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NRF-TWAS Doctoral Scholarships/NRF-TWAS African Renaissance Doctoral Scholarships 2019 – South Africa

TWAS: South Africa‘s National Research Foundation (NRF) and Department of Science and Technology (DST) are working in partnership with TWAS to advance science in developing countries through two doctoral fellowships: the NRF-TWAS Doctoral Fellowships and the NRF-TWAS African Renaissance Doctoral Fellowships.

Application Deadline: 15th July 2019

Offered annually? Yes

Eligible Countries: Developing countries and African countries (Africans are ONLY eligible to apply for the NRF-TWAS African Renaissance Doctoral Fellowship)

To be taken at (country): South Africa

Fields of Study: 

01-Agricultural Sciences
02-Structural, Cell and Molecular Biology
03-Biological Systems and Organisms
04-Medical and Health Sciences incl. Neurosciences
05-Chemical Sciences
06-Engineering Sciences
07-Astronomy, Space and Earth Sciences
08-Mathematical Sciences
09-Physics

About the Award: The partnership between The NRF and The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) has led to the establishment of two Doctoral Scholarships namely; the NRF – TWAS Doctoral Scholarship and the NRF – TWAS African Renaissance Doctoral Scholarship. This award is strategically aimed at increasing and supporting 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. There will be an intake of 70 doctoral scholars each year for three (3) years, starting in 2017.

  • TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowships are tenable at research institutions in South Africa for a maximum period of three years. They are awarded to scientists from developing countries (other than South Africa) to enable them to pursue PhD research in the natural sciences.
  • TWAS-NRF African Renaissance Doctoral Fellowships are tenable at research institutions in South Africa for a maximum period of three years. They are awarded to scientists from Africa (other than South Africa) to enable them to pursue PhD research in the natural sciences.

Type: Doctoral, Fellowship

Eligibility: Applicants for these fellowships must meet the following criteria:

TWAS-NRF Doctoral programme:

  • be nationals of a developing country* (other than South Africa);
  • must not hold any visa for temporary or permanent residency in South Africa or any developed country;
  • must be a maximum of 35 years of age by 31 December of the year of application;
  • must have obtained an MSc degree in a field of natural sciences;
  • must have proof of evaluation of all foreign qualifications (obtained from non-South African universities) evaluated by the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) or proof that the applicant has submitted his/her qualifications to SAQA for evaluation. Failure to submit proof will result in the application being rejected;
  • provide evidence that s/he will return to her/his home country on completion of the fellowship;
  • not take up other assignments during the period of her/his fellowship;
  • provide an official letter from a host South African institution, department or laboratory and motivation from the applicant’s host;
  • meet the following requirements of the English Language Proficiency Academic test: IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0); or TOEFL (paper) 575 (TWE 4.5); or TOEFL iBIT (min. 20); or Cambridge minimum 58,
  • present a detailed research project that must be registered and approved by the host institution and provide a letter of support from the prospective host supervisor;
  • be financially responsible for any accompanying family members.

*The list of 151 eligible developing countries is available in the Framework document you may download at the bottom of the page.

TWAS-NRF African Renaissance Doctoral programme:

  • be nationals or permanent residents from Africa (except South Africa);
  • must not hold any visa for temporary or permanent residency in South Africa or any developed country;
  • must be a maximum of 35 years of age by 31 December of the year of application;
  • must have obtained an MSc degree in a field of natural sciences;
  • must have proof of evaluation of all foreign qualifications (obtained from non-South African universities) evaluated by the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) or proof that the applicant has submitted his/her qualifications to SAQA for evaluation. Failure to submit proof will result in the application being rejected;
  • provide evidence that s/he will return to her/his home country on completion of the fellowship;
  • not take up other assignments during the period of her/his fellowship;
  • provide an official letter from a host South African institution, department or laboratory and motivation from the applicant’s host;
  • meet the following requirements of the English Language Proficiency Academic test: IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0); or TOEFL (paper) 575 (TWE 4.5); or TOEFL iBIT (min. 20); or Cambridge minimum 58,
  • present a detailed research project that must be registered and approved by the host institution and provide a letter of support from the prospective host supervisor;
  • be financially responsible for any accompanying family members.

Selection Criteria: 

  • Scholarships may not be held simultaneously with another scholarship from any other TWAS, South African government or NRF administered source;
  • Doctoral scholars may not concurrently hold the scholarship with any full-time employment position;
  • Doctoral scholars can hold non-binding supplementary grants or emoluments to the institutional capped value.
  • Applicant expertise/training that will enable the applicant to successfully undertake the proposed research.
  • The applicant’s research track record which could include peer reviewed publications, conference proceedings, research prizes and awards.
  • Scientific and Technical quality of proposed research Literature review with citations, significance of the research in terms of the problem statement, aims and objectives.
  • Research design, methodology developed to address aims of the research.
  • Alignment with national and institutional research priorities.
  • Institutional support for the postdoctoral fellowship through infrastructure and facilities for an enabling environment.
  • Potential Research Outputs and Impact of the research Details of envisaged realistic outputs of the research such as publications, conference proceedings, toolkits, policy documents.
  • Contribution to postdoctoral research skills development in a priority research area (human capacity development of the applicant)
  • Potential for socio-economic impact of the research in South Africa

Number of Awardees: 

  • 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.

Value of Scholarship:

  • A single economy airfare to travel from home country to South Africa;
  • A single economy airfare to return to home country upon completion of the doctoral degree.
  • Non-taxable stipend of R110 000 per annum
  • Local travel costs R25 000
  • Maximum international travel costs R50 000

Duration of Scholarship: Up to three (3) years

How to Apply: Applicants must apply and follow the application process set out in the attached framework document and application guide in the Scholarship Page (see below).

Visit Scholarship Webpage for details

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