NRF and Nuffic call for South African PhD candidates

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The National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF) and Nuffic have launched the second call for applications for PhD candidates from South Africa. The deadline is 7 June 2019.

The call was officially opened on 1 April during a bilateral Joint Working Committee on Science & Technology between the governments of South Africa and The Netherlands. The programme provides doctoral scholarships for South African citizens and permanent residents, to do full-time PhD studies in The Netherlands and full-time PhD studies in a joint degree construction (studying partly in the Netherlands, partly in South Africa).

Joint investment

Dr Stroebel, the NRF Executive Director for Strategic Partnerships stated: “Partnerships play an intrinsic role in human capital development, effective research and co-creation of knowledge and innovation. The NRF is especially privileged to be growing its engagement with The Netherlands, which has been a prolific partner over the past years. In particular, this partnership aligns strategically to the NRF’s agenda to accelerate its focus on excellence and the emerging researcher cohort through international exposure.”

Mr. Freddy Weima, Director-General of Nuffic added: ”Through this cooperation, South Africa and the Netherlands do not only co-invest in the development of young academics but also in a joint future of academic collaboration. This programme fits well with our goals to improve the quality of education and research by developing the international competencies of university staff and students.”


The overarching goals of the NRF-Nuffic doctoral training programme are to:

  • Promote and advance science, research and innovation.
  • Strengthen sustainable cooperation and internationalisation between Dutch and South African institutions, contributing to the bilateral research agendas.
  • Support the development of a critical mass of globally competitive knowledge-workers in South Africa in prioritised areas.
  • Contribute towards increasing the number and quality of South African postgraduate students in all areas of Science, Engineering,Technology, Social Sciences and Humanities.
  • Effect transformation in the percentage representation of postgraduate students from designated groups.


The call for applications for the NRF-Nuffic doctoral training programme will close on 7 June 2019. Consult the scholarship framework document ‌ (674.2 kB)and the application guide‌ (1.3 MB) before submitting an application.

From left to right: Dr. Sepo Hachigonta (Director Strategic Partnerships, NRF), Mr. Daan Du Toit (Deputy Director General, South African Department of Science & Technology), Ms. Marjan Hammersma (Secretary General, Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science) and Mr. Freddy Weima (Director General Nuffic)

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