SALT-SAAO Scholarship 2024

About SAAO

The Southern African Large Telescope, the largest optical telescope in the southern hemisphere, is housed at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), which is the nation’s top astronomy research facility. The national centre for optical and infrared astronomy in the nation was established in 1820 and is called SAAO. By providing young scientists with world-class facilities, SAAO’s primary responsibility is to ensure that fundamental astronomical and astrophysical research is successfully carried out. SAAO also keeps up its promotion of astronomy and astrophysics within the nation, which it does by taking part in outreach initiatives and disseminating its many discoveries and findings.

Within the South African Department of Science and Innovation, the SAAO is a division of the National Research Foundation. The SAAO’s main offices are located in Observatory, Cape Town, and Sutherland in the Northern Cape, where the organisation also operates several research and observation stations and numerous operational telescopes, including SALT.

SALT-SAAO Scholarship

SALT-SAAO Scholarship 2024

SAAO is providing an opportunity for students to apply for the SALT-SAAO Scholarship for the upcoming academic year of 2024.

The scholarship will cover MSc and PhD degree studies for astronomy and instrumentation-related projects beginning in 2024. (Theoretical and operational aspects of stellar and extragalactic astronomy, computer modelling and astronomical instrumentation).

You can click here to see the available projects.

The scholarship offers the following benefits:

  • An amount of R180 000 per year for MSc students.
  • An amount of R190 000 per year for PhD students.
  • Cost of tuition.
  • Equipment and travel equipment.
  • Accommodation might also be covered.

Note about the selection process for the scholarship

  • The following characteristics will be considered for selection:
    • Academic record.
    • Interview performance.
    • Transformation considerations.
    • Aptitude for research.

Candidates who have been shortlisted will receive a call inviting them to an interview, which will happen in August or September 2023. Successful applicants will be notified of their offers by the end of September 2023, following the interview stage.

Successful candidates must sign the SAAO Student Memorandum of Understanding and provide documentation from their university proving their enrollment before the scholarship will be given (MoU).

Eligibility Criteria For The Scholarship

The candidates must check the eligibility criteria before applying for the scholarship. There should not be any exceptions or the application will not be considered.

  • Candidates belonging to South Africa and its permanent residents will be given preference although candidates from any nation can apply.
  • The candidate must be eligible to pursue an MSc or PhD degree in the field of Astrophysics by the year 2024.
  • The candidate must be eligible to study at South African University.
  • The candidate must have pursued Astrophysics academically in the past.
  • For MSc students: must have finished a BSc Honors degree or a degree equivalent to it.
  • For PhD students: must have completed an MSc degree or have the approval to pursue a PhD.
  • The candidate must be able to finish their studies in a minimum period.
    • 2 years for MSc.
    • 3 years for a PhD.
  • The candidate must apply for a specific project and discuss it with the supervisor before applying for the scholarship,
  • The candidate must have an updated vaccination status for Covid-19.

How to Apply For The Scholarship?

Candidates who pass the eligibility criteria need to submit the necessary documents for applying.

Note: there is no separate application form for the students to fill out.

The applications need to be submitted via email at [email protected]. The subject line must contain the following:

  • Candidate’s surname.
  • The surname of the supervisor.
  • Name of the project the candidate applied for.
  • What level is the candidate applying for?

All the documents must be submitted in a single pdf file.

Documents Required

All the mentioned documents must be submitted for applying for the bursary else the application will not be considered.

  • A cover letter.
  • A well-devised curriculum vitae.
  • Academic records and transcripts.
  • Two reference letters.

Selected scholars will need to submit the following documents:

  • submit a registration certificate from the university that they have agreed to with the supervisor (before the scholarship is awarded)
  • Signing the SAAO student memorandum of understanding (MoU) obligates participants to follow its terms as well as those of the host university and the SAAO code of conduct.
  • Send a progress report every year.
  • Take part in the Postgraduate Advisory Committee procedure to make sure that enough advancement is made each year.
  • Spend the majority of their time at SAAO.
  • They must travel at least once a year to their host university.

Closing Date Of The Scholarship

The applications will be closed on 31 July 2023. No late applications will be accepted.

Contact Details

Candidates can contact the bursary provider directly for any queries related to the scholarship.

Email at [email protected]