August 1, 2011

SKA/NRF Youth into Science and Engineering Postgraduate Scholarship Programme for African Students

Postgraduate Bursary Programme (Youth into Science and Engineering Programme)

Course(s) Offered: Science, Tech, Engineerin
Course Level: Graduate (masters, phd, postdoc)
Provider: South African SKA / NRF
Country to Study in: Africa

Scholarship Description
The South African Square Kilometre Array Radio Telescope (SKA) Project comprises Africa’s bid to host the SKA Radio Telescope; the design, construction and operation of the Karoo Array Telescope (MeerKAT); and a Youth into Science and Engineering Programme focused on supporting science and engineering students and postdoctoral fellows.

The Youth into Science and Engineering Programme was initiated by the South African SKA Project Office in 2004 to increase the number of highly-skilled scientists and engineers able to support the SKA and MeerKAT during the design, construction and operational phases of the telescopes, and to use these telescopes once they are operational, so further developing a vibrant South African astronomy research and teaching community. Part of this programme supports postgraduate students.

MSc and PhD bursaries have been awarded to South African students and students from other countries in Africa, studying at South African universities or at universities in the African countries that have partnered with the South African SKA site proposal.

Eligibility
The following students may apply for South African SKA Project postgraduate bursaries:
  1. South African citizens and permanent residents of South Africa who wish to complete an MSc or PhD degree at a South African university.
  2. Non–South Africans from other countries in Africa who wish to complete an MSc or PhD degree at a South African university.
  3. Non–South Africans from other countries in Africa who wish to complete an MSc or PhD degree at a university in an South African SKA Partner Country: Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Kenya and Ghana.
Scholarship criteria:
  1. The award of a South African SKA scholarship to a student will be based on potential and academic performance. Selection criteria will include equity targets of the project, academic merit, promise of research ability, leadership qualities and previous award of various prizes and honours.
  2. In addition to the above criteria, the award of an South African SKA scholarship will be based on the student’s research project proposal
For more on 'Conditions of the Scholarship Awards', visit the link below.

Eligible groups
Citizens and Permanent residents of the following African countries:
South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Namibia, Mauritius, Madagascar, Ghana and Kenya

Participating Institutions
All recognised universities in South Africa or any South African SKA Partner Country (see list above)

Fields of study
Bursaries are for students wishing to complete a Masters or Doctoral degree in research relevant to the SKA and/or the MeerKAT radio telescopes in 2012.

These fields include: Science, Technology, Engineering, Radio astronomy, Cosmology (must align very closely with specific areas of MeerKAT, SKA, PAPER and C-BASS science and technology where research is required)

Research topics and supervisions of research:
The research focus for the SKA PhD and MSc bursaries must align very closely with specific areas of MeerKAT, SKA, PAPER and C-BASS science and technology where research is required.

The MSc and PhD projects (particularly the astronomy projects) must include a component of practical skills development (e.g. data analysis and / or computer simulations) so that the student acquires the necessary skills to become a competent (radio) astronomy researcher or engineer.

For 2012, the research projects must be in the following general fields:
  • Observational radio astronomy and cosmology:
  • Experimental cosmology
  • Radio astronomy engineering and instrumentation technologies including:
Number of awards
Several, not specified

Sponsorship duration & Scholarship benefits
(A). South African citizens and permanent residents of South Africa who wish to complete a PhD or MSc degree at a South African university
  1. PhD: Scholarship Duration: 3 years (subject to satisfactory progress)
    Maximum scholarship for 2012: R 110 000.00
    Maximum travel grant for 2012: R 19 000.00
    Maximum equipment grant for 2012: R 13 500.00

  2. MSc: Scholarship Duration: 2 years (subject to satisfactory progress)
    Maximum scholarship for 2012: R 84 000.00
    Maximum travel grant for 2012: R 14 500.00
    Maximum equipment grant for 2012: R 11 500.00
(B). Non – South Africans, from other countries in Africa who wish to complete a PhD or MSc degree at a South African university
  1. PhD: Scholarship Duration: 3 years (subject to satisfactory progress)
    Maximum scholarship for 2012: R 110 000.00
    Maximum travel grant for 2012: R 19 000.00
    Maximum equipment grant for 2012: R 13 500.00
    Maximum Home travel grant for 2012: R 12 500.00
    Repatriation fee for 2012: Paid in full, if required and as specified by country of residence
    Emergency Medical Insurance 2012: Paid in full

  2. MSc: Scholarship Duration: 2 years (subject to satisfactory progress)
    Maximum scholarship for 2012: R 84 000.00
    Maximum travel grant for 2012: R 14 500.00
    Maximum equipment grant for 2012: R 11 500.00
    Maximum Home travel grant for 2012: R 12 500.00
    Repatriation fee for 2012: Paid in full, if required and as specified by country of residence
    Emergency Medical Insurance 2012: Paid in full
(C). Non – South Africans, from other countries in Africa, who wish to complete a PhD or MSc at a university in a South African SKA Partner Country: Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius and Kenya
  1. PhD: Scholarship Duration: 3 years (subject to satisfactory progress)
    Maximum scholarship for 2012: R 110 000.00
    Maximum travel grant for 2012: R 19 000.00
    Maximum equipment grant for 2012: R 13 500.00

  2. MSc: Scholarship Duration: 2 years (subject to satisfactory progress)
    Maximum scholarship for 2012: R 84 000.00
    Maximum travel grant for 2012: R 14 500.00
    Maximum equipment grant for 2012: R 11 500.00
Method of Application
Applications must be submitted through an online application process to the National Research Foundation (NRF). Applicants can apply for the SKA Project Scholarships –Master’s and Doctoral Scholarship Call by accessing the link here.

Register/ Login using your email address and password. Select 'create new application' from the list of existing calls. Select the call for which you are applying to: SKA Project Scholarships–Master’s and Doctoral Scholarship. Select Apply now, and follow the prompts.

Successful applicants’ will be notified through the university research.

It is important to download and carefully read the Information manual(pdf) and also visit the official website (link to it is below) for detailed information on how to apply.

DEADLINES:
Online applications will be submitted via the Financial Aid / Research Office at the university where you intend registering for the degree, to reach the NRF by 31 August 2011. Please consult the university with regard to their internal closing dates which may be prior to 31 August.

PLEASE NOTE:
The South African Square Kilometre Array Radio Telescope (SKA) Project is a project of the Department of Science and Technology and the National Research Foundation.

Africa has been short-listed with Australia to host the SKA. If Africa is selected to site the SKA, the core of the telescope will be located in the Karoo region of the Northern Cape with additional stations distributed throughout South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Mauritius, Madagascar, Ghana and Kenya.

Projects deemed to directly address critical aspects of MeerKAT science and engineering will be given priority over those with a more generic scope.

All applicants (except students who wish to complete their MSc degree through the National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme - NASSP) MUST complete the Research Project Information section of the application form. This section refers to the details of the research project being proposed. Any application that does not include details of the research project being proposed will not be considered for a scholarship.

Contact
Questions may be directed to SKA Helpdesk at the NRF on NRF Student Support email at Studentsupport@nrf.ac.za

Application Deadline: 31 August 2011
Open to International Applicants: Yes

More Scholarship Information and Application

Related: List of Scholarships in South Africa for Students

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