Expansion Partnership Program



Expansion Partnership Program
for LSSTC Institutional Membership

A membership opportunity designed to position a diverse community of researchers

to participate in discoveries with the Legacy Survey of Space and Time.

An Expansion Partnership is a partnership between two institutions (or consortia), that is intended to expand participation in LSST science. A paying LSSTC member institution may choose to Sponsor an Affiliate institution to bring a diversity of perspectives into the LSSTC community.  The Sponsor and Affiliate are both institutional members of LSSTC, and each has their own representation on the Institutional Board.  Contact Beth Willman (bwillman@lsstc.org) if you are interested to potentially become a Sponsor or Affiliate institution in an Expansion Partnership.

  • An Expansion Sponsor acts as an anchor for the inclusion of the Expansion Affiliate institution (or consortium) in LSSTC membership.
  • An Expansion Affiliate is an institution (or consortium) where membership dues represent an insurmountable barrier to joining LSSTC, and their inclusion would diversify the voices in the LSSTC community.  Examples may include small, underrepresented, or under-resourced institutions.


  • An Expansion Partnership incurs no membership dues beyond those agreed for the sponsor’s own institutional membership.
  • An Expansion Sponsor will:
    • Work actively to include the Expansion Affiliate in their astronomical community and to integrate them into the LSSTC Institutional Board (IB)
    • Be publicly recognized as an Expansion Sponsor, for example on the LSSTC website
  • An Expansion Affiliate will:
    • Have full access to LSSTC member benefits, including voting for members of the Board of Directors (one vote per Expansion Affiliate);
    • Commit to participating in the LSSTC community, for example by:
      • designating one representative to join the IB and attend an annual face-to-face (hybrid) meeting
      • serving on committees
      • participating in program development and implementation
      • standing for EB positions
    • Have the opportunity to request LSSTC support for individuals to fulfill these roles if needed.
  • For Expansion Partners:
    • A Catalyst Fellow at either the Sponsor or Affiliate is counted against the total tally - there can only be one Fellow hosted per dues increment paid ($26K/year in 2023).

Examples of Benefits

For Expansion Sponsors

  • Concrete and direct contribution to inclusive participation in STEM
  • Recognition as a leader in community building and inclusion
  • Opportunity to pursue support for membership costs from individuals or funding organizations that prioritize unique and low-cost approaches to building regional connections, building community, and/or increasing inclusive participation in STEM.

For Expansion Affiliates

  • Inclusion in LSSTC governance via an Institutional Board seat
  • Integration in a network of larger institutions
  • Active engagement in opportunities to propose, design, and benefit from programs that match their needs
  • Access to funding and resources that are prioritized for institutional members
  • Increased institutional visibility among an international coalition of LSSTC members

Application Process

  • Potential Expansion Partners should apply to join LSSTC by:
    • applying for expansion status for the affiliate institution
    • writing a brief proposal explaining the benefits of the partnership itself, and the expected involvement of the affiliate institution in LSSTC.
  • In consultation with the Membership Committee, recommendations on Expansion Partners will be made to the Executive Board by LSSTC’s Chief Executive Officer.  The Executive Board must approve all requests for Expansion Affiliate status and for Institutional membership.

Reporting and Evaluation

  • Expansion Partners will write an annual 1-page summary of:
    • the actions taken to solidify their partnership
    • the involvement of the Expansion Affiliate in LSSTC activities.
  • The reports will be collected and evaluated by the Membership Committee, who will present a summary to the EB each Fall.



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