TWAS-NRF Fellowships, South Africa 2022-2023

For the academic year 2022-2023, the TWAS-NRF Doctoral Programme is open to international students interested in pursuing PhD or doctoral research studies at TWAS-NRF in South Africa.

TWAS - PhD Fellowships

The TWAS-NRF Doctoral programme will give a monthly allowance that can be used to cover living expenses such as housing, food, and health insurance.

Through the NRF-TWAS Doctoral Fellowships, 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 Countries – to advance science in developing countries.

TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship for International Students in South Africa

TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowships are available at South African research institutions for a maximum of three years. They are given to scientists from developing countries (other than South Africa) in order to help them pursue PhD research in natural sciences.

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TWAS (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 a Trieste-based international science academy. TWAS was created in 1983 by a remarkable group of developing-world scientists, led by Pakistani physicist and Nobel laureate Abdus Salam.

TWAS-NRF shared the view that developing countries might improve their knowledge and skills to address issues like hunger, disease, and poverty by bolstering their science and engineering capabilities. The Academy received crucial support from Italian scientists and politicians right from the start.

TWAS-NRF Doctoral Summery

  • Level of Study: PhD
  • Institution(s): National Research Foundation
  • Study in: South Africa
  • Deadline: August 14, 2022

Courses Offered:

  • 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

Program Period:

Upto 3 years

TWAS-NRF Scholarship Coverage

TWAS-NRF Doctoral Programme will provide the recipient with the following benefits:

  • NRF will provide travel to and from South Africa.
  • A standard monthly allowance which should be used to cover living costs, such as accommodation, food and health insurance.
  • The monthly stipend will not be convertible into foreign currency.
  • The applicant will be financially responsible for any accompanying family members.

Eligibility Criteria For TWAS-NRF Fellowship

To qualify for TWAS-NRF Doctoral Programme, candidate must fulfill all of the following requirements below:

  • Required Language: English.
  • Eligible Countries: All world countries (non-EU).
  • Anyone from the developing countries can apply.
  • Must not be living studying or working in South Africa or any developed country.
  • Applicants who were previously employed or studying towards a degree, or undertaking research in South Africa, and have returned to their country of origin, but have been in their country of origin for less than two (2) years, are not eligible to apply.
  • Must have obtained minimum of 65% at the masters’ level in order to apply for doctoral funding.
  • Must register at a South African public university, on a full-time basis and may be based at any South African public research institution including Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), Science Councils and National Research Facilities.
  • Must be a maximum of 32 years of age by 31 December of the year of application.
  • Must have obtained an MSc degree in a field of natural sciences;
  • provide evidence that s/he will return to her/his home country on completion of the fellowship.
  • Meet the following requirements of the English Language Proficiency Academic test: IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0); or TOEFL (paper) 575 (TWE 4.5); or TOEFL iBIT (min. 20); or Cambridge minimum 58.
  • For more information about master and doctoral studies click here.

How to Apply for TWAS-NRF Doctoral Programme?

Please follow the following application instructions to apply for TWAS-NRF Doctoral Programme:

  1. Applicants must contact institutions in South Africa or potential supervisors to obtain a placement into the doctoral research training programme. For details of recognized HEIs and other Public Research Institutions click here.Applicants must provide an official letter from their host South African
  2. institution, department or laboratory and motivation from the applicant’s host. It is the responsibility of the applicant to contact the respective institution to apply for acceptance. In addition, it is also the responsibility of the applicant to secure a supervisor for the study.The research project must be registered
  3. and approved by the host institution (a letter of support from the prospective supervisor must be attached to the application.Applicants must apply for the TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship accessing the link on the TWAS-NRF Online application system (kindly select the Masters and Doctoral
  4. Scholarships for Full-time Studies, which includes the TWAS-NRF PhD programme).and follow the steps below: On accessing the link, please follow the following instructions:
    • Individuals that are not registered on the TWAS-NRF Online system, must first register by selecting the ‘new registration’ option and complete all sections.
    • Once a profile has been created, login using your passport number and password.
    • Select “My Applications”.
    • Select “Create Application”.
    • Select “the call for which you are applying: TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship Call for 2022”.
    • Select “Apply now”.
    • Complete all relevant sections of the application form.
    • Remember to complete all compulsory sections of the application as incomplete applications will not be considered for support by the TWAS-NRF. Please follow the step-by-step directions supplied in the Funding Guide. 
  5. Attach the required documents (please see the Application and Funding Guide for complete details):
    • Certified copy of the Passport
    • Official acceptance letter from a South African university
    • Certified copies of undergraduate and postgraduate certificates
    • English Language Proficiency Academic test if available
    • SAQA evaluation certificate or proof of application for the evaluation Note:
    • Applicants must have all foreign qualifications (obtained from non-South Africa universities) evaluated by the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA). Proof that at least the applicant has submitted his/her qualification for evaluation at SAQA must be submitted with the application, failing which the application will be rejected.
    • Applicants are advised to start this process early to allow time for processing. Information on the process can be accessed by logging on to On the SAQA website, navigate to Service – Evaluation of Foreign Qualifications – General Information. Applicants must strictly adhere to all the instructions and provide all applicable documents to avoid delays and rejection of applications. Applicants are advised to courier all application documents to SAQA directly.
    • Should you not follow the guidelines for attaching the necessary documents, your application will not be considered.
    • For more information about how to apply click here.

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To know more about TWAS-NRF Doctoral Programme, please visit Official Website.

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