National Research Foundation (NRF) Freestanding, Masters and Doctoral Scholarships 2017


The Department of Science and Technology (DST), Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and theNational Research Foundation (NRF) are pleased to announce the call for scholarship applications for 2017 in the following categories:

  • Free-standing, Innovation, and Scarce Skills Development fund Masters and Doctoral Scholarships; as well as Scholarships for Doctoral Studies Abroad.

The NRF makes funds available to support NRF Freestanding, SSDF and Innovation(including DST priority research areas) Masters and Doctoral (including Doctoral abroad) candidates for the 2017 academic year.  Masters and Doctoral scholarships are awarded through a competitive process following a merit review process. However, NRF Freestanding Masters bursaries are released as block grants to South African public Universities.

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Eligibility Requirements:

  • These Scholarships are awarded to South African citizens, South African permanent residents as well as to a limited percentage of non-South African citizens registered at a South African public university for full-time studies.
  • In addition, the NRF makes funds available to support a small number of scholarships for full-time doctoral studies abroad, to South African citizens and permanent residents.
  • South African citizens and South African permanent residents living with a disability are encouraged to apply.

Applcation Procedure:

  • Applicants must apply on the NRF Online system at: and follow the application process set out in the Application and Funding Guide.
  • All applicants must consult with his/her proposed supervisor in the process of submitting an application to ensure that the supervisor is in agreement with the scientific aspects contained in the application and, the proposed work plan for completion of the degree.
  • The submission deadline for applicants is 29 July 2016 for funding in 2017.
  • The Designated Authority (DA) closing date for validations is 12 August 2016. Please consult your Research Office or Postgraduate Office for your institutions internal closing date, to ensure validation by institutional DAs prior to submission to the NRF.

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