20 May

Applications are currently open for the TWAS-NRF Doctoral Programme for overseas students interested in pursuing Ph.D. or doctoral research studies at NRF in South Africa for the academic year 2021-2022. The program will give a monthly stipend that should be used to pay living expenses such as housing, food, and health insurance.

TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship 2023

Through the NRF-TWAS Doctoral Fellowship, South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF) and Department of Science and Technology (DST) are collaborating with TWAS – The World Academy of Sciences for the Advancement of Science in Developing Nations – to advance science in developing countries. TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship is available at South African research institutions for a maximum of three years. They are given to scientists from developing nations (other than South Africa) in order to help them pursue PhD studies in natural sciences.

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  • Program: PhD
  • Deadline: August 20, 2023

The World Academy of Sciences for the Advancement of Science in Developing Countries promotes long-term prosperity via research, education, policy, and diplomacy. TWAS is an international science academy headquartered in Trieste, Italy. TWAS was created in 1983 by a prominent group of scientists from developing countries, led by Pakistani physicist and Nobel laureate Abdus Salam. They shared the view that developing countries might improve their knowledge and skills to address issues like hunger, disease, and poverty by strengthening their research and engineering capabilities. The Academy has always enjoyed crucial backing from Italian scientists and politicians.

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TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship Benefits

The TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship will provide the following benefits to the recipient:

  • Only tuition expenses will be covered by Partial Cost of Study financing (R30,000 per annum).
  • Accommodation costs (R60,000 per year) are capped at R90,000 per student per year.
  • For TWAS-NRF PhD awardees, NRF will cover the cheapest return economy travel as well as visa and/or study permit costs.

Courses offered include:

  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Structural, Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Biological Systems and Organisms
  • Medical and Health Sciences incl.
  • Neurosciences
  • Chemical Sciences
  • Engineering Sciences
  • Astronomy, Space and Earth Sciences
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Physics

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TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship Requirements

Candidates must meet all of the following requirements to be considered for TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship:

  • English is a required language.
  • All countries in the world are eligible (non-EU). The list of countries that are eligible can be seen here.
  • In 2022, you must not be living, studying, or working in South Africa.
  • Applicants who have previously worked, studied, or conducted research in South Africa and have returned to their home country for fewer than two (2) years are not eligible to apply.
  • A master’s degree in a natural science discipline is required.
  • To apply for doctorate financing, you must have a minimum of 65 percent on your master’s degree.
  • In 2023, you must enroll full-time at a South African public university, and you may be based at any South African public research institution, including HEIs, Science Councils, and National Research Facilities.
  • By the end of the year in which you apply, you must be above 32 years old.
  • All international qualifications (obtained from non-South African universities) must be examined by the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) or the applicant’s qualifications must be submitted to SAQA for evaluation. If proof is not submitted, the application will be refused. Logging up to www.saqa.org.za will provide more information on the process.
  • must comply with both the applicant’s home country’s and South Africa’s visa and immigration requirements Under the program for study in South Africa, the applicant must organize his or her own Visa and/or study permission. The NRF and TWAS will not be able to assist with visa arrangements. However, for NRF-TWAS doctorate applicants, the NRF will cover the cheapest return economy travel as well as the visa and/or study permit costs.
  • Upon completion of their studies, they must return to their home country. Students who do not return to their home country will be required to repay the NRF the amount equal to the number of years of study assistance they received.
  • are only eligible to pursue research in the Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET) fields because the NRF-TWAS doctoral grant will only support these areas.
  • not accept any other tasks during the fellowship term
  • produce confirmation of study application and/or acceptance letter from a South African host institution, department, or laboratory.
  • send a motivation letter from your potential doctoral advisor The applicant is responsible for contacting the appropriate institution to apply for admittance and to choose a supervisor for the PhD study.
  • deliver a certificate of English language proficiency (if available at the time of the application). If this is not accessible, it will be requested before any NRF funds are granted to the student, and it must meet the following English Language Proficiency Academic test requirements: IELTS 6.5 (no band below 6.0); TOEFL (paper) 575 (TWE 4.5); TOEFL iBIT (min. 20); or Cambridge 58. The British Council in the applicant’s home country can provide information about the IELTS tests, or go to www.ielts.org. www.toefl.com provides additional information on the TOEFL test. Applicants can seek support from the British Council in their home country.
  • submit a complete research project that must be registered with the host institution and authorized, as well as a letter of support from the prospective host supervisor
  • give an authentic university letterhead academic record
  • be financially responsible for any family members who accompany you.

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How to Apply for TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship

What is the procedure for applying for TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship? To apply for TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship, please follow the steps below:

Stage 1:

Application for admission into any South African Institutions: To be considered for a position in the PhD research training program at a South African institution, applicants must contact institutions or potential supervisors in South Africa. Click here for a list of recognized HEIs and other Public Research Institutions.

  • Applicants must include an official letter from their host institution, department, or laboratory in South Africa, as well as motivation from their host. It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact the appropriate institution to apply for admittance. Furthermore, it is the applicant’s responsibility to choose a supervisor for the research.
  • The host institution must register and approve the research project (a letter of support from the potential supervisor must be included with the application).
  • Universities will establish their own internal application deadlines, which candidates must adhere to.

Application for evaluation of foreign qualifications from the South African Qualifications Authority: All foreign qualifications (obtained from non-South African universities) must be evaluated by the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA). Proof that the applicant has submitted his/her qualification for evaluation at SAQA must be included with the application, or the application will be rejected.

Applicants are advised to begin this process as soon as possible to allow for processing time. Log on to www.saqa.org.za for more information on the process. Navigate to Service – Evaluation of Foreign Qualifications – General Information on the SAQA website. To avoid delays and application rejection, applicants must strictly follow all instructions and provide all required documents. Applicants are advised to directly courier all application documents to SAQA.

Stage 2:

Submission of your application: Applicants must apply for the NRF – TWAS Doctoral Fellowship for 2023 via the NRF Online application system at https://nrfsubmission.nrf.ac.za/.

After clicking the link, please follow the detailed instructions in the “Application and Funding Guide for the 2023 Academic Year.” The guide can be viewed or downloaded at the bottom of this page.

Remember to submit your application once finished. The application deadline is August 20, 2022. Universities, on the other hand, will set their own internal application deadlines, and applicants must adhere to those deadlines.

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After the deadline, no applications will be accepted. As a result, it is strongly advised that you submit your electronic application as soon as possible.

  • The call for applications, which includes program details, eligibility criteria, required documents and certificates, and an online application form, will be available only once the call is open. Applicants should be aware that NRF and TWAS will only accept applications submitted through the online application portal.
  • Applications that are incomplete or do not meet the eligibility criteria will not be considered.
  • For questions about institutional processes and deadlines, contact the university’s postgraduate or research office.
  • Questions about the call for applications to the TWAS-NRF Fellowships programs should be directed to the official contacts.

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Please visit the official website to learn more about the TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship 2023.

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