2020 OAD/DARA Big Data Fellowship Award for Researchers in Africa

2020 OAD/DARA Big Data Fellowship Award for Researchers in Africa. The Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) was established through a partnership between the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the South African National Research Foundation (NRF). The OAD is based at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in Cape Town, South Africa, and aims to utilize the skills, techniques and broad appeal of astronomy to address development goals.

The OAD coordinates annual proposal invitations which has seen over 142 projects winning grants in ninety (90) countries with ten (10) regional offices worldwide.

The Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy (DARA) Big Data Project is sponsored by the United Kingdom Newton Fund through the Science and Technologies Facilities Council with the objective of developing big data skills using radio astronomy in different countries of Africa.

Fellowship level:  Postgraduate

Fellowship Worth: Fully Funded

Subject Eligibility: Physics, Astronomy and Related Courses.

Country/Candidate Eligibility: Fellowship is for African Researchers


  • Masters or Ph.D. in Physics, Astronomy or related field
  • Prior experience in Python programming
  • Experience in machine learning and/or data science will be an advantage
  • Ability to travel alone internationally, to present hackathons in the AVN (African VLBI Network) countries (Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia
  • Fluent in English (fluency in other languages spoken in Africa will be an advantage)
  • Good communication (both written and verbal) and presentation skills
  • Highly organised and a quick learner

Application procedure for 2020 OAD/DARA Big Data Fellowship Award for Researchers in Africa

How to Apply

All applications should be submitted electronically, via email. Interested persons who meet the requirements should email their detailed Curriculum Vitae (including list of publications), motivational statement, and contact information for three references, to OAD Astronomer Dr Vanessa McBride (vanessa ‘@’ astro4dev.org).

Visit Official Webpage for more details

Note that should start before

The selection process will begin after the initial deadline of 31 October 2019. Should the initial selection process be unsuccessful, applications may then be accepted on an ongoing basis until the position is filled.

Correspondence will be conducted with short-listed candidates only.
SAAO is committed to employment equity and redress. Women and minority candidates are especially encouraged to apply.