Europlanet Society Committee Funding Scheme

Europlanet Society Committee Funding Scheme

The Europlanet Society offers calls for funding proposals (1000 to 5000 €) submitted through its Regional Hubs, Committees and Working Groups in support of their activities or those of the Society Membership.

  • Proposals for financial support can only be submitted via the Committees and Working Groups of the Europlanet Society, including the Regional Hubs, the Diversity Committee, the EPEC Committee, the Industry Working Group and the Outreach Working Group.
  • Members of the Society may approach their Regional Hub (or any of the other Committees or Working Groups) with suggestions for projects, which may be submitted on their behalf.
  • Each Committee/Working Group may submit more than one proposal per call, but they should rank them in order of preference.
  • The scope of the funding scheme is deliberately broad to enable the community to propose diverse and innovative projects.
  • The proposals should further the aims of the Europlanet Society and actively involve Society members.


Before submitting an application, please read the full guidelines on the application page (please note this page is only accessible to Europlanet Society Members).

The call for the Committee Funding Requests is currently closed.


Projects Funded through the Scheme

The following projects have been funded through the Europlanet Society Committee Funding Scheme:

Projects funded in 2023

French Hub proposal: Careers workshop at French Planetary Science Congress (€4900)

  • The French Planetary Science Congress will be held in Nantes in July 2024 conjointly with the French Astrobiology Society (SFE) and National Programme for Planetary Science (PNP), where two days will be devoted to astrobiology topics and two others to planetary science more generally. Funding was requested from the Europlanet Society Committee Funding Scheme to support a one-day workshop devoted to early career researchers focussed on careers in planetary science, divided into talks from industry and academia about their diverse career paths, and workshops on topics such as “CV writing for industry”, “writing a good research grant”, a poster session in the afternoon will allow attendees to exchange with the invited speakers and other researchers at the conference. The whole event will be in French to maximise interaction between the masters and PhD students and the presenters.

Spain Portugal Hub proposal: Pro-Am occultations campaigns with a portable telescope (€3300)

  • Occultations of stars by small Solar System bodies provide relevant information about their atmosphere, rings, satellites and morphology. The most interesting results are usually obtained when several different chords of the same occultation event are gathered. Therefore, it is usually necessary to deploy different instruments across the predicted shadow path in order to maximise the probability of capturing relevant data.
  • Several members of the Sociedad Astronómica Granadina (an amateur astronomy group from the south of Spain) have collaborated in dozens of different ProAm occultation campaigns promoted by the IAA and other organizations, specially those involving transneptunian objects, Jupiter trojans and NEOs. Those campaigns usually involve traveling (sometimes thousands of kilometers) in order to correctly position the telescopes and auxiliary gear. To continue and improve collaborations, funding was requested from the Europlanet Society Committee Funding Scheme to acquire a more powerful (but still portable) telescope to obtain occultation data of fainter stars.

Central Europe Hub proposal: Orionids 2023 (€1400)

  • Funding was requested from the Europlanet Society Committee Funding Scheme to support “Orionids 2023”, a meteor astro-camp. During a weekend workshop that will take place in Banská Štiavnica, in central Slovakia, different astrophysicist and astronomers amateur will provide lectures about how to observe meteor showers and secondary meteor showers in a classical traditional way. This seminar will teach the participants how to be prepared theoretically for such an observation, what methodology (IMO) to use and how to practically observe a meteor shower in general. Afterwards, it will be given the knowledge of submitting the results in the IMO database. Another aim of the project is to teach a new lecturing team in order to maintain visual observation discipline, also nowadays in modern digital times. The plan for the future is to organize the observation of meteor showers at least 3 times a year. The best possibilities would be in Slovak dark sky parks or another convenient location. The expected number of participants of the Orionids 2023 is 12 with 4 lecturers. The first Orionids astro-camp is planned in Slovakia but international participants are also welcome

Central Europe Hub: Variable stars and exoplanet research meeting – support for international audience (€4700)

  • The Czech Variable stars meeting is traditionally organised by the Czech Astronomical Society, Variable stars and exoplanet section, association of professional and amateur astronomers predominantly from the Czech Republic, but also members from other european countries. This meeting has a long history, the last 54th meeting took place in November 2022 in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Average audience is between 50 and 100 participants, including online audience. Various topics with focus on pro-am research of variable stars and exoplanets are discussed. With the incresing number of international collaboration, there is a rise of international audience of the meeting. Last year’s meeting was also held in hybrid form. Funding was requested from the Europlanet Society to broaden focus of the meeting to the Central European international audience by formally dividing the meeting to consecutive international and Czech/Slovak sections, advertising the meeting on the European level and providing support for in-person participants – amateur astronomers and students. The support will comprise travel bursaries and support with translation of presentations and other material into English. Since 2021 there is also an student section in the form of a competition organised, where also students from other countries can participate.

Ireland-UK Hub: Europlanet Early-Career Networking at the British Planetary Science Conference 2024 (€4380)

  • The British Planetary Science Conference (BPSC) 2024 has been awarded by the UK Planetary Forum to Space Park Leicester (SPL). It will be held in June 2024 at Space Park and the adjacent National Space Centre in Leicester. Europlanet sponsorship was requested to raise awareness of society membership benefits in the UK. BPSC will start with a 1-day workshop for those new to the space and planetary science community, where experienced SPL engineers and project managers will lead examples of how space instruments and missions are developed. This will help facilitate wider access to new space exploration initiatives in the planetary and space science community, and is particularly focussed on connecting early-career researchers to new opportunities. The main 3-day part of the conference will consist of oral and poster sessions reflecting the range of topical planetary and space science activities in the UK, including results from sample return missions, Mars exploration, the Gas and Ice Giants, meteorites, Mercury. The main conference will also have an emphasis on careers and EDI, with input on careers in the space industry. On the final day will include a community consultation day with UKSA, STFC, and other interested stakeholders like Europlanet.

EPEC: Early Career Activities at DPS-EPSC 2023 (€1400)

  • EPEC has organised a programme of events for early career researchers at the joint DPS-EPSC meeting in October 2023 in San Antonio, Texas. The planned activities include a short course on mental health, a social event, mentoring for first-time attendees and the EPEC general assembly. In addition, EPEC will have a booth to help early careers find their way around and inform them about our work.

Projects funded in 2022

MeteoMars, a tool to explore meteorological events on Mars
(Proposed by the Spain & Portugal Hub)

  • MeteoMars is an outreach, education and research project promoted by the Pamplona Planetarium and the Planetary Sciences Group of the University of the Basque Country, which through a web interface it allows to explore combinations of images taken by the MARCI camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission (MRO).
  • The website is accessible at

(Proposed by the France Hub)

  • This project will create a physical simulator of the effects of the Coriolis and centrifugal forces in a uniformly rotating fluid, the “Coriotron”, to reproduce several meteorological phenomena that occur in planetary atmospheres, such as mid-latitude waves (Earth, Mars) and coherent vortices (polar or mid-latitude vortices, e.g. those in the atmospheres of giant planets).

Astro Tour Ivoire
(Proposed by the France Hub)

  • SpaceBus France is organising a similar event they did in Togo in 2022 ( but this time in the Ivory Coast in collaboration with the Ivorian scientific association “Association Ivoirienne d’Astronomie”.
  • During 2 weeks, a team of French and Ivorian astrophysicists will visit the main cities of the country, reaching out to citizens and promoting science-society dialogue around astronomy.

Projects funded in 2021

Support for community development and awareness around inclusion
(Proposed by the Diversity Committee)

  • A virtual workshop on bystander training, to be delivered by Moses Milazzo from Other Orb.
  • Online screening of the documentary by award-winning filmaker Kendall Moore, ‘Can We Talk? Difficult Conversations with Underrepresented People of Color’ followed by a Q&A with Kendall.

Stairway to Space, the EPEC podcast
(Proposed by the EPEC Communications Working Group)

  • The EPEC podcast will serve as a tool for MSc-PhD students and PostDocs to promote their research through series of interviews, raise important issues that concern diversity and inclusion in the research institutions through sharing of experiences and by hosting specialists, offer coverage of the major events for planetary science in Europe and eventually worldwide (depending on EPEC members participation), and strengthen the ties of the Europlanet new generation with the regular production of episodes.

Light Fingerprints
(Proposed by the Spain-Portugal Hub)

  • This exhibition will illustrate the concept of spectroscopy and how it can be used to tackle several astrophysical problems, from measurements of composition and wind in the atmosphere of our Solar System planets, to the detection of exoplanet atmospheres.
  • The installation will be placed in the entrance hall of Porto Planetarium, which is a “Ciência Viva” center dedicated to Astronomy and Space Sciences.

Projects funded in 2020

Theatre as a Tool for Science Outreach and Storytelling
(Proposed by the Benelux Hub Committee)

Participants in the 'Planetary Atmospheres Accessible to All' storytelling workshop
Participants in the ‘Planetary Atmospheres Accessible to All’ storytelling workshop

Just as fiction can make imaginary worlds seem real, stories can help people of all ages reach a deeper understanding and appreciation of science and the experiences of scientists.

‘Planetary Atmospheres Accessible to All’ is a project organised by the Europlanet Society’s Benelux Hub that aims to foster collaborations between researchers, performers and storytellers to use performing arts techniques to engage public audiences.

The project kicked off with an online seminar ‘Theatre as a tool for science outreach and storytelling’ in November 2020. Dr Andrea Brunello and Dr Pierre Echard of Jet Propulsion Theatre introduced various approaches used to blend science and theatre, including staged performances called ‘augmented lectures’. The seminar was followed up by a series of online workshops for 10 Europlanet researchers to provide them with practical tools to become scientific storytellers for general audiences or students. Over three half-day sessions in the run-up to Christmas, participants defined and prioritised main themes for their planetary science story and their target audiences, connecting the scientific questions to societal issues. Each participant had the chance to prepare one short story on their topic of interest and present it to an audience of invited artists.

Ongoing collaborations are being explored between arts-science pairs to co-create augmented lectures and further enhance the project.

JPT is a collaboration between the Arditodesìo Theatre Company and the University of Trento. Planetary Sciences for All was organised by Dr Andrea Brunello (JPT), Dr Ann Carine Vandaele (BIRA-IASB), Dr Arianna Piccialli (BIRA-IASB), Dr Karolien Lefever (BIRA-IASB), Dr Pierre Echard (JPT).

A Pocketful of Mars
(Proposed by the Central Europe Hub Committee)

Double spread of Tharsis region of Mars (Mars Chart 09) from the Pocket Atlas of Mars 36. Credit: NASA/JPL/GSFC/ESA/DLR/FU/H. Hargitai
Double spread of thematic map of Tharsis region of Mars (Mars Chart 09) from the Pocket Atlas of Mars 36. The scale of the map is 1cm=107 km. Credit: NASA/JPL/GSFC/ESA/DLR/FU/H. Hargitai.

The Pocket Atlas of Mars 36 is a new collection of maps that present the physical geography of the Red Planet in thematic layers on a topographic base map, as well as albedo, cloud cover, weather and climate maps and climate diagrams. Already in its second edition, due to high demand, the atlas has been created by Henrik Hargitai of ELTE University (Planetary Perspectives, page 16) for use in astronomy clubs and schools. The first edition, which is available in English, Hungarian and Czech, was funded by the Europlanet Society through the Central Europe Hub.The main part of the atlas consists of a series of double spreads showing 30 cartographic quadrangles covering the whole surface of Mars. Landing sites and landforms created by water, ice, wind, lava and tectonic forces are highlighted, including features such as dune fields, mountain peaks, volcanic calderas, caves, ancient dried-up lakes and deltas. The climate maps describe the climatic zones, and the climate diagrams illustrate the variation in temperature through the martian year. Weather maps show the temperature at ground level across the western hemisphere of Mars at the two annual solstices, and the albedo maps reveal the amount of sunlight reflected from the surface. A one-page calendar for Mars year 36, covering the period from February 2021 to December 2022, explains the milestones in the seasonal changes on Mars

The second, extended edition of the atlas includes additional information on people that have contributed to the mapping of Mars, missions, ideas for activities, a ‘tourist guide’, and exercises on how to read the martian landscape.