The SAAO Prize Scholarships 2019/2020 for African PhD Students

Application Deadline: 31 July 2019

Jim Est FEED

The SAAO Prize Scholarship is a prestigious annually awarded scholarship offered to a top 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.  The advertisement for the scholarship can be found here .   .

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Projects Offered:

  • Mass Loss, Pulsation and Atmospheric Mixing in Intermediate Mass Stars
    Supervisors: John Menzies (, Patricia Whitelock (SAAO and UCT; : Project details
  • 3D Simulations of Stellar Interactions
    Supervisor: Shazrene Mohamed ( Project details
  • Planetary and substellar companions to Planetary nebulae and other post-AGB stars
    Supervisors: Brent Miszalski ( and Rajeev Manick ( Project details
  • Transients in the LSST Era
    Supervisors: David Buckley (, Patrick Woudt (UCT;, and Brian
    van Soelen (UFS; Project details
  • Vertical structure evolution of spiral galaxy disks using optical and near-infrared
    integral field spectroscopy
    Supervisors: Matthew Bershady ( Project details
  • Design, development and commissioning of a fibre slit-mask integral-field unit for
    SALT prime-focus spectrograph
    Supervisors: Matthew Bershady ( Project details

Further information about the scholarship application procedure and scholarship rules can be found here .  You are strongly encouraged to contact potential supervisors to discuss the project before applying. Contact if you have further queries.

The scholarship is currently open to South Africans or citizens of other African countries 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 2020 academic year (typically the end of February 2020).


Send your CV, motivation, academic transcript to and arrange for 2 reference letters to be sent to the same address by the closing date.

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Degree Funded: 3-year PhD
Funding Amount: R180,000 per year (plus support for tuition, equipment and travel).
Start of Funding: 2020
Applications Open: 10 June 2019
Applications Close: 31 July 2019