The IMO has a Support Fund to help serious amateurs in realizing meteor research projects. Support will be provided based on project proposals that will be evaluated by the IMO Council. A precondition for support is that there is a return for the international meteor community.
To be eligible, a project submitted to the IMO Support Fund must:
- be proposed by an IMO member;
- concern scientific and technological aspects of meteor observing (and hence should not be focused on out-reach);
- involve a medium- to long-term commitment of 3 years or more;
- return relevant results to the international community via the IMO;
- respect the conditions defined in a contract between the successful applicant and the IMO.
An application for a grant from the IMO Support Fund can be submitted at any time and must be addressed to the IMO President. It should include:
- proper identification of the applicants, including their past realizations in meteor astronomy;
- a scientific and technological justification of the project;
- a timing to realize the project;
- references to support the competence of the applicants, and to support the feasibility of and the timing for the project proposed;
- a motivation why a grant from the IMO Support Fund is necessary to realize the project;
- a realistic budget of the costs and revenues involved, including the grant requested from the IMO Support Fund, financing by the applicants themselves or by the local, regional or national association to which they belong, and revenues from external sources;
- an explanation how the project will be managed during at least the first 3 years;
- a statement indicating whether you want to want to maintain your proposal for consideration during the next year should the budget for the current year be exhausted.
Successful applicants will be asked to sign a contract containing both the commitments of the applicants and additional requirements of the IMO that will constitute the terms under which the grant is provided. These terms will not only refer to the content of the project and the way it is managed, but also to a proper justification of the financial means provided.
As the available budget is relatively small, the number of projects that can be financed will be limited to two or three per year. As already mentioned, there are no deadlines; applications will be evaluated on the basis of first come, first served, and each proposal will be considered carefully on its merits, in accordance with the above criteria.
Other forms of support
In addition, the IMO Council reserves the right to support a cause at its own discretion when it feels it can further meteor astronomy in this way. This holds in particular for IMC support, which can be granted exceptionally in the form of waiving the standard registration fee, on a case-by-case basis. Requests for such support should therefore be strongly motivated from a scientific perspective (required presence at a workshop, presentation of scientific results, participation in an international project, etc.) and should reach the President no later than May 31, 2017.