Application to TMT Early-Career Initiative, 2020


If you have not previously applied to the 2020 TECI Workshop, complete the application form below to be considered for participation.  

Individuals who submitted an application in summer 2019 will be prioritized over any new applicants from the same institution or TMT partner.  Similar to previous TECI Workshops, selection decisions will be made independently for each TMT partner. We expect the number of workshop spots available for new applicants to vary for each partner, depending on the number of original applicants and the attrition rate as a result of rescheduling the workshop.  

Because of the very large number of applicants from India during summer 2019, we do not expect to accept any new applicants from India.

Additional information on the TMT Early-Career Initiative is available here.  If you have questions about the application, please contact


  • The TMT Early-Career Initiative: preparing a global network of early-career scientists and engineers to advance the TMT partnership.

    The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) Early-Career Initiative (TECI) is hosting a 7-day workshop in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, starting the morning of Tuesday, May 26, 2020, and continuing through Monday, June 1, 2020. This workshop is the central component of the 2020 TMT Early-Career Initiative (TECI), sponsored by TIO and run by the Institute for Scientist & Engineer Educators (ISEE). It will include talks by TMT leaders, hands-on activities to engage in authentic engineering practices and instrument design strategies, and multiple activities to gain experience with project management, teamwork, and collaboration. The workshop will include visits to the National Research Council of Canada: Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics, which supports several aspects of the TMT project, including leading the development of the NFIRAOS adaptive optics system. The workshop will include a poster session for participants to showcase their research or engineering work.

    We are looking for graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and early-career professionals in astronomy or engineering who are able to come to Victoria for the entirety of the workshop and are interested in potential future involvement with projects supporting TMT.

  • Priority Deadline

    First consideration will be made for applications submitted by 23:00 UT (16:00 Pacific Time) on January 17, 2020.

  • If you are not in a post-graduate or post-doctoral program, please select "Other" and briefly describe your position.
  • (for example, "high-redshift galaxies" or "optical engineering")
  • Will gladly consider applications from individuals holding Bachelor's, Master's, or Doctorate degree.
  • Connections to TMT and goals for participation

  • Please check all that apply
  • Please be as specific as possible
  • ** Respond in 100 words or less **
  • ** Respond in 100 words or less **
  • ** Respond in 100 words or less **
  • Previous workshops are 2016 TMT Future Leaders (Hilo, Hawaii), 2017 TMT Future Leaders (Santa Cruz, California), and 2018 TECI Workshop (Pasadena, California). Participation in a previous workshop is not required -- we are looking for a mix of new and returning participants in 2020.
  • ** Respond in 100 words or less **
  • TECI Program (post-workshop activities)

  • The 2020 TECI Workshop is the starting point for the full 2020 TECI Program.



    The full TECI program will involve a greater commitment from participants. Additional expectations might include:

    1. Additional pre-workshop preparation
    2. Writing up TMT-related project work completed at the TECI Workshop
    3. Writing a proposal for a TMT project that would continue after the workshop
    4. Giving a presentation at your home institution after the TECI Workshop, about the Workshop and ongoing TMT project work you are involved with.

    We expect a fraction of the TECI Workshop participants to be full TECI Program participants and continue with remote collaboration and possibly even an extended site visit. These Program participants will be selected based on their proposals for continuing work, and on matching proposals to projects we can support. Further proposal guidelines will be provided at the TECI Workshop. The timing and duration of collaborative work after the TECI Workshop will be project- and participant-dependent, and may include input from participants' supervisors or advisors. We imagine some remote work being done over several months with a low fractional time commitment, and possible site visits lasting at least 1-2 weeks.

    Indicating your interest here to participate in the full TECI Program is not a commitment, but it will help us determine which projects to feature at the TECI Workshop.

    See this page for examples of TECI projects for the 2018-2019 program cycle.

  • **Respond in 100 words or less**
  • Research advisor/supervisor

  • After we receive your application, we will contact the advisor or supervisor you name below for a very brief statement of approval and some supplemental information to help us in the selection process. Please list your research advisor if you are a graduate student. Otherwise, please name someone currently serving as a supervisor (boss) or mentor for your career.

  • Funding Availability & Request for Travel Support

  • 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 Canadian dollars (CAD) and U.S. dollars (USD).

    INSTRUCTIONAL FEE: The instructional fee to participate in the TECI workshop is USD $3,000.  All participants accepted to TECI are provided fee waivers (do not pay the fee) because this fee is paid by the TMT Project Office in Pasadena, CA using TIO cash funds. The TECI instructional fee includes all costs of developing and managing TECI, and onsite workshop costs including lunches during workshop, poster reception, final dinner, and field trips.  

    TRAVEL: TECI is able to offer travel awards for a limited number of participants. In some cases we may prioritize applicants who can cover these costs on their own. Funds for airfare are greatly limited and applicants able to support their own airfare costs will be given a higher priority if necessary. Victoria International Airport (YYJ) is the closest airport to the workshop hotel. Some itineraries to YYJ have a connecting flight in Vancouver (YVR).

    • Air travel: each applicant should estimate the cost of air travel from their home airport to Victoria International Airport YYJ.
    • Lodging in Victoria in the Inn at Laurel Point: CAD $980 / US $742 (8 nights double occupancy, arriving May 25 and checking out June 2). An additional night for arrival on May 24 is available to accommodate long travel times and adequate rest time prior to workshop for CAD $122 / USD $92

    MEALS AND INCIDENTALS: TECI will not support the following costs, all participants must cover these on their own. The total estimated cost of meals and incidentals listed below is CAD $530 / USD $400.

    • Ground transportation to/from airport of origination (in home city)
    • Round-trip ground transportation between Victoria International Airport and the Inn at Laurel Point, which participants are expected to book individually.
    • Meals and incidentals outside of workshop lunches.  The total estimate above includes all meals from May 24 through June 2, except lunches supplied by TECI May 26-29 and May 31-June 1.
    • Passport and visa fees: each applicant should determine the fees of any passport or visa they require to enter Canada.

    Note on our estimate above for local costs: Hotel rooms will have mini-refrigerators and a microwave oven is available in the hotel snack shop. We are hoping that participants can keep costs for meals not provided by the conference reasonably low, and far below the US Federal maximum per diem rate of US$125/day for meals and incidentals. We have made our best estimate of the cost of out of conference meals based on the availability of mini-refrigerators in hotel rooms, and that we will provide healthy snacks throughout the workshop, along with a hearty lunch. The total cost for meals not provided by the conference can vary widely depending upon the meals chosen by participants, so please keep in mind that we present our best guess.

    $USD to $CAD conversions can be calculated using the UCSC-approved currency converter. The estimates above are based on a rate of $1.32 CAD per $1 USD, from October 2019.

    Please indicate what level of travel support you would require from TECI in order to attend the workshop.

    NO TRAVEL AWARD: you are able to cover the costs of your lodging, airfare, ground transportation, and meals

    STANDARD TRAVEL AWARD: you are able to cover the cost of your airfare, ground transportation, and meals; TECI covers lodging at the Inn at Laurel Point

    MAXIMUM TRAVEL AWARD: TECI covers lodging at the Inn at Laurel Point and airfare to Victoria YYJ

    Further information on approximate costs, as well as information on contacting individual TMT partners for travel support, is here.

  • What airport will you be departing from and returning to before and after the workshop? Please use 3-letter airport code, e.g. NRT for Narita International Airport. This information will help us manage travel funds.

    Look up up airport codes here.

  • Workshop activities including tours will take place every day from May 26 - June 1, except for a free day for participants on Saturday, May 30. Participants will be expected to attend all workshop sessions.
  • An additional night for arrival on May 24 is available to accommodate long travel times and adequate rest time prior to workshop for CAD $122 / USD $92

    If you select the option below, we will reserve the extra night for you, and that cost will be factored into the travel award you requested above.

  • For more information, including whether you need a Canadian visa, visit our FAQ page here.
  • English Proficiency

  • The workshop will be conducted entirely in English, and we will encourage international collaboration in English. While fluency in every aspect of English is not required, we want to make sure that participants are able to fully participate in the workshop and be able to gain as much as possible from speakers and peers.

  • Final comments

  • This response is optional. If you think that your interest in attending the workshop has not been fully articulated in your responses above, you may describe more here. Or you may leave other information or comments you believe are relevant.