2015 National Research Foundation Innovation Masters and Doctoral Bursary Awards

2015 National Research Foundation Innovation Masters and Doctoral Bursary Awards

School(Institutions/ Country): public universities in South Africa

Level: postgraduate studies

Field(s): Scholarships are awarded to study the following subjects: Biotechnology; Cellular and Molecular Biology; Engineering; Computer science; Physics; Astronomy; Mathematical Sciences; Nanotechnology; Chemistry; Earth Science; Ecology; Medical sciences; and Social Sciences and Humanities.

Deadline: 7 August 2015

Value of Scholarship : Masters Scholarships R80 000 per annum

-Doctoral Scholarships R110 000 per annum

In addition, Masters scholarship-holders may apply for a travel grant of up to R10 000 which can be used to attend local conferences, workshops, a visit to a laboratory or, any other activity that supports the beneficiaries’ current research progression. This is the maximum amount allowed during the tenure of the scholarship.

Doctoral scholarship-holders may apply for a travel grant of up to R15 000, for local travel, and up to R50 000, for international travel. These funds may be used to attend local conferences, workshops, visits to a laboratory or, any other activity that supports the beneficiaries’ current research progression. These are the maximum amounts allowed during the tenure of the scholarship.


‣ The Innovation Masters and Doctoral funding instruments are part of the Innovation Bursary Scheme (IBS) funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and managed by the National Research Foundation (NRF).

‣ The IBS aims to broaden the frontiers of knowledge in innovation areas and to build the PhD pipeline for a knowledgebased economy. Under the IBS, funding is made available for qualifying Honours’, Masters and Doctoral students registered at public universities in South Africa.

‣ The Honours’ bursaries are awarded to universities as a block grant for universities to nominate qualifying candidates to the NRF. Applications for free-standing Innovation Masters and Doctoral bursaries must be made by students on the NRF on-line application system.


‣ The eligibility criteria listed below applies to applicants for Masters and Doctoral bursaries:

‣ Innovation Masters and Doctoral Scholarships are open to South African citizens, South African permanent residents as well as a limited percentage of non-South African citizens registered at a South African public university.

‣ All applicants’ for full-time Masters or Doctoral studies in South Africa must be registered or, intending to register at a South African public university;;

‣ Applicants that already hold a degree at the level for which they are applying for funding, are not eligible.

Selection Criteria for Innovation Masters and Doctoral Scholarships

‣ The following will be considered in evaluating all applications in a competitive merit review process:

  • The applicant’s past, current and potential academic performance. This will be measured by the applicant’s:
  • The potential of the applicant to undertake an independent research project;
  • Leadership roles;
  • Previous awards, prizes and honours; and
  • The potential research outputs and impact.
  • The feasibility and merit of the applicant’s research project proposal;
  • Identification of a suitable supervisor and co-supervisor, where applicable;
  • Support from the identified supervisor and referees.

Scholarship Application Method 

‣ Method of application: Applicants may apply by following the steps below:

  • Applications must be submitted through an online application process to the NRF.
  • Applicants must apply for the 2016 NRF Innovation Masters or Doctoral Scholarship
  • Register / Login using your ID number and password.
  • Go to “My Applications” and select “Create Application”.
  • Select the call for which you are applying to viz. NRF- Innovation Masters and Doctoral Scholarship Call for 2016.
  • Remember to complete all compulsory sections of the application as incomplete applications will not be considered for support by the NRF.
  • Please attach the necessary documents in one PDF file in the following order: ID document, proof of permanent residence (if applicable) and certified academic transcripts. Should you not follow the guidelines for attaching the necessary documents, your application will not be considered.
  • Remember to submit your application on completion.
  • Complete applications will be directed to the host university for verification before being forwarded to the NRF for further processing. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the university has approved the application and forwarded it to the NRF.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria will not be considered
  • Please contact the university postgraduate office or research office if you have any queries.
  • The closing date for submitting applications is 7 August 2015.
  • Please take note of your institutions internal closing dates as these will be set before the actual call closing date.

Application Deadlines 

‣ Scholarship Applications are due on 7 August 2015.

‣ Application forms ( Application Form ) and guidelines can be download from the official website

‣ It is important to read the application procedure, and visit the official websites (link found below) for detailed information on how to apply for this scholarship.

For more Information about Innovation Masters and Doctoral Scholarships 


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