The Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy is an organization dedicated to the advancement of research and teaching in astronomy and astrophysics in Canada. It assists in coordinating large-scale national initiatives of its member institutions, advocates for the priorities in the Long Range Plan for Astronomy, and is a liaison between Canadian member universities and international partners in international and world observatories.
ACURA works closely with several other institutions in Canada, including:
- The Canadian Astronomical Society
- NRC Herzberg Astronomy & Astrophysics
- The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
- Canadian Space Agency
- The Canadian Foundation for Innovation
These are some 500 members of the Canadian Astronomical Society in Canada (http://casca.ca/ ), some 450 of them in universities. The National Research Council of Canada has the parliamentary mandate “to operate and administer any astronomical observatories established or maintained by the Government of Canada”. These observatories are crucial for the pursuit of excellence by university astronomers. Their establishment and maintenance require the commitment of substantial national and institutional resources. ACURA is an organisation whereby Canadian universities can coordinate their efforts with those of NRC in the development of major infrastructures for astronomical research.