. Thank you !