South Africa/China Joint Science and Technology Research Collaboration 2019

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Formal diplomatic relations between South Africa and the People’s Republic of China were established in January 1998. The relations were given impetus in 2001 through the creation of a Bi-National Commission to champion bilateral relations in seven sectoral committees, including science and technology. In line with this agreement we are pleased to announce a 10th call for joint research project proposals (JRP) and a 2ndcall for joint flagship projects (FP) between the South African and Chinese researchers. Researchers are invited to submit proposals in either the JRP or the FP no later than the date indicated.

Application Deadline: 20th November 2018

Eligible Countries: South Africa, China

To be taken at (country): South Africa and China

About the Award: This Programme aims to:

  • contribute to scientific advancement in both countries by funding researchers’ mobility in the frame of joint research projects in specified research fields;
  • provide an opportunity for researchers to cooperate in an international setting and to develop their scientific careers, especially for early-stage, mid-career as well as female researchers;
  • support the advancement of basic and applied research; and
  • contribute meaningfully to research capacity development.

Fields of Funding: Applicants interested in applying under the Joint Research Programme (JRP) are invited to submit their joint research proposals in the following designated thematic areas prioritised by South Africa and China:

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 Biotechnology in health and agriculture
 Traditional medicines
 Renewable energy
 Water resources
 Palaeoanthropology / archaeology
Joint research proposals under the Flagship Programme (FP) can only be submitted within the Big Data (in Astronomy) thematic area. Any other flagship proposal submitted outside this theme will not be considered for funding.

Type: Research, Grants

Eligibility: For both the JRP and FP:

  • an application must designate two Principal Investigators (PIs), one in South Africa and one in China, who will bear the main responsibility for the project, including its technical and administrative coordination as well as scientific and financial reporting;
  • project proposals submitted by young, early-stage or mid-career researchers as well as project proposals with involvement of doctoral students and/or female researchers will be prioritised for funding by both sides; and
  • the focus of the Programme lies on new international partnerships. Therefore, follow-up proposals with the same research partners will not be prioritised for funding (if they have already been funded under this Programme).

South Africa:

  • This call is open to working researchers residing in South Africa and affiliated with a recognised higher education or research institution such as a university, university of technology or science council.
  • Commercial institutions and private education institutions are not eligible to apply under this programme.
  • The South African applicant must be in possession of a PhD.
  • In terms of human capital development, South African applications from previously disadvantaged individuals and the involvement of historically disadvantaged higher education institutions will be prioritised.


  • This call is open to working researchers residing in Mainland China and affiliated with a recognised Chinese higher education university/college, research institution, or enterprise.

Number of Awards: Not specified

Value of Award: Funding, for both the JRP and FP, will be available for a maximum of two years for collaborative research projects jointly developed and completed by researchers on both sides. In both countries, all the approved
projects will get funding support from the two parties in terms of the cost of activities mentioned above. Apart from the financial support from the two parties, institutions and universities in both countries are encouraged to solicit other funding resources.

Duration of Programme: The projects will be supported for a period of two years (starting in early 2019) for both the JRP and FP.

How to Apply: All South African researchers interested to apply under this call must submit their applications through an online application process to the NRF at A detailed call document is attached.

Visit Programme Webpage for Details

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