Application to TMT Early-Career Initiative, 2020

Complete the application form below to be considered for participation in the 2020 TECI Workshop.

Additional information on the TMT Early-Career Initiative is available here.  If you have questions about the application, please contact Nicholas McConnell ( or Austin Barnes (

  • 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) International Observatory (TIO) is hosting a 7-day workshop in Hilo, Hawai'i, USA, starting the morning of Sunday, January 12, and continuing through Saturday, January 18. 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.

    Hilo is the headquarter site for several major telescopes (including Subaru, Gemini, SMA) on Maunakea, TMT's first-choice site for construction. Hilo is also the location of the University of Hawai'i at Hilo, the 'Imiloa Astronomy Center, and a branch of the University of Hawai'i Institute for Astronomy. The workshop will include tours to nearby facilities supporting astronomy in Hawai'i, and 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 Hilo 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 FRIDAY, JULY 19, 2019

  • 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

  • The costs of developing and organizing the workshop are covered by TECI, and there is no registration fee to attend. TECI is able to fund lodging and ground transportation in Hilo, Hawai'i for a limited number of participants. TECI will provide lunches for all participants during active workshop days (6 lunches between Jan. 12-18), while participants will be expected to cover the costs of all other meals.

    Funds for airfare are greatly limited and applicants able to support their own airfare costs will be given a higher priority if necessary. Hilo International Airport (ITO) is very close to the workshop site. Most itineraries to Hilo have a connecting flight in Honolulu (HNL). Please note that Honolulu and Hilo are on different islands.

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

    STANDARD TRAVEL AWARD: covers lodging and ground transportation in Hilo

    MAXIMUM TRAVEL AWARD: covers lodging and ground transportation in Hilo, and airfare to Hilo

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

    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 Jan. 12-18, except for a free day for participants on either Thursday, Jan. 16 or Friday, Jan. 17. Participants will be expected to attend all workshop sessions.
  • 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.