IAA African Symposium on Small Satellites Scholarship

Supported by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and the  Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC)


What is the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA)?  

The International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) was founded in Stockholm on August 16, 1960. Since that time, IAA has brought together the world’s foremost experts in the disciplines of astronautics on a regular basis to recognize the accomplishments of their peers, to explore and discuss cutting-edge issues in space research and technology, and to provide direction and guidance in the non-military uses of space and the ongoing exploration of the solar system. The purposes of the IAA, as stated in the Academy’s statutes are:

  • to foster the development of astronautics for peaceful purposes,
  • to recognize individuals who have distinguished themselves in a branch of science or technology related to astronautics,
  • to provide a program through which the membership can contribute to international endeavors and cooperation in the advancement of aerospace science, in cooperation with national science or engineering academies.

What is the IAA African Symposium on Small Satellites?

In February 1999 South Africa’s first satellite, Sunsat-1, was launched. This 64-kg microsatellite was built by staff and students at the University of Stellenbosch and operated successfully for 2 years. Now, 20 years later, Stellenbosch and the surrounding area has become a Space hub for both local industry and academia and will be the venue for the first IAA Symposium on Small Satellites in Africa. 

Focusing on current industry trends and innovation, delegates can look forward to an interesting three day technical programme which will also include poster sessions, daily thought provoking panel sessions, a student mission competition, an exhibition, a technical facility tour, and social networking opportunities which will be an immersive cultural experience.

Event dates: 29th Nov. – 1st Dec. 2021

Event location: Stellenbosch, South Africa

What are the objectives of this Competition: 

The objective of the competition is to provide access to 10 students / young professionals from Africa to attend the IAA African Symposium on Small Satellites. 

Note: There will be a young professional/student panel held during the conference. Pannellists will be selected among the top scholarship winners. This panel will be moderated by an SGAC member. 

Competition and Award

There will be a total of 10 winners to this competition.  

Scholarship benefits: Full 3 day conference registration which includes conference bag, access to all sessions, daily lunches and an invite to the Opening Reception & Gala Dinner. 

The top 4/5 applicants will be invited to join the young professionals/students panel as panelists

Please note: the scholarship does not include access to the Yuri’s Night Party or the Facility Tour organized during the IAA African Symposium on SmallSats.

How to Apply?

The award will be selected by the SGAC and IAA to award a student/young professional from Africa to attend the IAA African Symposium on Small Satellites.

Participants are asked to submit:

  • A CV (max 2 page) 
  • A Motivation Letter (1 page) indicating your motivation to attend the event
  • An Essay (1 page) indicating what the focus of your talk would be should you be selected for the young professional/student panel
  • Confirmation of African citizenship and age requirements (18-35): E.g. birth certificate or passport.



  1. The scholarship is open for all students and young professionals coming from African countries.
  2. All participants shall be SGAC members between the ages of 18 to 35 inclusive (up to the day of their 36th birthday) on September 29th, 2021. 
  3. Scholarship organisers and judges are not eligible for this award.
  4. Winners should not receive support from any other source to attend the IAA African Symposium on Small Satellites, SGAC should be informed and a solution will be sought.


  1. All submissions shall be made by July 31st, 2021, 23:59 GMT. Any submissions after the deadline will not be considered.
  2. The essay, CV and Motivation Letter shall be submitted via the Scholarships Submission Form. You will need to be logged in as an SGAC member to access the submission page.
  3. The language of all submissions shall be English.

Responsibilities of the Winners

The winners shall:

  1. Attend the entire IAA African Symposium on Small Satellites;
  2. Be a panelist in the students/young professionals panel during the Symposium, if selected as one of the top 4 applicants;
  3. Submit a short report (1 page excluding pictures) and a short video (1 minute) describing his or her experience at the IAA African Symposium on Small Satellites for inclusion on the SGAC website and the IAA web page, newsletter or social media and that of our partners.

Copyright and Intellectual Property

  1. By submitting an entry, applicants agree to permit SGAC and all affiliated organisers to mention their names, affiliations and headshot picture in connection with the scholarship.
  2. Copyright of the submitted entry shall remain with the contestants. However, by submitting an entry all contestants agree that SGAC and all affiliated organisers are granted non-exclusive reproduction rights regarding all submitted documents. SGAC and all affiliated organisers may also present ideas and findings generated by this scholarship at relevant conferences.


  1. Organisers shall not be responsible in the event that IAA African Symposium on Small Satellites is cancelled.
  2. Organisers shall not be responsible in the event that the award winner fails to attend the IAA African Symposium on Small Satellites or is unable to under extenuating circumstances; in that case the award offer shall become void.
  3. Organisers shall not be responsible in the event that the award winner cannot obtain any necessary travel documents; if they are required but not obtained, the award offer shall become void.


A panel comprised of SGAC Scholarships Team members and Event organisers will review the submitted entries. 

The entries will be evaluated as follow:

  • CV: 30%
  • Motivation Letter: 35%
  • Essay: 35%


Entries accepted

5th April 2021

Submission Deadline

31 July 2021

Review Period

31 July – 17 September 2021

Winners announced

17  September 2021



For any questions, please refer to SGAC Scholarships Coordinators ([email protected]).

If you or your organisation is interested in providing talented students and young professionals with the opportunity to share their work and ideas with the global space community, please contact SGAC Scholarships Coordinators (contact above).