Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy


A joint UK-South Africa Newton Fund human capital development project to help drive economic development in Africa.

This project aims to develop high tech skills using radio astronomy in a number of African countries. Radio astronomy encompasses all of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills that underpin the emergence of a strong developed economy. The modern astronomer needs knowledge in physics, mathematics, chemistry and computing. To develop, maintain and run radio telescopes and instrumentation requires key skills in technology and engineering. The targeted countries will be acquiring radio telescopes to form the African VLBI Network as part of their participation in the South African Square Kilometre Array project. We aim to inspire and train a new and diverse generation of young people to engage with these skills. Our training programme engenders a research ethos as well as communication and diagnostic skills that are transferable to many aspects of a developing economy. The training team includes experienced entrepreneurs from the space sector to open the minds of the trainees to the possibilities in the industrial and commercial sectors. This Newton Fund programme will provide a pool of talented young people who have been inspired by astronomy to play a leading role in the emergence of new economies.

Basic Training Unit 4 in Kenya
1 - 12 July 2019

Technical University of Kenya, Kenya

The course was mostly dominated by hands-on activities which ranged from basics of linux and python, fourier transform and interferometer activities, to reduction of real continuum and spectral data.

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Basic Training Unit 2-3 in South Africa
6 - 31 May 2019

Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO)

Thirty-nine (39) participants, five (5) from Botswana, ten (10) from Madagascar, ten (10) from Mozambique, four (4) from Namibia and five (5) from Zambia, all completed the four week observational and technical training. 

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Basic Training Unit 1 in Zambia
21 January - 1 February 2019

University of Zambia

Eleven students with interests in physics and astronomy recently completed their training at the University of Zambia in Lusaka. The event was organised by the Faculty of Natural Sciences at UNZA, under the guidance of Dr. Habatwa Mweene. Prof. Mark Birkinshaw from the University of Bristol provided lectures, workshops and problem solving classes.

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Rhodes University RATT Postgraduate 2020 Bursaries 
Call for Applications

Closing date: 15 October 2019

Rhodes University invites high-flying students looking to get involved in
radio astronomy, MeerKAT and the Square Kilometre Array to apply.

Doctoral Program of the International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy & Cosmic Physics
Call for Applications
Closing date: 1 November 2019
Applications are invited for the doctoral program of the International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy & Cosmic Physics at the University of Heidelberg (IMPRS-HD) - starting summer/autumn 2020.
South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO)
Doctoral & Masters Scholarship Programme 2020
Call for Applications  

Closing date: 23 September 2019

Open to citizens of South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia.