The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), under the auspices of the GREAT-ITN (Gaia Research for European Astronomy Training), is organizing an international school on "The art of observational campaigns" aimed at providing a deep understanding of the many aspects related to the organisation and running of large observational programmes. The school is mainly addressed to PhD students in Astronomy and Physics and is focused on, but not limited to, providing an adequate training to the ESRs (Early Stage Reserarchers) from the GREAT-ITN partners. The event will take place at La Laguna (S.C. Tenerife, Spain) on September 3 to 7, 2012.

Gaia is a European Space Agency (ESA) cornerstone mission which will provide a stereoscopic census of our Galaxy through the measurement of high accuracy astrometry, radial velocities and multi-colour photometry, and is set to revolutionise our understanding of the Milky Way. The GREAT-ITN project will shape a critical mass of new expertise with the fundamental skills required to power the scientific exploitation of Gaia over the coming decade and beyond.

The GREAT-ITN will deliver a training programme structured around these research themes to a core of new researchers, equipping them with the skills and expertise to become future leaders in astronomy or enter industry. These skills are relevant across many of the key challenges facing us now from climate change to energy security. These require well trained people, people which this GREAT-ITN will deliver.

The school is managed by the GREAT-ITN node at the IAC and is open to students and researchers from a variety of backgrounds, interested in getting involved in observing programmes of various types.