My trip to Chile has been possible thanks to the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. The Trust awards Travelling Fellowships to British citizens to travel overseas, to bring back knowledge and best practise for the benefit of others in their UK professions and communities.
I heard about the Trust through my friend, Steve Owens, who was a Travelling Fellow in 2011, and travelled to the United States to visit Dark Sky Parks and research Dark Sky Tourism. You can read Steve's report here
He recommended I apply to the Trust in order to further my knowledge of large telescope facilities. And so, back in October 2011, I submitted my application.
I found out in November that I had been short-listed and had to submit a second more detailed account of my trip, and attend an interview in London in January.
Early February 2012 I found out I had been successful, and started booking up my trip and fixing the schedule.
Applications are now open for 2013 Fellowships - why not look into it?