For a number of years the BAA has offered an annual grant in honour of our past president Harold Ridley. Harold was a prolific observer and photographer of the night sky and when he died in 1995 he made a generous bequest to the Association. Council decided to use this bequest to set up an annual grant which now carries his name.

Image credit: Nick James. The Moon, the Pleiades and Mercury in close conjunction.

The intention of the grant is to encourage observational astronomy by providing financial support to applicants who can show that they have an interesting astronomical project in mind. Preference will be given to projects where the applicant has already made a contribution of their own. Applications for travel and/or for presenting results at scientific conferences will be considered on their merits but applicants will
need to cover a minimum of 50% of these costs.

Grant Rules as agreed by the Council

Council makes, at its discretion, cash grants (known as Ridley Grants) for worthwhile observing projects. Grants are made to individuals or groups, up to a maximum of £1,000 and will not normally be made to an applicant who has been in receipt of a grant within the past five years. Applications for such funding may be submitted to the Business Secretary at any time, for consideration by Council. Recipients of a grant will be expected to provide written reports, for possible publication in the Journal. Council may place additional conditions on a grant.

Individual applicants must be current members of the Association with a minimum of two years’ continuous membership immediately prior to the application.

Group applications will be considered but at least one person in the group must meet the extended membership criterion required for individual applicants. The other members of the group must be members of the Association at the time of application. In the case of group applications a lead member should be specified who will be responsible for handling the application and providing subsequent written reports should it be successful.

So, if you have a good idea for an astronomical project then the BAA may be able to provide financial support. Council will now review your application as soon as possible after submission.

The grant application form is available as a Word document here and as a PDF here. Alternatively a grant application form can be obtained from the office. You can view a copy of the rules here.

Image credit: Nick James. The Moon, the Pleiades and Mercury in close conjunction.