2020 TMT Early-Career Workshop

A workshop for graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and early-career professionals from partners in the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) International Observatory, including Caltech, Canada, China, India, Japan, and University of California.


The 2020 TECI workshop originally scheduled for January 12-18 in Hilo, Hawaii will be postponed. The baseline site for TMT remains Maunakea, and La Palma remains as a backup alternative to Hawaii.  We are considering the new dates and location and will update this webpage and the workshop application materials as soon as possible.  We have contacted all individuals who applied to the workshop through August 28, 2019.

Preliminary List of Workshop Instructors and Participating Organizations

Workshop agenda: Our agenda for 2020 is still being developed. A coarse preliminary agenda is here.  For a more detailed sense of what the workshop could include, you can review the agenda from the previous TECI Workshop (December 2018) 

Workshop Application (closed until further notice) 
The priority deadline of Friday, July 19, 2019 at 23:00 GMT (4:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time) has passed.
If you have a question about applying, you may contact us at teci@ucsc.edu.

Applicants and accepted participants can find additional information on our Workshop FAQ.  There is also a travel awards page with info for applicants seeking support from their respective TMT partner for attending the workshop.

  • Workshop Aims

    This workshop is a centerpiece of the TMT Early-Career Initiative. The workshop is designed to support international collaboration among the TMT partners by engaging those in the early stages of their career in TMT and providing a workshop experience that:

    Develops professional skills needed to be successful in TMT and similar projects, including international collaboration, and project management

    Provides an experience with the instrument design process

    Enables participants to see how they can contribute to TMT and engage in current TMT projects

    Builds community among TMT future users and leaders, and connects them to current TMT leaders

  • Workshop Details

    This workshop is scientific and technical, and is much like a “summer school” style event, with more emphasis on professional skills that are highly valued by TMT and large projects in general. Sessions give participants an opportunity to learn and practice skills such as working effectively on interdisciplinary, international teams; defining technical requirements based on science goals; and managing projects.

    Participants will also visit base facilities in Hilo and Waimea for Hawaii Island telescopes, including: Subaru Telescope, W. M. Keck Observatory, and other sites to be announced.

    Throughout the workshop, TMT leaders provide presentations on topics such as TMT instruments, project management, systems engineering, software, and the role of scientists in TMT now and into the future. The workshop includes two sessions that give participants an extended period of time to work in small teams, and spanning multiple days:

    Instrument design: Participants will work in small international teams to work through the process of designing an instrument, including conceptual design, defining science cases and requirements, and down-selecting. Some participants act as a science advisory committee (SAC), gaining experience in how SACs work.

    TMT Mini-Projects: Participants collaborate on small projects informing specific case studies or problems of interest to the TMT Project Office, the TMT community, and the ISEE/TMT International Program. Some examples of mini-projects are here.

    TECI Poster Session:

  • Participants are invited to present their work at a poster session (date and location TBD within the 2020 workshop)

  • Maximum poster size 120 cm (48 in) vertical x 120 cm (48 in) horizontal.

  • Event Participants

    We invite workshop applications from early-career scientists and engineers (graduate students, postdocs, professionals) affiliated with any of the Thirty Meter Telescope partners:






    University of California

    We also invite applicants from the University of Hawaii.

  • Cost of Participation

    TECI is funded by Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) International Observatory, which significantly reduces costs of attending the workshop. In addition, TECI works with TMT partners to identify funding sources that will cover travel expenses. Below is an itemized list of approximate costs, and whether they are covered by TECI or must be covered by workshop participants. Amounts are in U.S. dollars.

    REGISTRATION FEE: TECI will cover the full cost of the following items, for all participants.

    Registration: there is no registration fee to attend

    Lunches during active workshop days (6 lunches)

    TRAVEL: TECI is able to offer travel awards. The application form includes a field for participants to request a travel award for some or all of these items. In some cases we may prioritize applicants who can cover these costs on their own.

    Air travel: each applicant should estimate the cost of air travel from their home airport to Hilo ITO.

    Ground transportation: up to $20 each way from ITO to the Grand Naniloa Hotel

    Lodging: $730 (8 nights double occupancy, arriving Jan. 11 and checking out Jan. 19)

    MEALS AND INCIDENTALS: TECI will not support the following costs. Participants must cover these on their own.

             Ground transportation to/from airport of origination (in home city) 

    Meals and incidentals outside of workshop lunches: $350 (estimate for meals not supplied by TECI from Jan. 11 through Jan. 19)

    Passport and visa fees: each applicant should determine the fees of any passport or visa they require

    Applicants with questions about how they can cover the costs of items above should visit the TECI travel award page to look up an appropriate contact for their TMT partner. TECI works hard to find travel funding for as many participants as possible, so encourages people to apply for travel awards.

  • Important Dates

    Application opens: June 17, 2019

    Application priority deadline: July 19, 2019

    Notification of acceptance sent: TBD

    TECI 2020 Workshop: TBD