NRF Freestanding, Innovation and Scarce Skills Masters and Doctoral Scholarships – South Africa

Application Deadline: 21 July 2017

The Department of Science and Technology (DST), Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) are pleased to announce the call for scholarship applications for 2018 in the following categories: Free-standing, Innovation, and Scarce Skills Development fund Masters and Doctoral Scholarships; as well as Scholarships for Freestanding 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 2018 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.


  • 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, with the objective of increasing the number and quality of Doctoral graduates in South Africa

Application Procedure:

  • Applicants must apply on the NRF Online Submission System at: and follow the application process set out in the Application and Funding GuideAll 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 21 July 2017 for funding in 2018. 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.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the NRF Freestanding, Innovation and Scarce Skills Masters and Doctoral Scholarships 


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