Optical Infrared Coordination Network for Astronomy

Horizon 2020

Latest News for OPTICON


Observational Astrophysics: from proposals to publication

Stará Lesná, Slovak Republic June 17-27, 2019
Deadline for applications: Sunday March 31

The school Observational Astrophysics: from proposals to publication will take place 17 - 27 June 2019 at the Astronomical Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences in Stará Lesná, Slovak Republic. This school is mainly meant for PhD students in astronomy, but also MSc students in the later stages of their studies and young postdocs can be considered.

The school consists of two parts: hands-on project using archival data, and observing time proposal evaluation. In the first part the students will learn about the basics of data reduction and will work on archival data - reducing and analysing them with the help of an experienced tutor. During the second part the students will learn about proposal writing and will participate in a 'Telescope Time Allocation Committee meeting' where they will evaluate real observing time proposals. Additionally, the school also includes sessions on writing articles and careers in astronomy.

This school is jointly organised by OPTICON and ERASMUS+ programme 'Per aspera ad astra simul'. The local costs (accommodation and meals) are covered by OPTICON and ERASMUS+, and some limited travel support is also available (and needs to be applied for on the application form).

More information on the school

Application form

The deadline for applications is Sunday 31st March, and the applicants will be notified about the selection by the end of April.

Call for AO experiment proposals on Canary at the WHT now Open

Deadline: 23:59 UTC on 14th December 2018

CANARY currently have an initial call for proposals that will close at 23:59 UTC on 14th December 2018 for experiments covering the observing periods 19A (Feb-July), 19B (August-Jan). It is expected that a second call in April next year for periods 19B and 20A/B will be made.

More Details

Report on OPTICON workshop published

ESO Messenger Report

Bianco, A.; Bernstein, R.; de Ugarte Postigo, A.; Garzon, F.; Holland, W.; Manescau, A.; Navarro, R.; RivaM., "Report on the Workshop "Dispersing Elements for Astronomy: New Trends and Possibilities", ESO Messenger, 172, 40-41, (2018) DOI:10.18727/0722-6691/5081




8th May

The OPTICON time allocation committee met on May 8th. The PIs of sucessful proposals have already been advised of their allocations informally. Formal feedback will be sent to all applicants as soon as possible.

INAF & OPTICON Workpackage 7 Feature in Italian Business Magazine

PLATINUM: March 2018 Special Edition - Research & Innovation

Press article pictureINAF & OPTICON workpackage 7 are featured in the March 2018 edition of "PLATINUM" an Italian business magazine. The March edition focusses on research and innovation and is published in Italian and English.

The magazine is available to view online:


Select either Italian or English to view the publication from the previous link.

The article about INAF & OPTICON is also available from the following link:


9th VLTI Summer School

Lisbon, 9th to 14th July 2018

By combining the light from four telescopes, the European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) delivers angular resolution at milli-arcsecond scale and astrometry at tens of micro-arcsecond. The available instrumentation covers the H to N-band with low to moderately high spectral resolution.

Given that long-baseline optical interferometry observing techniques are still not widespread in the community VLTI schools are periodically organized. The next school will take place the 9th to 14th July in Lisbon.

The school will provide practical hands-on training on observational programme preparation, data reduction and analysis.

Full lodging and subsistence costs will be provided to all attendees. Travel funding can be provided in justified cases.

Further information can be found at:


ADS search graphA search of the Astrophysics Data System, an online database of astronomy and physics, looking for the word OPTICON detects 613 papers. These include observational papers resulting from the Trans-National Access Programme and technical papers resulting from the various Joint Research Activities which have been funded over several contacts. These TNA and JRA activities did not start until the FP6 OPTICON contract (2004-2009) and have continued since then. The continuing increase in productivity since about 2010 shows the impact of the OPTICON programme on European astronomy.

NEON Observing School 2018

Asiago, Italy, September 9-22, 2018

Deadline for applications Friday April 6

The 2018 NEON Observing School is hosted by the Asiago Astrophysical Observatory in Italy September 9-22. This school will provide hands-on observing experience on professional telescopes. During it students will, together with an experienced tutor, go through all the steps from planning and carrying out the observations to reducing and analysing the obtained data.

This school is meant for Ph.D students in astronomy who do not have prior observing experience with professional telescopes (MSc students in the later stages of their studies and young PostDocs can also be considered). The first half of the school comprises of lectures, and planning and carrying out observations. The lectures include, among other topics, modern telescopes, detectors, and optical observing techniques. The second half of the school is dedicated to group work on reducing and analysing the obtained observations, with students presenting their results at the end of the school.

The local costs (accommodation and meals) are covered by OPTICON, and some travel support is also available (and needs to be applied for with the application form).

More information about the school:


Application Form:


The deadline for applications is Friday April 6, and the applicants will be notified about the selection in the end of April.

Gaia Science Alerts Workshop 2017

Warsaw, Poland, 6-8 December 2017

The details of the workshop and the registration are available here:

We encourage all people interested in Gaia Science Alerts, their follow-up observations and scientific study to attend the workshop. We also invite everyone willing to join the worldwide network of Gaia Science Alerts collaborators as well as representatives of other transient surveys programmes. We would appreciate if you could pass this information to your colleagues.

The main goals of the 8th Gaia Science Alerts Workshop are:

  • update on the Gaia and Gaia Alerts status
  • talk about recent highlights from Gaia Alerts
  • organize the follow-up campaigns and scientific goals
  • maintain the existing connections between the follow-up partners
  • meet new follow-up partners

This year we plan to have a hands-on session on Gaia Alerts follow-up organization. We will learn about and practice with the available tools, developed by the Alerts Team. We will learn how to optimise the observations and how to process them in order to maximise the scientific outcome.

The registration is open until 12. November 2017 and can be directly accessed here:

Looking forward to seeing you in Warsaw in December!

Lukasz Wyrzykowski
on behalf of the Workshop Organizing Committee.

Fizeau Exchange Visitors Program

Call for Applications

The Fizeau exchange visitors program in optical interferometry funds (travel and accommodation) visits of researchers to an institute of his/her choice (within the European Community) to perform collaborative work and training on one of the active topics of the European Interferometry Initiative. The visits will typically last for one month, and strengthen the network of astronomers engaged in technical, scientific and training work on optical/infrared interferometry. The program is open for all levels of astronomers (Ph.D. students to tenured staff), with priority given to PhD students and young postdocs. Non-EU based missions will only be funded if considered essential by the Fizeau Committee. Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek also partial support from their home or host institutions.

The deadline for applications is October 15. Fellowships can be awarded for missions to be carried out between December 2017 and May 2018!

Further informations and application forms can be found at www.european-interferometry.eu

The program is funded by OPTICON/H2020.

Looking forward to your applications,
Josef Hron & Peter Abraham
(for the European Interferometry Initiative)