IAU funds allocated to IAU Meetings are intended to cover in part travel costs, board and lodging at the conference. These IAU funds cannot be used to cover administrative expenses of the conference. Since IAU funds are limited, it is expected that the organisers will attract substantial financial support from other sources as well. The use of the APPLICATION FOR AN IAU GRANT form is mandatory.
Proposals for the distribution of IAU Grants to individual participants are made by the Scientific Organising Committee (SOC) and sent by the SOC Chair to the AGS (AGS) for approval. IAU priority is to support qualified scientists to whom only limited means of support are available, e.g., colleagues from economically less privileged countries and young scientists. IAU support should carry significant weight in ensuring the participation of the selected grantees, rather than adding comfort for colleagues whose attendance is already assured. In addition, a reasonable geographical distribution is expected; normally, no more than 1/3 of the funds should be allocated to a single country or region. Within these general guidelines, it is left to the judgment of the SOC how to allocate funds, maintaining the overall scientific standard of the conference as the primary criterion.
Within these general guidelines, it is left to the scientific judgment of the SOC whether to allocate funds in a few major grants to ensure the participation of key speakers, or broaden attendance at the meeting by supporting several participants, maintaining the overall scientific standard of the meeting as the primary criterion.
The recommendation shall be sent by the SOC Chair to the AGS (e-mail preferred), specifying for each person: name, nationality, full mailing and e-mail address, amount of proposed grant (in Swiss Francs), and title and nature of contribution (invited review talk, regular contribution, thesis presentation, etc.). The recommendation of the SOC should reach the AGS no later than FIVE months before the conference, because completion of visa formalities nowadays can be time-consuming.
The above deadline has been found necessary in order to ensure timely notification to participants, completion of visa formalities, etc. Upon approval of the IAU Grant distribution proposal of the SOC, individual IAU Grant notification letters will be mailed to the recipients by the AGS, with a copy to the SOC Chair and LOC Chair.
The regular administrative procedure is that the LOC opens a bank account in the name of the meeting (or use a bank account of the institute/university) to which the IAU Secretariat will transfer the allocated IAU grant. Individual grants are then paid to recipients upon arrival and registration at the conference. This procedure has been found safe and convenient, especially in accommodating any occasional late cancellations. Currency conversions are made at the official ICSU exchange rates in force at that time.
The normal administrative procedure is to transfer the entire IAU grant to the LOC bank account. Individual grants are then paid to each recipient upon arrival and registration at the meeting. This procedure has been found safe and convenient, especially in accommodating the occasional, but inevitable cases of late cancellations. Currency conversions are made at the official ICSU exchange rates in force at that time.
There are cases, however, when a cash advance is needed for a participant to be able to travel to the meeting at all. Such cases should be argued in reasonable detail to the SOC and AGS, individual bank transfers may then be made directly from the Paris Secretariat. These procedures are explained in the individual grant notification letters.