Scholarships Committee Convener: Claire Flanagan (

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

The 2023 ASSA Scholarship holder was 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 2024) 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.

To apply for a scholarship, download the application instructions.  Applications for 2024 funding should be submitted by 2024 February 16.

A list of previous ASSA Scholarship recipients is available.

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.

To apply for a scholarship, download and complete the application instructions. Applications for 2024 funding should be submitted by 2024 February 16.

A list of previous Cooke Scholarship recipients is available.

Discontinued scholarships

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

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