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SALT-SAAO Scholarship 2024-2025

About SAAO:

The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) is a renowned astronomy research institution that operates the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), the largest optical telescope in the southern hemisphere. Established in 1820, SAAO is the national center for optical and infrared astronomy in South Africa. Its primary mission is to conduct fundamental astronomical and astrophysical research, as well as to promote astronomy and astrophysics within the country through outreach initiatives and knowledge dissemination.

SAAO is a division of the National Research Foundation under the South African Department of Science and Innovation. It operates from two main offices in Observatory, Cape Town, and Sutherland in the Northern Cape, where it manages research stations and multiple operational telescopes, including SALT.

SALT-SAAO Scholarship 2024-2025:

SAAO is offering the SALT-SAAO Scholarship for MSc and PhD degree studies in astronomy and instrumentation-related projects for the academic year 2024-2025. The scholarship covers various benefits, including a stipend, tuition costs, equipment, travel allowances, and possibly accommodation.

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Selection Process:

Selection for the scholarship will consider factors such as academic record, interview performance, transformation considerations, and aptitude for research. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interviews in August or September 2024-2025. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of September 2024-2025 following the interview stage.

Selected candidates must sign the SAAO Student Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and provide documentation from their university confirming their enrollment before receiving the scholarship.

Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for the scholarship, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • South African citizens or permanent residents (preference given)
  • Eligible to pursue an MSc or PhD degree in Astrophysics by 2024-2025
  • Eligible to study at a South African university
  • Academic background in Astrophysics
  • Completed BSc Honors degree or equivalent for MSc applicants
  • Completed MSc degree or approved for PhD study for PhD applicants
  • Able to complete studies in a minimum period (2 years for MSc, 3 years for PhD)
  • Apply for a specific project and discuss it with the supervisor
  • Updated Covid-19 vaccination status
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How to Apply:

Submit the required documents via email to with the subject line containing the candidate’s surname, supervisor’s surname, project name, and level of application (MSc or PhD).

Documents Required:

The following documents are required for application:

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Academic records and transcripts
  • Two reference letters

Selected scholars will need to submit additional documents, including a registration certificate from their chosen university, sign the SAAO student MoU, provide annual progress reports, and follow specific program procedures.

Closing Date:

The application deadline for the scholarship is 31 July 2024-2025.

Contact Details:

For inquiries, contact

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