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SAAO MSC & PhD Research Scholarship 2023 For African Researchers


The South Africa Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) application for the 2024 Masters of Science (MSc) and Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) research opportunities are open. The SAAO allows students to work with leading researchers on cutting-edge astronomy and instrumentation projects. These cover observational and theoretical aspects of stellar and extragalactic astronomy, astronomical instrumentation and computer modelling.

Furthermore, many projects involve combining and analyzing data from different wavelengths, e.g. optical data from SAAO/SALT with radio data from MeerKAT and/or X-ray measurements from spacecraft with opportunities for collaboration with national and international partners.


Applicants can apply to the NRF for funding through the university and/or the SAAO Prize scholarship, with the active support of their proposed SAAO supervisor, who will ensure they fill in the correct details in all sections. This is important as applications are often rejected on technicalities.


  • To do postgraduate research at SAAO, students must register with a South African University, and those who require funding must apply to the NRF, following the standard procedures, and/or apply for the 2024 SAAO Prize Scholarship for Ph.D. or MSc. The project opportunities are the same for NRF and the SAAO bursaries.

  • Applicants must be eligible to register for an MSc/Ph.D. degree in astrophysics at a South African university at the start of the 2024 academic year. Ideal candidates will have a background in astrophysics.

  • Note that NRF is advising students to apply as soon as they can to prevent IT overload near the cut-off dates.


31st July 2023

Click here for more details.


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