SARAO NRF Postgraduate Scholarship South Africa

If you wish to pursue postgraduate studies and need financial aid in South Africa then the NRF SARAO Postgraduate Scholarship program can provide you with monetary assistance in the form of a scholarship. With the help of this program, ambitious and skilled students can enroll in specified postgraduate programs and achieve their dreams.


The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) is a National Research Foundation Facility that is empowered to oversee all the SARAO facilities and initiatives including the MeerKAT Radio Telescope in the Karoo, the Geodesy and VLBI activities at the HartRAO facility.

The SARAO is also responsible for coordinating the African Very Long Baseline Interferometry Network for 8 SKA countries in Africa. It also contributes to South Africa’s infrastructure and engineering planning for the Square Kilometer Array Radio Telescope.

SARAO NRF Postgraduate Scholarship

The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO), with the National Research Foundation, is offering several Postgraduate Programmes and is calling on suitable candidates to apply to qualify for a grant for the upcoming academic year. Currently, these are the postgraduate scholarship grants that are open:

SARAO Scholarship and Postdoctoral Fellowship Programmes

SARAO Doctoral Scholarship

The SARAO Doctoral Scholarship is awarded to students intending to pursue any approved doctoral research project within SARAO’s technical focus areas. Scholarships are awarded and renewed on a per-year basis for three years.

Nationality: The Doctoral scholarship is available to the citizens of South Africa and its permanent residents and citizens of Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zambia.

Academic Requirements: Students must achieve a minimum of 65% at the Master’s level to avail of this scholarship.

Research Focus: The SARAO NRF Postgraduate scholarship is granted to students who want to pursue post-graduate research that is relevant to the scientific and technical goals of MeerKAT telescopes and SKA.

Age of the candidate: 32 years or younger.

Duration of the scholarship: 3 years

The total value of a doctoral scholarship is R180430. A candidate is also provided a travel grant of R36000/year, R40000 equipment grant, and other benefits like international student fee, repatriation fee, emergency medical insurance, and home travel grant.

About Masters Scholarship

Nationality: To be eligible for the master’s scholarship program a candidate must be a citizen of South Africa or a permanent resident there. Additionally, students from Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zambia are also eligible for the Master’s Scholarship program.

Academic Requirements: Students who secure a minimum average of 65% at the honors level or a minimum average of 65% for all the final year subjects of their 4-year degree are eligible to avail of this grant.

Research Focus: Those students who want to carry out post-graduate research in the field relevant to the scientific and technical goals of the SKA and MeerKAT radio telescopes can apply for this scholarship.

Age of the candidate: 30 years or younger

Duration of the scholarship: 2 years

The amount of grant for Masters Scholarship is R172000 per year. There is also a travel grant amounting to R29000 and an equipment grant of R27000. While all the grants are renewable each year, the equipment grant is a one-time amount.


About Honours Scholarship

Nationality: The Honours scholarship is available only to the citizens and permanent residents of South Africa.

Academic Requirements: Candidates must score a minimum average of 65% for the major subjects in the final year of undergraduate.

Research Focus: Students should opt for Bachelor of Science Honours in Physics and Electronics, Astronomy, Computer Science, National Astrophysics, and Space Science Program.

Age of the candidate: 28 years or younger

Duration of the scholarship: 1 year

Students receive a scholarship amount of R154700 which is subject to adjustment following the variation and inflation in the university fees.

How to Apply for the Scholarship?

Candidates who meet the eligibility criteria can apply for the scholarship program by registering themselves and following the procedure on

Before applying for the scholarship students who wish to apply for doctoral and master’s scholarships are required to contact the designated supervisor and acquire a letter regarding the supervision during the research project.

While filling up the application form students are required to attach the following documents in the form of a single PDF.

  • All the degree/university results along with any other degrees completed till the date of application.
  • Applicants also need to submit a copy of their identity proof if they are citizens of South Africa or a copy of their passport if they are non-residents.
  • Candidate’s CV
  • A copy of the students’ biography.

Closing Date

Currently closed for application. Please check back later for the updated opening and closing date of this bursary.

If you have any questions relating to the scholarship you can send an email to:

Please do not send any questions after the closing date. View our other bursaries/scholarships open for application here:

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