Scarce Skills Scholarship Programme for South Africans

Scarce Skills Scholarship Programme

Course(s) Offered: Several courses
Course Level: Honors, Masters, PhD, PostDoc
Provider: Scarce Skills Development Fund
Country to Study in: South Africa

Scholarship Description
The National Research Foundation (NRF) in partnership with the National Skills Fund (NSF) introduced the Scarce Skills Development Fund (SSDF) Programme in 2002.

The programme is aimed at training postgraduate students in scarce skills areas as identified by the Department of Labour (DoL). The NSF operates under the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). The programme supports students at South African Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Science Councils.

Applications for support are invited from students who wish to enrol for Honours, Masters, Doctoral studies and postdoctoral research training at public Higher Education Institutions in the scarce skills study areas for the current academic year.

Swiss South African Joint Research Programme (SSAJRP)

Criteria for awarding scholarships are based on academic potential and excellence as well as research potential and, funding is awarded on a competitive basis. This is to ensure that despite the obligation to meet race and gender targets, quality remains the desired outcome.

Eligible groups
The programme prioritises support for appropriately qualified South African Blacks, women and disabled students. However, Coloured, Indian, White South Africans are also accepted into the programme

Participating Institutions
All accredited South African Universities

Fields of study
Since the inception of the programme, the following 20 disciplines have been supported:
  • Management: Economic and Management Sciences, Financial Management
  • Financial sector: Accounting, Auditing, Statistics, Actuarial Science
  • Biological sciences: Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Microbiology,
  • Physical sciences: Mathematical Sciences, Physics, Geology, Computer Science, Demography, Information Systems, Chemistry
  • Engineering
  • Sector specific:
    • Agricultural Sciences 
    • Transportation Studies 
    • Tourism
Number of awards
Not specified by provider

Sponsorship duration
Whole duration of study

Scholarship benefits
The scholarship value include:
  • Honours: R35 000 per annum
  • Masters: R60 000 per annum
  • Doctoral: R90 000 per annum
  • Postdoctoral research fellowships: R165 000 per annum plus R35 000 running expenses.
Students may access a once-off travel grant during the period of funding

Method of Application
Applications must be submitted through an online application process to the National Research Foundation (NRF). Applicants can apply for the Scarce Skills Scholarship Call by accessing the link: Then:
  • Register/ Login using your email address and password.
  • Select create new application from the list of existing calls.
  • Select the call for which you are applying to: Scarce Skills Scholarship Call.
  • Select Apply now.
  • Complete all screens and sub- screens online for application summary, project information, supervisor and referees and research outputs.
  • Once complete click on the check completeness and submit form tab to check if all sections are complete.
  • Click on the submit application tab.
  • Your application will be directed to the NRF for further assessment and selection through a panel review process.
DEADLINE: Applications should be submitted by / on 30 June of the current year

Please note:
A list of successful applicants’ names can be found on the NRF website under the student link in the middle of July.

Application Deadline: 30 June 2013
Open to International students: No (ONLY South Africans)

More Scholarship Information and Application

Related: List of Scholarships in South Africa for Students

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