SANSA 2024 DST PDP Bursaries

SANSA 2024 DST PDP Bursaries

Join the South African Space Agency

Are you interested in working in the space sector to bring real benefits to society?
Are you ready to expand your horizons and take on exciting space challenges?
SANSA is looking for individuals who are driven and forward thinkers!
Apply now for one of our PhD scholarships through the DST Professional Development Programme.
SANSA offers funding (R180,000 p.a. for PhD for 3 years) in the general theme areas below:

  1. Theory of space plasmas: Opportunities include theory, modelling and simulation of space plasmas e.g. beams and solitons in hot and cold plasmas.
  2. Radar research of the space environment: SANSA operates a HF SuperDARN radar in Antarctica which is used to study the upper-atmosphere and near-Earth space environment. Opportunities include running special experiments, collaborating with other countries and analysing existing data.
  3. Space weather research: SANSA operates the Space Weather Regional Warning Centre for Africa and a diverse network of instruments in southern Africa, Antarctica, Gough and Marion Island to monitor the impact of space weather on Earth and technological systems such as satellite navigation and power grids.
  4. Optical studies of the atmosphere: SANSA operates an optical space lab in Sutherland, Northern Cape, to study the upper-atmosphere remotely e.g. atmospheric gravity waves, high-altitude winds, or the discovery of sprites over South Africa. Opportunities exist to obtain your own observational data.

Projects will be tailored to individuals, depending on skills and interest and are not limited to any specific topic mentioned above, but must fit into the space science theme areas.
Communication will only be conducted with short-listed candidates who will be contacted for interviews. If applicants have not heard from us within 4 weeks of the closing date, they must assume that their applications were unsuccessful.
Please NOTE: Background verification, including criminal record, credit checks, security clearances, qualification and citizenship checks as well as competency assessment and psychometric testing, may form part of the selection process.
SANSA subscribes to the principles of Employment Equity and welcomes applications from all persons with disabilities. Preference will be given to candidates in accordance with this.
SANSA reserves the right to not make an appointment.
Please note!!
1. Applicants should indicate “PDP Application 2024”  in the Proposed degree programme section in the online application in order to differentiate from our other applications


  • Applicant should be a South African citizen
  • Certified copy of certificate and/ results of last degree obtained
  • Certified copy of your South African ID or other form of identification.
  • Research project
  • Testimonial
  • All uploads should have your name and surname in the subject column

All enquiries can be sent to

Rules for uploading supporting documents

Please ensure your documents are in an electronic format (as stipulated below) before starting the application process.

  • Files cannot be larger than 2MB (2048KB) each.
  • Only the following file types are allowed: pdf (Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format file), doc (Word document file) or tif (image file).

How to apply for a bursary

It is necessary to be a registered user before the bursary application form can be accessed. From the “Bursaries” menu, select “Login / Register”. As a first time user, click on “Don’t have an account” and continue to register. A returning applicant can login to proceed to the application form.
Closing Date for Applications: 15 January 2024