Call for Applications: Astronomy in Africa Scholarship


The International Astronomical Union (IAU) will host its 32nd General Assembly in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2024 (GA2024). This is the first time in the 100+ year history of the IAU that the General Assembly will be held in Africa, which provides a prime opportunity to showcase the cutting-edge research infrastructure and excellent talent in the science area on the continent.

In anticipation of the 32nd General Assembly, the National Organising Committee of the IAU GA2024 seeks to award high-impact “Astronomy in Africa” scholarships to eligible African candidates that align with the hosting of this historical event. The scholarships will allow excellent candidates to undertake a two-year Master of Science (MSc) degree in South Africa starting in 2023.

The Africa 2024 scholarships will cover international student fees, one international return flight, visa costs, medical insurance, accommodation, and a stipend. In addition, scholarship recipients will benefit from volunteering at the General Assembly 2024, allowing them to interact with the global astronomy community.

Who can Apply?
  • Candidates from any African country can apply for Astronomy in Africa scholarships. 
  • Applicants must be eligible to register for an MSc degree at a South African university specialising in astrophysics/astronomy. 
  • Candidates must have liaised with potential supervisors from recognised South African universities. 
  • Potential supervisors must provide an accompanying letter of support for the candidate, which includes a brief statement of the proposed research project.
Application Process
  1. Submit an application via this link 
  2. Submit one reference letter to, by the application deadline and with your name in the subject line.
  3. Candidates must submit a motivation and upload a CV (maximum of 2-pages, 12-pt font), recent academic transcripts and a scan of their undergraduate degree certificate. 
Deadline for Applications
  • The deadline for applications is 21 October 2022.
Selection Process
  • Shortlisting will occur through the Science sub-committee of the GA2024 NOC, along with external reviewers.
  • Applicants will be shortlisted based on academic grades, motivation quality, and research suitability as assessed through a reference letter and CV. Diversity and regional representation will be taken into account during the shortlisting process. Preference will be given to non-South African applicants.
  • Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a virtual interview from 24 October to 4 November 2022.
  • Successful candidates (and supervisors) will be notified during the week of 7-11 November 2022.
The outcome of your Application

Successful candidates will be informed during the week of 7 – 11 November 2022. Please note that awarding the scholarship is contingent on acceptance into an MSc programme in astronomy or astrophysics at a university in South Africa.

Travel for International Scholarship Recipients

International students awarded the scholarship will be offered a single return air ticket. In addition, the National Organising Committee of the GA2024 will cover the cost of visas for study.

Terms & Conditions
  • Successful applicants must be ready to start their degree at the beginning of the 2023 South African academic year, i.e. January/February 2023. In addition, the applicant must show proof of completion of a Bachelor of Science (BSc) Honours or an equivalent degree before acceptance of the scholarship award.
  • Funding for the MSc degree is limited to two years. Therefore, the degree must be completed by this time.
  • Funding is contingent on proof of registration from the proposed university, and funding for the second year of study is contingent upon adequate progress as judged by a progress report at the end of the first year of study (endorsed by a supervisor) and fulfilment of the requirements of the university at which the student is registered.
  • The National Organising Committee of the IAU GA2024 reserves the right to make, or not make, an award for Astronomy in Africa scholarships.

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