SAAO Prize Scholarship 2019 for South African PhD students (R180,000 per year (plus support for tuition, equipment and travel).

Application Deadline: 3rd August 2018

Degree Funded: 3-year PhD
Funding Amount: R180,000 per year (plus support for tuition, equipment and travel).
Start of Funding: 2019

The SAAO Prize Scholarship is a prestigious annually awarded scholarship offered to a top South African student to work on a PhD project supervised by researchers at the SAAO. The scholarship is for a 3-year PhD registered at a South African university and the student will be required to spend a minimum of 60% of their time at the SAAO. The scholarship will cover tuition and a generous stipend for living expenses. Additional support for conference travel and equipment will be provided.  .

Projects Offered:

  • Probing galaxy evolution through diffuse light in dense environments
    Supervisors: Ros Skelton ( and Sarah Blyth (UCT)/Ilani Loubser (NWU) : Project details
  • Observational studies of Centaurs, interesting and transitional minor planets
    Supervisor: Amanda Sickafoose ( : Project details
  • Discovery and Characterization of Near-Earth Asteroids
    Supervisors: Amanda Sickafoose ( and Nicolas Erasmus ( : Project details
  • Optical and radio transient sources
    Supervisors: Retha Pretorius (, David Buckley (, and Alida Odendaal (UFS; : Project details


  • The scholarship is currently open to South African citizens who hold, or are studying towards, an MSc degree in physics, astrophysics, or a closely related area (ideally with some astronomy background), and must be ready to register for a PhD at the start of the 2019 academic year.
Application Procedure:
  • The applicant should send their CV, a letter of motivation and academic transcript to, and arrange for 2 letters of reference to be sent directly to by the closing date.
  • The selection criteria will be academic merit, motivation, aptitude for research, transformation considerations, and results of the interview

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the SAAO Prize Scholarship 2019 


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