SARAO Scholarship 2024 Application, Requirements, and Deadline

Are you ready to reach for the stars with the SARAO Scholarship 2024? This article will guide you on the application process, understanding the requirements, and adhering to the deadline for one of the most prestigious scholarships in the field of astronomy and astrophysics.


The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) Scholarship presents a unique opportunity for aspiring astronomers and astrophysicists to propel their careers forward with significant financial support and access to world-class research facilities.


Whether you’re a budding undergraduate, a driven postgraduate, or an ambitious doctoral candidate, this scholarship opens doors to unparalleled academic and research experiences in the realm of space and celestial discoveries.

In this post, we’ll walk you through each step of the application process, clarify the eligibility criteria, and highlight the key dates and deadlines to ensure your application shines as bright as the stars you’re aspiring to study.

SARAO Scholarship

What is the SARAO Scholarship?

The SARAO Scholarship 2024 is a scholarship program offered by the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) to support exceptional students pursuing postgraduate studies in radio astronomy or related fields.

It’s a golden opportunity for passionate individuals to delve into the mysteries of the universe, contribute to groundbreaking research, and become part of a vibrant scientific community.

Benefits of the SARAO Scholarship

  • Financial freedom: The SARAO scholarship covers a significant portion of your academic expenses, allowing you to immerse yourself in your studies without financial burdens.
  • Global research playground: This scholarship opens doors to collaborations with world-renowned scientists at leading international institutions, expanding your network and enriching your research experience.
  • Cutting-edge infrastructure: Imagine accessing the latest technology and facilities at the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory, the continent’s leading astronomical research institute. This is where cutting-edge becomes your everyday reality.
  • Mentorship magic: Don’t just learn; be guided by the best. The SARAO scholarship connects you with seasoned experts who will nurture your potential, challenge your thinking, and become your scientific compass.
  • Community of kindred spirits: The scholarship fosters a vibrant community of fellow passionate researchers where you can share ideas, support each other, and forge lifelong friendships that fuel your scientific journey.
  • Future-proof your career: The SARAO brand carries weight. Earning this scholarship instantly elevates your profile, opening doors to prestigious research positions and postgraduate opportunities in Africa and beyond.
  • Impact beyond borders: The SARAO scholarship prioritizes projects that address real-world problems relevant to Africa. This is your chance to make a tangible difference, using your scientific expertise to uplift the continent.
  • Investing in your passion: This scholarship is an investment in your passion. It’s the fuel that propels your curiosity, the springboard for your groundbreaking discoveries, and the key that unlocks the door to a fulfilling career in African science.

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Eligibility Criteria for the SARAO Scholarship 2024

  1. Citizenship: This scholarship is exclusively for South African citizens, permanent residents, or SADC nationals residing in South Africa.
  2. Academic pursuit: The SARAO scholarship welcomes applications from students enrolled in or intending to enroll in specific postgraduate (Master’s and Doctoral) and undergraduate programs.
  3. Academic prowess: Academic excellence is a crucial factor, with a minimum requirement of 65% average for mathematics and physical science in Matric or a 60% average for core subjects at the undergraduate level.
  4. Research passion: Beyond grades, the scholarship seeks individuals with a genuine passion for astronomy and radio astronomy research. This can be demonstrated through previous research experience, participation in astronomy-related activities, or a strong motivation letter highlighting your research aspirations.
  5. Supervisor support: Having a confirmed supervisor from a SARAO-approved research project is essential for postgraduate applicants. This ensures your research aligns with SARAO’s scientific goals and strengthens your application.
  6. Financial need: While not a primary criterion, demonstrating financial need can be a supporting factor. Remember, the scholarship aims to bridge financial gaps and empower deserving students.

Amount for the SARAO scholarship

The 2024 undergraduate scholarship level is R168 000. In addition to the scholarship, students are eligible for a once-off laptop grant of R12 000.

How to Apply for the SARAO Scholarship

  1. Gather your documents:
  • Academic transcripts: Certified copies of your academic record highlighting your grades in relevant subjects like mathematics, physics, and computer science.
  • Motivation letter: This is your chance to shine! Express your passion for astronomy, research experience (if any), and how you envision contributing to the field through SARAO.
  • Curriculum vitae (CV): A concise overview of your academic achievements, research involvement, awards, and relevant skills.
  • Supervisor confirmation (postgraduate only): A letter from your chosen supervisor confirming their willingness to guide your research.
  • ID documents: Proof of South African citizenship, permanent residency, or SADC national status residing in South Africa.
  • Recommendation letters: Two letters, preferably from academic referees familiar with your potential and research interests.
  1. Choose your program and application platform:
  • Undergraduate programs: Applications for Engineering Physics, Electronic Engineering, and Computer Science are submitted through the university you’ll be attending. Contact their bursary office for specific procedures and deadlines.
  • Postgraduate programs (Master’s and Ph.D.): Applications for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Science, and relevant engineering fields are submitted through the NRF Connect online platform. Ensure you choose the correct call for your program and research area.
  1. Complete the online application form: Thoroughly review and complete the online form, ensuring that you provide precise and comprehensive details regarding your academic history, research interests, and any relevant accomplishments. Upload all necessary documents in the specified format and within the size limit.
  1. Proofread and submit: Before hitting submit, meticulously review your application for any typos, grammatical errors, or inconsistencies. This is your first impression, so make it count. Submit your application ahead of the deadline to avoid technical glitches or unforeseen delays.

Application Deadline for the SARAO Scholarship 

Individual universities will set their closing dates for applications. Find out the closing date from the university where you intend to register for your degree, and make sure you submit your application on or before that date.


The SARAO Scholarship opportunity is more than just financial support; it’s a gateway to the stars, offering a platform for passionate individuals to contribute significantly to the field of astronomy and astrophysics.

The SARAO Scholarship is not merely an award; it’s an investment in your future and in the future of space research. By meeting the application requirements and respecting the deadline, you’re taking the first step towards joining a prestigious community of scholars and researchers dedicated to unraveling the mysteries of the universe.

Remember, this scholarship isn’t just about academic excellence; it’s about fostering a new generation of innovators and thinkers who will push the boundaries of our understanding of space. The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory is looking for curious minds, passionate hearts, and ambitious spirits. If you embody these qualities, we encourage you to apply. Take this chance to make your mark in the cosmos and be a part of something truly groundbreaking.

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