ASSA and Cooke Scholarships 2023.

Scholarships Committee Convener: Claire Flanagan (

The 2023 Cooke Scholarship holder is Carys Gilbert, currently in her third year of a BSc in Astrophysics at UCT.

The 2023 ASSA Scholarship holder is Adnaan Nauthoo, BSc(Hons) student at UCT, studying Cosmology and General Relativity.

ASSA Scholarship

The purpose of the ASSA Scholarship is to encourage the study of astronomy. The Scholarship is available in support of 2nd and 3rd year undergraduate studies in astronomy (and, in exceptional cases, Honours), at a Southern African university.

Criteria are a demonstrated interest in astronomy and a good academic record. Preference will be given to members of ASSA, as well as to previous holders of the Scholarship who have made good progress in their studies. Preference will also be given to applicants who are not in receipt of other scholarships or similar funding. The scholarship (worth R25,000 in 2023) will contribute towards academic fees and the cost of prescribed books, and is valid for one year. Payment of academic fees will be made directly to the university concerned. The scholarship shall be awarded based on an evaluation of the applications and the recommendations of the relevant university department. Applicants may be required to be interviewed at an ASSA Centre convenient to them.

Scroll down for application instructions.

List of ASSA Scholarship recipients for the period 2002-2022.

Cooke Scholarship

Cooke Refractor in Port Elizabeth, after which the Cooke Scholarship is named.

The Cooke Scholarship, instituted in 2018, is intended to support astronomy studies at a recognized South African university.  R25,000 is available to fund studies at undergraduate (2nd year on) or postgraduate studies.

Scroll down for application instructions.

List of Cooke Scholarship recipients for the period 2018-2022.


Download application instructions here.  Applications for 2023 are now closed.

Past Scholarships

The SAAO-ASSA Scholarships have been discontinued and are no longer available.  Here is a list of SAAO-ASSA Scholarship recipients for the period 2007-2014.

The HartRAO-ASSA Scholarships, funded by the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory, were awarded from 2015 to 2018, and have been discontinued.  Here is a list of HartRAO-ASSA Scholarship recipients for the period 2015-2018.

7 May 2022
ASSA launches 30 Under 30 project

ASSA is launching a Special Project entitled 30 Under 30 to identify young astronomers in Southern Africa and support their research and careers.

ASSA will publish a list of 30 young astronomers from Southern Africa, with details of their accomplishments and specific research interests. The list will include Master’s and PhD students or young professional astronomers, under the age of 30 and highlight and support their work through:

  • Publishing in the Monthly Notes of ASSA
  • Inviting them to speak at the ASSA 100 Symposium
  • Connecting them with employment and research opportunities in SA and globally

Both individuals and institutions are encouraged to nominate promising young individuals at the below link:

Self-nominations are welcome.