South African Radio Astronomy Observatory funded undergraduate bursaries for students at the

University the Western Cape



The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO), in partnership with the University of the Western Cape (UWC), is offering several scholarships to the value of approximately 141 000 ZAR (adjusted annually for inflation) per student, per year. 


The aim is to support students applying to UWC to study towards a B.Sc. degree in Physics with Mathematics. To be eligible, a student must have received a Senior Certificate with Matriculation Endorsement. Furthermore, excellent final marks for Physical Science and Mathematics are required.


Scholarships are awarded for up to 4 years, covering the durations of the undergraduate and honours degrees. Successful applicants will receive additional support in terms of computing equipment as necessary (e.g., laptops). All funded students are expected to be highly engaged with various SARAO-related activities (e.g., SARAO conferences/workshops).


Interested students are required to submit their details via the online application form. 

Alternatively, direct queries can be sent to

Dr Ed Elson (, Department of Physics & Astronomy at UWC).


Potential candidates will be contacted and interviewed telephonically, and will be required to provide a certified copy of their final matric results. Students must be South African citizens. Preference will be given to students who contribute to the transformation goals of SARAO’s human capacity development programme.


South African scientists are playing a leading role in developing the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). A large component of the SKA will be built in the Northern Cape. The SKA will open a new window that will allow us to study the properties of the Universe over the 14 billion years of its existence. This international scientific experiment will dramatically extend our knowledge of how stars and galaxies formed and how they have evolved since the Universe was much younger. It will also help shed further light on some of the biggest questions in science, questions such as: “Is Einstein’s theory of gravity complete?” and “How did life start in the Universe?” The Department of Physics & Astronomy at UWC is internationally recognised for its research in cosmology and astronomy. The South African precursor to the SKA, MeerKAT, is operational and will soon start generating exciting science results. UWC researchers are playing a leading role in the development of various large galaxy surveys that will be carried out with MeerKAT.


Can you see yourself being part of this, the biggest science endeavour in astronomy, ever? If so, then why not apply for an SKA-funded undergraduate scholarship?


Useful links: UWC Department of Physics & Astronomy:

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory: