Published on: June 8, 2020
RATT invites high-flying students looking to get involved in radio astronomy, MeerKAT and the Square Kilometre Array to apply for postgraduate bursaries for 2021.

University cut-off date for applications (note that this is necessarily earlier than the NRF deadline): 17 July 2020 (MSc/PhD) / 1 December 2020 (Hons).

Rhodes University has established the Centre for Radio Astronomy Techniques and Technologies (http://www.ratt-ru.org), based around the SKA Research Chair in RATT, with the aim of furthering research into data processing algorithms, novel calibration & imaging techniques, and innovative observational methods. We have extensive collaborations with leading international radio astronomy groups, we are closely involved with South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) and the MeerKAT, C-BASS and HERA telescopes in the Karoo, and we expect to play a large role in the design and development of the Square Kilometre Array. Our activities range from observational radio astronomy programs with MeerKAT and other telescopes, to algorithm design, software implementation, development of mathematical methods and frameworks for use in radio astronomy, and processing of observational data from existing radio telescopes. We have research projects of various scope and level available to suit students with a variety of aptitudes, from low-level software and algorithm work, to high-level mathematics and physics. Applicants should have a strong academic record in one or preferably more of the following subjects: astronomy, computing science, mathematics and/or applied mathematics, physics, statistics, signal processing.

Please see http://www.ratt-ru.org/research-areas.html for more information on potential research areas and projects.

2021 funding levels will be linked to the relevant NRF and SARAO policies. PhD and MSc bursaries are renewable on an annual basis subject to satisfactory academic progress. Please note that bursaries can only be awarded to candidates registering at Rhodes University for postgraduate or Honours research with a RATT-affiliated supervisor.

Priority for funding will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents, followed by candidates from the SKA Africa partner countries (Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia). Candidates from the rest of the world will be considered on an exceptional basis only.

Please note that the application process for 2021 has changed. Read the below carefully:

  1. Before starting the application process, MSc or PhD applicants must contact a RATT-affiliated supervisor and agree on a research project (refer to list of research areas above)

  2. All applicants are then required to apply via the NRF portal, as detailed in: https://www.nrf.ac.za/division/funding/call-nrf-postgraduate-scholarships-2021, and enter grantholder UID 81737 on their application form, to ensure that their application is linked to RATT. Details of the research project will need to be supplied as part of the application.

  3. Please take note of the deadlines listed on the NRF page, and at the top of this announcement.

  4. ​In addition, please send a copy of the application to RATT directly, as there are other funding opportunities not linked to the NRF. Please include the following documents with this application: a motivational letter (including the applicant’s background, as well as the intended subject of study, for Hons applicants, and details of the research project, for MSc and PhD applicants), detailed Curriculum Vitae, copies of all academic transcripts, and details of three referees.

This application should be submitted by e-mail to Prof O. Smirnov, o.smirnov@ru.ac.za, and cc to ratt-admin@googlegroups.com.
Shortlisted applicants will be asked to have their referees e-mail their reference letters to the same address at a later date.

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