South African National Space Agency (SANSA) Bursary 2020 – 2021

About South African National Space Agency (SANSA)

The South African National Space Agency Act, 36 of 2008, mandated the establishment of a National Space Agency to provide for the promotion and use of space and cooperation in space-related activities, foster research in space science, advance scientific engineering through human capital and support the creation of an environment conducive to industrial development in space technologies within the framework of national government policy.

SANSA has four main Agency programmes: Earth Observation, Space Science, Space Operations and Space Engineering which offer exciting opportunities in space science and technology.

The Space Science Programme leads multi-disciplinary space science research and applications. Key functions include fundamental and applied space science research, the support of space facilitated science through data acquisition, the coordination and administration of scientific data, and the provision of space weather and magnetic technology products and services on a commercial and private basis.

Through the Space Science Programme, SANSA contributes to the worldwide network of magnetic observatories responsible for monitoring the Earth’s magnetic field, and participates in global scientific projects. The programme also provides leadership in post-graduate student training as well as providing science advancement, public engagement, and learner and educator support with STEM subjects. Fundamental, and Applied Scientific Research as well as Engineering Projects are available through this programme.


SANSA Bursaries 2021

SANSA is offering bursaries to qualified South African citizens who wish to continue study towards postgraduate degrees (honours and up) in space-related fields at South African Universities. SANSA will also advise students on suitable projects and supervisors if there is a need.

South Africa needs an increase in science and engineering graduates. SANSA provides post-graduate degree bursaries to contribute to the national target for qualified post-graduates in science and engineering.

Earth Observation (Hons, MSc, PhD)

  • Earth Systems Science with Remote Sensing
  • Earth Observations in Ecosystems Accounting
  • Remote Sensing
  • Geospatial Programming
  • Remote Sensing in Environmental Management (including Agriculture and Rangelands, Water Resource Management, Marine and Oceans, Mineral Resourcing and Spatial Planning)

Space Science (Hons, MSc, MPhil, PhD)

  • Modelling geomagnetically induced currents in power systems
  • Ionospheric and radio propagation modeling
  • Multi-scale ionospheric physics, structure and dynamics
  • Multi-instrument studies of space weather
  • Antarctic radar studies of climate change
  • Theory of waves and solitons in plasma
  • Solar physics
  • Space Weather forecasting and verification aligned to navigation and radiation applications

Engineering (Hons, BTech, MEng, MTech, MSc, PhD, DTech)

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Aeronautical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Mechatronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Software Engineering
  • Software Systems Engineering
  • Systems Engineering
  • Space Engineering
  • Antenna and Radio Frequency Systems Engineering

All SANSA Divisions (Hons, MSc, PhD)

  • Computer Science and Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Software and Systems Engineering
  • Data Science
  • Field related to key SANSA objectives
  • Space, systems, antenna and RF engineering

For the 2021 academic year successful applicants will receive bursaries with values as stated below:

  • Hons – R85 000 (one year).
  • Masters – R100 000 per year for two years.
  • PhD – R130 000 per year for three years.

Applicants may not hold a combination of bursaries that exceed these amounts. Should an applicant have another bursary of lessor amount, SANSA will consider providing a top-up amount to the student provided the student meets the criteria mentioned above.

Support for continuing years is not guaranteed and will depend on satisfactory progress during the previous year.


Bursary Requirements and Eligibility

  • South African citizen
  • Students who intend to pursue postgraduate studies in the space-related degrees and qualifications will be given preference.
  • Good academic records
  • Proven financial need


How to Apply and Application Details

Register and apply online at:

Submit clear copies of the following supporting documentation along with your completed application form (the submission of these documents is compulsory – if any items are missing, your application be disregarded):

  • ID document (certified copy)
  • June results or progress report of all subjects (if no exams were written)
  • Completed SANSA testimonial by education official (.pdf)


Closing Date

 15 September 2020 


Contact Details

Email: [email protected]

Email: [email protected]

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