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SKIES: contributing to sustainable development with Astronomy

20 december 2021

The EU-funded SKIES project aims to provide for PhD and 1st-year postdoctoral researchers in the field of astronomy with a new set of skills integrating open science, innovation and entrepreneurship. With this, they will be gaining substantial experience equipping them for a career to fulfil their potential and to contribute to society and economy. The Leiden-based IAU E-ROAD will develop the training modules, in cooperation with the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship, Stichting dotSPACE which is based on NL Space Campus, and five higher astronomy education institutes in Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and South Africa. The aim is to reach 500 astronomy graduate students and young researchers.

The SKIES project (SKilled Innovative and Entrepreneurial Scientists) aims to provide a new set of skills for PhD and first year postdoctoral researchers in the field of astronomy. By integrating open science, innovation, and entrepreneurship, they will be gaining substantial experience equipping them for a career to fulfil their potential and to contribute to society and economy. The EU-funded SKIES is a project of the International Astronomical Union’s European Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (IAU E-ROAD).

It aspires to contribute to sustainable development and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals through astronomy with a special focus on education and capacity building. The skills training of SKIES falls under the strategic goals regarding capacity building, by training a generation of astronomers that will conduct responsible and open research and is able to employ their skills for societal and economical benefit in non-academic settings.

A ‘Train the Trainer’ programme will build the capacity of the teaching staff so that they have the training and tools to continue the programme beyond the life of the project. Online training will be made available to support the partner and other organisations interested in running similar courses.

Through the SKIES project, the consortium partners will train astronomy PhDs to be more prepared for the challenges outside academia and help to develop skills for in and outside academia. More specifically, the course will train in open science, innovation & entrepreneurship. The course will also provide a mentorship involving local entrepreneurship experts for each student. To support the project partners and other organisations interested in running similar courses, online training will be made available in the form of a mini–Online Open Course (mOOC).

Want to know more about SKIES? Go to https://connect.groundstation.space/register-skies


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