Doctoral Fellowship from TWAS and NRF 2022 | Fully Funded June 6, 2022

For the academic year 2021-2022, the TWAS and NRF Doctoral Programme is accepting applications from students from other countries who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D.

Doctoral degree in research at NRF in South Africa. The program will give a basic monthly allowance that should be used to pay living costs such as food, housing, and medical insurance. This allowance will be sent on a weekly basis.

Through the NRF-TWAS Doctoral Fellowships, the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) are collaborating with (TWAS) – The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries – to promote the growth of scientific research in underdeveloped nations. Fellowships for doctoral studies offered by the TWAS and the NRF can be held for a maximum of three years at research institutions located in South Africa. In order to provide researchers from underdeveloped nations (other than South Africa) with the resources necessary to pursue doctoral degrees in the natural sciences, these fellowships are given out.

Through research, teaching, policy, and diplomatic efforts, the TWAS (The World Academy of Sciences for the Advancement of Science in Developing Countries) is working to ensure sustainable prosperity around the world. TWAS is an international scientific institution with its headquarters in Trieste, Italy. Abdus Salam, a Pakistani physicist who won the Nobel Prize, was the driving force behind the establishment of the TWAS in 1983. TWAS was established by a prominent group of scientists from developing countries. They believed that by strengthening science and engineering, developing nations might acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to overcome issues like as hunger, disease, and poverty. Since its inception, the Academy has enjoyed significant backing from prominent Italian scientists and political figures.

A Review of Scholarships

  • Degree Obtained: Doctorate
  • National Research Foundation is/are the institution(s) in question.
  • Research in: South Africa
  • Duration of the Program: three years
  • The deadline is on July 8th, 2022.

Available Training Programs

  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Structural, Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Biological Networks and Individual Organisms
  • The field of Medical and Health Sciences, inclusive of
  • Neurosciences
  • Sciences Relating to Chemistry
  • The Engineering and the Science
  • Sciences of the Earth and Space, Including Astronomy
  • The Sciences of Mathematics
  • Physics

Coverage for Scholarships

The individual who is awarded the TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship will receive all of the following benefits:

  • PCS financing, which only covers tuition prices, will be available (R30 000 per annum)
  • The cost of housing w.ill not exceed R101,196 per academic year for each individual student.
  • For TWAS-NRF doctoral awardees, NRF will pay for the cheapest return economy ticket as well as the fees associated with obtaining a visa and/or a study permit


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Criteria for Acceptance for the TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship Program

Candidates must demonstrate that they have met all of the requirements listed below in order to be considered for a TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship.

  • The mandatory language is English.
  • All countries throughout the world are considered eligible (non-EU). You may examine the list of nations that are eligible to apply by clicking here.
  • must not be residing in South Africa in 2022, nor must they be working or attending school there;
  • South Africans who have returned to their home countries but have not been there for more than two years are ineligible to qualify.
  • must have earned a Master of Science degree in an area related to the natural sciences; must have earned a grade point average of at least 65 percent while pursuing their Master's degree in order to be eligible for doctorate funding.
  • must enrol at a public university in South Africa in 2023 and do so on a full-time basis; they may base themselves at any public research institution in South Africa, including Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), Science Councils, and National Research Facilities;
  • must not be older than 32 years old on the 31st of December of the year in which they submit their application;
  • must provide evidence either that the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) has completed an evaluation of all of the applicant's foreign qualifications (obtained from universities located outside of South Africa) or that the applicant has provided evidence that his or her qualifications have been submitted to SAQA for evaluation. In the event that proof is not provided, the application will be deemed insufficient and declined. Simply accessing the website will get you access to additional information regarding the procedure;
  • must comply with the visa and immigration requirements of both South Africa as well as the applicant's home country. Under this particular program, the applicant is responsible for securing his or her own visa and/or study permission in order to study in South Africa. Visa arrangements will not be handled by the NRF or TWAS. Notwithstanding this, the NRF will pay for the applicant's economy travel both ways, as well as their visa and/or study permit costs, if they are applying for an NRF-TWAS doctoral fellowship.
  • after completing their education, they are required to go back to their home country. Students who do not return to their home country after receiving financial assistance from the National Research Foundation will be required to repay an amount to the NRF that is equal to the number of years of assistance they received for their studies;
  • are only eligible to conduct research within the Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET) disciplines because the NRF-TWAS doctorate grant will only support research within these fields:
  • not take on any additional responsibilities during the course of their fellowship;
  • submit a valid letter of evidence of study application and/or acceptance from a South African university, department, or laboratory serving as the host institution;
  • Please submit a motivation from the person who will be supervising your doctorate studies. It is up to the applicant to make first contact with the appropriate academic organization, submit an application for admission, and find a mentor for the doctoral research.
  • a certificate proving your competence in English is required (if available at the time of the application). In the event that it is not accessible, this will be required before any NRF money will be issued to the student, and it must fulfill the conditions outlined below for the English Language Proficiency Academic test: A score of at least 6.5 on the IELTS, or a score of at least 575 on the TOEFL (paper), or a score of at least 20 on the Cambridge minimum 58. You can get more information about the IELTS exams by contacting the British Council in the applicant's native country, or you can visit the website at You can learn more about taking the TOEFL test by visiting the website located at Applicants who need assistance may get it by contacting the British Council in their own country.
  • produce a letter of support from the potential host supervisor along with a thorough research project that needs to be registered and authorized by the host university;
  • Accompanying family members must be financially liable for their own expenses while at the university.

How to Submit an Application for the TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship?

In order to apply for the TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship, please follow the application instructions as listed below:

Stage 1:

Submission of an application to be accepted at South African Institutions

Applicants are required to make contact with South African institutions or possible supervisors in order to be considered for a position in the PhD research training program. For information about recognized higher education institutions and other public research institutions, click here.

  • Applicants are required to present a motivation letter from their South African host institution, department, or laboratory, in addition to an official letter from their South African host institution. The applicant is the one who is responsible for making initial contact with the appropriate educational establishment in order to initiate the application process. Additional to this, the candidate is responsible for finding a supervisor for the study, as well.
  • The research project needs to be registered with the host university and given the green light before it can move further (the application needs to be accompanied by a letter of support from the potential supervisor).
  • Applicants must adhere to the deadlines that universities establish for their own internal applications.

Submit an application to the South African Qualifications Authority in order to have your overseas credentials evaluated (SAQA)

All applicants are required to have the South African Qualification Authority review any and all international credentials (obtained from schools located outside of South Africa) (SAQA). Proof that the applicant has at the very least submitted his or her qualification for evaluation at SAQA is required to be submitted with the application; failing to do so will result in the application being refused.

It is strongly recommended that applicants begin this process as soon as possible in order to leave adequate time for processing. Simply going online to the website and entering in your information will provide you access to the information you need. Go to Service – Evaluation of Foreign Qualifications – General Information on the SAQA website. In order to prevent delays and having their applications denied, applicants need to make sure they follow all of the directions to the letter and provide all of the relevant papers. It is strongly recommended that applicants send their application documents to SAQA immediately by courier.

Stage 2:

Putting in your application for consideration

Those interested in applying for the NRF – TWAS Doctoral Fellowship for 2023 must do so using the NRF Online application system, which can be accessed through the following link:

When you open the page, please make sure to follow the specific instructions that are provided in the "Application and Funding Guide for the 2022 academic year." The handbook is available for viewing and downloading at the bottom of this page.

Don't forget to send in your application after it's been completed.

The application submission date has been set for the 8th of July in 2022. However, institutions will set their own internal deadlines for application submissions, and candidates are required to comply by those dates.

  • After the application period has ended, we will not consider any further submissions. As a result, it is strongly suggested that you send in your electronic application as soon as you possibly can.
  • Once the call for applications has been opened, you will be able to access the specifics of the program, including eligibility requirements, required documents and certificates, as well as the online application form. NRF and TWAS require all applicants to use the online application portal and will not accept applications submitted in any other way than that one.
  • Applications that are either missing required information or do not meet the eligibility requirements will not be taken into consideration.
  • For questions concerning the procedures and due dates of the university, please get in touch with the office that handles postgraduate or research work.
    Please refer any questions you may have regarding the call for applications to the TWAS-NRF Fellowships programs to the following contacts:


Please visit the official website if you would like additional information regarding the TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship:

Official Website




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