Hunstead Activities


In 2014, Richard and Penny Hunstead donated $1.4 million to support students and early career researchers at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy (SIfA) which is located within the School of Physics at the University of Sydney.

Read more about Hunstead Gift for Astrophysics.
Since then, many activities have been carried out at SIfA, supported by the Hunstead Fund for Astrophysics.

Penny and Dick Hunstead photographed in the foyer of the Physics Building.

Their generous gift supports a range of ongoing initiatives:


Hunstead Distinguished Visitors

The most recent initiative to be supported by the Hunstead Gift is a program  supporting distinguished visitors for terms up to one month through the provision of funding of up to $5,000 AUD. This program, inspired by the visitor program run at Mount Stromlo, gives scientists the chance to work collaboratively on activities associated with SIfA’s astrophysics and technology research programs.

Hunstead Distinguished Visitors are invited to spend up to 4 weeks in residence at SIfA. Up to two appointments can be funded each year.

Hunstead Visitors (Short Term)

Hunstead Visitors are invited to spend 3 days and nights in Sydney to meet with our SIfA students and postdocs and to give a seminar. The cost of board and lodging is covered by the Hunstead Gift for Astrophysics. Five appointments are funded per year.

Hunstead Visitors

Hunstead Lecture Series

The Hunstead Lecture Series is an annual event funded by the Hunstead Gift for Astrophysics. An internationally renowned speaker delivers five lectures over a week on a key topic in astrophysics.

Recordings of the series and presentations are available to the public. Hunstead Lecture Series.

Hunstead Workshops

Organised by early-career researchers, Hunstead Workshops run every year to open collaborations between SIfA students and postdocs with national and international astronomers.

See the past and future Hunstead Workshops.

Hunstead Merit Award for Astrophysics

The Hunstead Merit Award provides a top-up scholarship (valued at $3,000 per year for three years) to PhD students enrolling at SIfA.

Aiming to attract top students to undertake cutting edge research, the award is available to students who did not undertake their undergraduate studies at the University of Sydney.

Up to two awards are made annually with the key criteria based on merit. Women and other underrepresented groups within the astronomical community are encouraged to apply.

The first Hunstead Merit Award recipient was Harry Qiu, who commented on how the award has assisted him during his studies:

“Moving to Sydney was hard in many ways – especially finding affordable accommodation! The support from the Hunstead Merit Award for Astrophysics has relieved some of the pressure………(this) support makes me cherish the research environment I have today. It motivates me to dig deeper to make an impact in astrophysics and aim to inspire and support future generations with their research.”

More information about The Hunstead Merit Award for Astrophysics is located on the scholarships website.

The Dick Hunstead Fund for Astrophysics 2017 Update