National Reserach Foundation (NRF) South African Biosystematics Initiative (SABI) for Researchers

South African Biosystematics Initiative (SABI)

Course(s) Offered: Several fields
Course Level: Research, training
Provider: National Research Foundation
Country to Study in: South Africa

Scholarship Description
Systematics is defined as the science of organismal diversity. It entails the discovery, description and interpretation of biological diversity, as well as the synthesis of information on diversity in the form of predictive classification systems (Judd et al, 1999).

The South African Biosystematics Initiative (SABI) supports the Farmer to Pharma and the Global Change Grand Challenges of the DST’s 10 Year Innovation Plan, and its Biodiversity Science mission in that biosystematics research forms the very foundation upon which all down-stream biological endeavour is based.

Bio-systematics research therefore underpins economic activities such as agriculture, health and eco-tourism, etc.

SABI is managed by the Republic of South African government's National Research Foundation (NRF). The maximum award amount given out is R50,000.

Funding aims to support the dissemination of research findings, and will give preference to projects that use technology, such as online electronic keys. Supported formats include:
  • online annotated image rich dichotomous keys;
  • online interactive dichotomous keys;
  • online dynamic, matrix-based keys, such as those generated using Lucid or Delta.
Applicants must be full time or part-time employees at an NRF-recognised research institution in South Africa.

Eligible groups
Citizens of ANY country (but must be employed in South Africa)

Participating Institutions
All NRF-recognised research institution in South Africa

Fields of study
SABI is organised into four main but interlinking thrusts namely:
  • Research
  • Education and Training (student bursaries, student international travel grants, and workshops/training courses)
  • Infrastructure (not funded directly through SABI)
  • Public Understanding of Science
Number of awards
Not specified by sponsor

Sponsorship duration
Funding is awarded for a one year period at a time

Scholarship benefits
Funding is worth up to R50,000 over one year

Award type Prototypes and demonstrations, Directed grants for individual investigators, Publish, edit, translate, disseminate, Innovation grants.

Method of Application
For more information and/or further enquiries please contact:

Frank Mazibuko at

Telephone: +27 12 481 4088
Fax: +27 86 562 9590

Call has not yet been announced by sponsor but the approximate deadline we expect is the 31st of August. This call is repeated once a year.

SABI was created with the purpose to provide a framework and strategy to:
  • Address dwindling national capacity in systematics.
  • Provide leadership and co-ordination to promote innovative research in the field of systematics.
  • Empower South African systematists to employ and develop modern scientific technologies and approaches with regard to the documentation and use and of biological resources.
  • Enhance the ability of South African systematists to contribute to the National System of Innovation and the information society, and thus to respond to national priorities in agriculture, health, sustainable development and conservation.
  • To assist the broader scientific community and government in the fulfilment of national and global biodiversity-related commitments.
  • To promote awareness of the importance of systematic research in the broader community through education and outreach projects.
Application Deadline: 31 August 2011
Open to International Applicants: Yes

More Scholarship Information and Application (NRF site)
More Scholarship Information and Application (Rhodes University site)

Related: List of Scholarships in the Republic of South Africa

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