AfAS is Inviting Applications for its MSc and PhD Prizes

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The African Astronomical Society (AfAS) is inviting applications for the AfAS-2022 MSc and PhD Prizes to recognise and reward the outstanding accomplishments achieved by academically talented African students who recently defended their Master’s or PhD thesis in the field of Astronomy (including Astrophysics & Space Science). A total of eight prizes (four MSc, four PhD) to be shared over four African regions (North, South, East, and West Africa) will be conferred each year with a cash prize of USD 400 for an MSc and USD 800 for a PhD award, respectively.

Eligibility

To qualify for the award, you should fulfil the following conditions:

  • Candidates must be a citizen of an African country;
  • Candidates must have conducted their research degree in Astronomy (including Astrophysics & Space Science) at an academic or scientific research institute in Africa;
  • Likewise, candidates must have completed their degree (graduated or at least received a notification from their university) within a year of the call, i.e. between 30 April 2021 and 30 April 2022, for the 2022 MSc/PhD Prize.

Applicants must note that the theses they have only submitted or are preparing to defend are not eligible.

Application procedure

Applicants are to submit all applications online by uploading the following documents to
the AfAS submission form here:

  • A detailed CV including a list of scientific publications (maximum three pages) and
    contact details of two academic referees;
  • A one page summary of the most important publications, if applicable;
  • A thesis summary (maximum two pages) including (but not limited to) the
    research title, the scientific rationale, the most significant findings and
    conclusions;
  • A motivation letter addressed to the AfAS Science Committee explaining why
    the applicant deserves the prize;
  • Copies of official academic records (transcripts);
  • A certified copy of the most recent completed degree.

Applicants should also arrange for signed recommendation letters from two
academic referees, which they will send directly to Dr Charles Takalana by 09 May 2022. Furthermore, at least one letter must be from the thesis advisor who is familiar with the applicant’s research work.

AfAS will not consider incomplete applications or files received after the deadline and
applications that do not meet the conditions of eligibility. Additionally, If you submit any supporting documents in your local language, you must upload at least an informal translation into English. Furthermore, AfAS reserves the right not to award any prize in part or whole.

Selection criteria

The AfAS PhD Prize committee will review and rank the applications based on
the following criteria:

  • The excellence of the overall academic performance and achievements;
  • Relevance and originality of the MSc/PhD thesis;
  • Publication track record, commensurate with the applicant’s career stage;
  • Participation in scientific meetings and research presentations;
  • Impact of the research work on the advancement of Astronomy in Africa.

Estimated timeline

  • Opening of the call: 08 April 2022
  • Closing of the call: 09 May 2022
  • Applications review by the jury: during June 2022
  • Notification of successful applicants: by mid-July 2022

You can reach out to Dr Charles Takalana, Head of Secretariat, African Astronomical Society, for enquiries. Additionally, you can visit AfAS for more details.

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