Application Open For The 2020 ASSA and Cooke Astronomy Scholarships


The Astronomical Society of Southern Africa (ASSA) is administering two scholarships:

  • The ASSA Scholarship, funded by ASSA, and
  • The Cooke Scholarship, funded by a donation from the PE People’s Observatory Society.

ASSA Scholarship

The purpose of the ASSA Scholarship is to encourage the study of astronomy. The Scholarship is available in support of 2nd and 3rd-year undergraduate studies in astronomy (and, in exceptional cases, Honours), at a Southern African university.

Cooke Scholarship 

The Cooke Scholarship, instituted in 2018, is intended to support astronomy studies at a recognized South African university.  Up to R20,000 is available to fund studies at undergraduate (2nd year on) or postgraduate studies.

The scholarships are intended to encourage the study of astronomy, at undergraduate (2nd year up) or, in exceptional cases, postgraduate level, at any Southern African university, including those which offer astronomy courses to part-time students in distance-learning mode.

Criteria are a demonstrated interest in astronomy and a good academic record. Preference will be given to:

  • previous scholarship-holders who have made good progress in their studies;
  • applicants who are not in receipt of other scholarships or similar funding;
  • (for the ASSA Scholarship) ASSA members.

The scholarship will contribute towards academic fees and the cost of prescribed books, and is valid for one year. Payment of academic fees will be made directly to the university concerned. Scholarship awards shall be based on an evaluation of the applications and the recommendations of the relevant university department. Applicants may be required to be interviewed at an ASSA Centre convenient to them.

Applications must be submitted to ASSA no later than 7 February 2020. One application should be submitted for consideration for both scholarships. There is no standard application form, and only the following items must be submitted.

  • A cover letter, outlining your career plans and explaining your interest in astronomy.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • A statement of your intended course of study (full details of subjects and modules, and their costs) for 2020.
  • A statement that you either have no other bursary or scholarship or where you do have a
    scholarship or bursary, the amount, source, and conditions.
  • A copy of your final official results from your previous year of study (this will be 2019 unless there are unusual circumstances).
  • A recent letter of support from a lecturer.
  • An additional recent letter(s) of support, if relevant.
  • Full contact details, including e-mail, residential and postal addresses, and phone numbers.

Applications and queries should be submitted by e-mail to, no later than 7 February 2020.

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.