Uwingu launches its first call for grant applications

Posted by Karri Ferron
on Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Posted on behalf of the Uwingu team; Astronomy magazine is a proud partner of this effort to raise funding for space science.

Space startup Uwingu announced today that it is soliciting applications from planetary science graduate students to support their travel to report research results at scientific meetings in 2014 and early 2015. Applications are due by April 30, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. PDT.

Uwingu expects to make 10-15 awards of travel grants from this solicitation by early June. Any graduate student completing their Ph.D. in 2014 who is studying planetary science and/or exoplanets are eligible. Recipients must use the funds to present their research at a research conference occurring by April 30, 2015. Selections will be made based on material provided by applicants in the form at: http://tinyurl.com/Uwingu-TravelAwards.

Uwingu is a for-profit, public engagement space company based in Boulder, Colorado, led by senior planetary scientists and astronomers. Uwingu’s mission is to connect the public to space exploration in new ways and to create a grant fund to support a wide range of space efforts by individual space researchers, educators, and organizations.

Uwingu’s Mars Map Crater Naming Project, which is funding these student grants, allows anyone with a connection to the Internet to help name approximately 590,000 unnamed, scientifically cataloged craters on Mars. The project aims to ultimately raise up to $10 million for Uwingu’s grant fund.

Uwingu’s Mars map grandfathers in all the already named craters on Mars, opening the remainder up for naming by people around the globe. Prices for naming craters depend on the size of the crater and begin at $5. Uwingu makes a shareable Internet link and a naming certificate available to each crater namer for each newly named crater. This public engagement project will culminate with the flight of Uwingu’s Mars Map to Mars in 2018 aboard the Mars One 2018 robotic lander, currently in definition phase at aerospace giant Lockheed-Martin.

Alan Stern, Uwingu’s CEO, added, “We are excited to begin making grants to students and to supporting their research, and look forward to selecting the best applications we receive for funding. We expect to make more and more grant solicitations as revenues from our Mars Map Crater Naming Project continue to grow.”

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