No 48 – 03/09/2021

SGAA/SSAA News No 48 – 03/09/2021

1.   Registration online to the Society 
2.   Annual membership payment through the webpage
3.   2nd call for MERAC Funding and Travel Awards  (deadline for applications September 30 2021)
4.   The Edith Alice Müller Award 2021 
5.   Next GA of the SSAA in 2021 
6.   Saas-Fee course 2023: projects to be sent to before October 1.

7.   Willy Benz appointed President-elect of the IAU 
8.   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
for already registered members

Otherwise go to the web page

2.  Annual membership payment through the webpage

The 30 CHF annual SSAA membership payment 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).


3. 2nd call for MERAC Funding and Travel Awards  – Deadline: September 30 

The SSAA is pleased to announce the second 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 (in March and September).  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 a copy to  

Deadline is September 30. 


4. The Edith Alice Müller Award 2021

The Edith Alice Müller Award 2021 has been attributed to:

Romain Allart (University of Geneva, now at University of Montréal, CA) for his thesis on Exoplanet Atmospheric Studies At High Spectral Resolution. 

We could congratulate him and announce that he will present his work at the upcoming General Assembly. 


5. Next General Assembly of the SSAA in 2021 – ONLINE

 The next General Assembly will be held on Friday, October 8 2021, fully online.

 The Zoom link for the assembly is: XXXX (deleted for publication on web)

Details will be posted at


6.   Saas-Fee lectures 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023

 The 50th Saas-Fee course was moved from 2020 to March 2021. The 51st course will take place in January 2022.

At this year’s general assembly, the 52nd course, to be held in 2023, will be chosen. Members who would like to present a project for the 2023 Saas-Fee course are invited to send an e-mail to the before Friday October 1.


Willy Benz appointed President-elect of the IAU 
At this year’s IAU General Assembly, Prof. Dr. Willy Benz (Universität Bern) was appointed President-elect for the next triennium. Congratulations. 


8. 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:" class=""> in plain ASCII. Thank you !


Dr. Marina Battaglia

Secretary SSAA 
Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz
Institut für Data Science
Bahnhofstrasse 6
5210 Windisch
Switzerland" class="">email: