Africa is becoming the focus for the world of radio astronomy. It will host the mid-frequency Square Kilometre Array (SKA) – the next generation global radio astronomy facility that will be built initially in South Africa, and then rolled out across eight African partner countries, including Madagascar. Prior to the SKA, a network of radio telescopes called the African Very Long Baseline Interferometry Network (AVN) is being built in the African partner countries. To support this effort the Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy project (DARA : www.dara-project.org) has setup a basic training programme with the aim of offering any suitably qualified person the opportunity to undertake the training and become familiar with the basics of astrophysics and radio astronomy and gain hands-on experience.
The programme will take place at the host institute : Institute and Observatory of Geophysics in Antananarivo, IOGA – Antananarivo. Hands-on training in radio astronomy will take place at the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) in SA or at Ghana Space Science & Technology Centre (GSSTI) in Ghana. The training will be provided by experts in radio astronomy from the UK, EU and SA. The programme is funded by the UK’s Newton Fund together with matching efforts from SA. Additional training in the industrial opportunities afforded by knowledge of radio astronomy techniques will be provided by experienced entrepreneurs from the satellite communications business. The basic training programme will consist :
- 8 weeks of lectures, workshops and hands-on sessions spread out over a year ;
- students who require additional English language study will be given the opportunity to attend a course prior to the start of the programme ;
- on completion trainees will receive a certificate of completion and can request a reference letter from their trainers ;
- trainees will then be in a position to apply for advanced training places in radio astronomy at Masters or PhD level, a few of which are also funded by DARA, or use their new skills to aid the development of related high tech industries in the host country.
The programme is open to any suitably qualified person in the host country who wants to undertake the training or to be re-trained in radio astronomy. Applicants would normally be expected to be graduates in physics or a related subject. Students who are currently studying for a Masters qualification are welcome if they can fit the basic training programme into their schedule. More experienced people are also very welcome to apply. No prior experience of astrophysics is required.
The basic training programme is fully funded by DARA, therefore students will not have to pay a fee. The training package includes :
- accommodation, meals and travel to the training venue at the host institute, the practical training venue and annual network meeting in SA. An out-of-pocket allowance will also be included.
How to Apply
Applicants should complete the DARA application form and send it together with a CV, passport copy (if in possession) and transcripts to the host institute :
IOGA, Ambohidempona, Antananarivo 101, B.P. 3843, firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com
**The application must also be copied by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org**
Note that only fully completed applications will be considered.