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Richard de Grijs

(he, him)
Professor of Astrophysics, Macquarie University

Richard de Grijs obtained his PhD from the University of Groningen (Netherlands) in 1997, and held postdoctoral positions at the Universities of Virginia (USA) and Cambridge (UK), before being appointed to a permanent post at the University of Sheffield (UK) in 2003.

He joined the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University (China) in September 2009 as a full professor, where he remained until February 2018.

In March 2018, he was appointed as Associate Dean (Global Engagement) at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, a 3-year appointment that lapsed when Australia's border remained closed for an extended period during the COVID pandemic. In July 2023, he started an initial 3-year appointment as Executive Director of the International Space Science Institute-Beijing, at 25% FTE.

Richard is the founding director of the East Asian Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (2012-2016).

He was awarded the 2012 Selby Award for excellence in science by the Australian Academy of Science, a 2013 Visiting Academy Professorship at Leiden University by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, a 2017 Erskine award by the University of Canterbury (New Zealand), the 2022 Blacktown Mayoral History Prize (Sydney), and a 2023 Excellence in Research Integrity Award by Macquarie University.


  • 2018–present
    Professor of Astrophysics, Macquarie University, Australia
  • 2023–present
    Executive Director (25%), International Space Science Institute--Beijing, China
  • 2018–2021
    Associate Dean (Global Engagement), Macquarie University, Australia
  • 2009–2018
    Professor of Astrophysics, Peking University, China
  • 2003–2009
    Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader in Astrophysics, University of Sheffield, UK
  • 2000–2003
    Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 1997–2000
    Postdoctoral research associate, University of Virginia, USA


  • 1997 
    University of Groningen, Netherlands, PhD in Astrophysics
  • 1992 
    University of Groningen, Netherlands, Dutch "Doctorandus" (MSc) in Physics and Astronomy


  • 2024
    Some 300 peer-reviewed journal articles in astrophysics,
  • 2023
    William Dawes -- Scientist, Governor, Abolitionist: Caught between science and religion, Springer
  • 2017
    Time and time again: Determination of longitude at sea in the 17th century, IOP Publishing
  • 2011
    An introduction to distance determination in astronomy, Wiley

Professional Memberships

  • International Astronomical Union
  • Institute of Physics (UK)
  • Astronomical Society of Australia
  • Higher Education Academy (UK)
  • Science and Technology Australia (policy committee)

Research Areas

  • Galactic Astronomy (020104)
  • Astronomical And Space Sciences (0201)
  • Astronomical And Space Instrumentation (020102)
  • Cosmology And Extragalactic Astronomy (020103)
  • Physical Sciences (02)
  • History And Philosophy Of Engineering And Technology (220203)