Call for Application: AfAS 2023 MSC and PhD Prizes


The African Astronomical Society (AfAS) invites interested candidates to apply for its AfAS MSc and PhD Prizes. The inaugural AfAS MSc and PhD Prizes aim to recognise and reward the outstanding accomplishments achieved by academically talented African students who recently defended their Master’s or PhD thesis in Astronomy (including Astrophysics and related fields).


Eight prizes (four MSc, four PhD) will be shared between the four African regions (North, South, East, and West Africa). Successful candidates will be rewarded with a cash prize of USD 400 (MSc) and USD 800 (PhD). 


To qualify for the award, you should fulfil the following conditions:

  • Candidates must be a citizen of an African country;
  • Candidates must have conducted their research degree in Astronomy (including Astrophysics and related fields) at an academic or scientific research institute in Africa;
  • Candidates must have completed their degree (graduated or at least received a notification from their university) within a year of the call, between 1 November 2022 and 1 November 2023, for the 2023 MSc/PhD Prize and
  • Theses that have been submitted or are in preparation but have yet to be defended are not eligible.
How to Apply

All applications must be submitted online by uploading the following documents to the AfAS submission form:

  • A detailed CV including a list of scientific publications (maximum three pages) and contact details of two academic referees;
  • A one-page summary of the most important publications, if applicable;
  • A thesis summary (maximum two pages) including  (but not limited to)  the research title, the scientific rationale, the most significant findings and conclusions;
  • A motivation letter addressed to the AfAS Science Committee explaining why the applicant deserves the prize; 
  • Copies of official academic records (transcripts); and
  • A certified copy of the most recent completed degree.
Additional Information
  • Applicants should also arrange for signed recommendation letters from two academic referees to be sent directly to Dr Charles Takalana by 8 December 2023. At least one letter must be from the thesis advisor who is familiar with the applicant’s research work;
  • Incomplete applications or files submitted after the deadline, as well as applications which do not meet the conditions of eligibility, will not be taken into consideration; and 
  • Applicants submitting supporting documents in their local language must upload at least an informal translation into English. 
Estimated Timeline
  • Opening of the call: 1 November 2023; 
  • Closing of the call:  8 December 2023;
  • Applications review by the jury: Mid-December 2023; and
  • Notification of successful applicants:  January 2024.

For more information, click here.

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