NRF – TWAS Scholarship Programmes: Supporting Doctoral Scholars from Africa and Developing Countries

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  • Deadline: 29 June 2016

    The National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST), in partnership with The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) is currently inviting applications for its NRF – TWAS Doctoral Scholarship and the NRF – TWAS African Renaissance Doctoral Scholarship. The parties entered into a contractual agreement to support Doctoral scholars from Africa and developing countries who will be funded per annum for a maximum of three (3) years to pursue full-time research training in South Africa.

    The doctoral scholarships will be awarded fewer than two funding instruments annually as follows:

    • NRF – TWAS Doctoral Scholarship funding instrument: 20 scholars from developing countries outside Africa;
    • NRF – TWAS African Renaissance Doctoral Scholarships funding instrument: 50 scholars from Africa.


    • Increase the number and quality of doctoral scholars in Africa and in other developing countries;
    • Foster scientific and technological cooperation by facilitating brain circulation between countries;
    • Attract young scientists and professionals of the highest caliber from developing countries to access world class strategic and applied research opportunities in order to advance their professional competitiveness; and
    • Support human capacity needs and thus position the developing countries for global competitiveness in scientific and technological fields.


    • The NRF – TWAS Doctoral scholarships will be granted for the duration of three (3) years renewable annually subject to satisfactory performance. The period of support is calculated from the first year of registration for the study or research regardless of NRF funding.
    • Stipend: 120 000 – Per Annum
    • Local travel: 25 000 – Maximum allowed during the funding period based on need
    • International travel: 50 000 – Maximum allowed during the funding period based on need
    • Cost towards mobility of the scholar: 15 000 – Once off travel (from home country to South Africa and from South Africa to home country)
    • The costs for the mobility of the scholar will include the following:
      • Travel visa and study visa; subject to submission of proof of expenditure.
      • A single economy airfare for travel from the scholar’s home country to South Africa; to the maximum of 15 000.
      • A single economy airfare from South Africa to the scholar’s home country, upon completion of the doctoral degree to the value of 15 000.
    • Successful candidates are also eligible for a once-off travel grant of up to R25 000 for local travel and up to R50 000 for international travel.

    Eligibility Criteria

    • The NRF-TWAS Doctoral Scholarship funding Instrument is open to citizens and permanent residents from developing countries outside Africa. Refer to Appendix 1 for the list of eligible developing countries.
    • The NRF-TWAS African Renaissance Doctoral Scholarship funding instrument is open to citizens and permanent residents from Africa except South Africa. Refer to Appendix 2 for TWAS endorsed countries;
    • The following individuals are not eligible to apply under either funding instrument:
      • South African citizens;
      • Foreign citizens who hold permanent residency permits of South Africa;
      • Foreign citizens who are already resident in South Africa or in any developed country and hold temporary residence permits (this includes study permits);
      • Citizens and permanent residents of any developed country; and
      • Foreign citizens who were previously employed or studying towards a degree or undertaking research in South Africa, and have returned to their country of origin but have been in their country of origin for less than two (2) years.
    • Applicants must not be older than thirty five (35) years of age on 31 December of the year of application for the doctoral scholarship;
    • Applicants must hold a university degree that will satisfy requirements for admission to doctoral studies at a South African public university, which is generally a Master’s Degree;
    • Visa and immigration laws of the applicant’s home country and South Africa must be met by the applicant.

    How to Apply

    Applications will be submitted via the NRF Online Submission System given on the website.

    For more information, please visit NRF – TWAS Call for Doctoral/Renaissance Doctoral Scholarships 2017.

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