Funding | Research Support



There are various funding opportunities for which students can apply, to support their studies at NWU.  Below is a list of different funding opportunities that are available to those candidates who adhere to the minimum requirements.

Candidates are advised to secure additional support, as the bursaries or scholarships are only a contribution and do not always cover the full-cost a of post-graduate student.


Please note: there are downloadable PDF documents which vary in file size, available on this page.


Funding Calls

Call for Proposals - National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) / NRF Cooperation 2018

For more information about this opportunity, please download this document and read through it carefully.  Any queries should be directed to Ms Buyi Ntaka.

Closing date: 13 April 2017


Call for Research Proposals - South Africa / Oman Science and technology Research Collaboration 2017

For more information about this opportunity, please download this document and read through it carefully. You can also send Ms Buyi Ntaka an email for any queries.

Closing date: 21 April 2017


Claude Leon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships - 2018 Call for Applications

For more information about this opportunity, please read through the following documents very carefully:

1. Application Advertisement 2018

2. Updated Terms and Conditions

3. New Application form 2018

Please take note: The CONFIDENTIAL references are to be sent by the referees and not the applicants, to our office.

Closing date: 17 May 2017

All applications must be submitted electronically on the NRF Online Submission System at

Emerging Researchers Development Programme

This call is now closed.  Please visit the website regularly for any updates that may follow.


This call is now closed. Please visit the website regularly for any updates that may follow.

Calls for Annual Progress Reports

The call for the 2016 Annual Progress Reports (APRs) for funding instruments is now open.

CV update

Grant-holders are requested to update their 2016 Research Outputs on their CV on the NRF Online Submission System at


The 2016 outputs will be listed in the APR and grant-holders will be able to select the ones they wish to have included in the relevant Annual Progress Report


Below is the list of APR's that will open on 1 December 2016 and close on 31 March 2017

African Coelecanth Ecosystem Contract

African Origins Platform

Blue Skies Research Programme

Community Engagement Grants

Competitive Programme for Rated researchers

Competitive Support for Unrated Researchers

Education Research in South Africa

Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme

Global Change, Society and Sustainability Programme

Human and Social Sciences Grants

Incentive Programme Rated Researchers

Indigenous Knowledge Systems

National Bioinformatics functional Genomics bursary & research granting Programme

Research Development Grants for Y-Rated Researchers

SA National Antarctic Programme




Process to complete the APR under GRANTHOLDER TOOLS

Go to Grantholder Tools (Under Quick Links)

Select Progress Report

Click on OPEN to complete


All students who received funding for master’s or doctoral degrees, need to provide the NRF with information regarding their completed degree, as stated in the M&D Agreement Form that all grant-holders sign before the NRF funds are released.

Once you have graduated, the following steps need to be taken to complete the post-funding NRF requirements:


1. Obtain your Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETC) link.

All NWU theses and dissertations are loaded onto Boloka, the NWU Institutional Repository.

Link to Boloka:


The process works as follows:

1.1 You hand in hard and electronic copies of your thesis/dissertation at the M&D offices.

1.2 After processing, it is sent to the library’s cataloguing section.

1.3 After graduation, the library’s cataloguing section receives the graduation booklet. With this booklet they start cataloguing the electronic theses and dissertations.

1.4 After they have been catalogued they are loaded onto Boloka, which is where you will find your EDT link.

1.5 You have to search for your title on Boloka and obtain your EDT link.


If you have any queries or difficulties accessing your ETD link, please contact Ms Willemijn de Kock.


2.  Obtain your Researcher  ID (ORCID)

Go to and register yourself.


3.  Gather the documents required by the NRF

As taken from the M&D Agreement Form:

On having been awarded the degree to which this scholarship pertains the scholarship-holder must submit the following to the NRF by the contractual date:

3.1 a photocopy of the title page

3.2 a photocopy of the page which reflects acknowledgement of NRF support

3.3 approximately 300 word summary of the findings (in English) for inclusion i the NEXUS database of current and completed research

3.4 a written statement by the university that the dissertation/mini-thesis had been accepted for degree purposes, and

3.5 an electronic version of the thesis (ETD link)

The scholarship-holder will acknowledge the financial assistance of the NRF as follows on the title page of the mini thesis/dissertation as well as in all papers and publications that emanate from the study:


The financial assistance of the National Research Foundation (NRF) towards this research is hereby acknowledged. Opinions expressed and conclusions arrived at, are those of the author and are not necessarily to be attributed to the NRF.


4.  Complete the NRF funded Thesis/Dissertation Requirements page:

Go to and provide the necessary information.  Please upload all the required documents here.


Please note the following:

  • Institutional Repository's email:
  • Grantee email: Your email address
  • Thesis DOI/Handle: Boloka/ETD link


5.  The last step

Once you have completed your information on the NRF website, please notify Ms Buyi Ntaka by sending a confirmation email.



What is ORCID®?

ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor Identification) is an open, not-for-profit organisation with the aim of supplying a persistent and unique identifier - an ORCID iD - to any individual who is involved in research, scholarship and innovation activities.

Why do I need to register for ORCID®?

The NRF require an ORCID iD when submitting funded research outputs as well as applying for funding opportunities. The NRF repository will use this unique identifier to link to publications and datasets in the future

How do I register for ORCID®?

Follow this link to visit the NWU Manuscript system to create a new ORCID iD. This system can also be used to link an existing ORCID iD. If you are unsure whether you already have an ORCID iD, search the ORCID registry on their website for your name.

Click here for a step by step guide through the registration and linking process.

Announcement of successful applications



  • If your name appears in the table that follows, you have been successful in receiving an award for 2017.
  • The NRF staff will forward award letters to successful candidates.
  • Feedback to unsuccessful candidates will only be provided throughout the year due to processing of funding outcomes for various funding instruments.
  • Once you have received the Conditions of grant (CoG), please read through the written agreement carefully, before accepting the award.
  • All signed and completed documentation must be forwarded to the NRF via your university postgraduate funding office, research office or financial aid office.
  • Funds will only be released once the completed documentation has been received by the NRF.
  • Awards not taken up will be automatically cancelled, unless otherwise approved by the NRF.


Innovation DST-NRF Interns Masters Scholarships 2017

Innovation DST-NRF Interns Doctoral Scholarships 2017

Innovation Doctoral Scholarships 2017

Innovation Postdoctoral Fellowships 2017

DST Innovation and Priority Research Areas Doctoral Scholarships 2017

Extension Support for Masters and Doctoral Studies 2017

DST-NRF-Sasol Inzalo Masters Scholarships 2017

DST-NRF-Sasol Inzalo Doctoral Scholarships 2017

DST-NRF Freestanding Postdoctoral Fellowship 2017

Scarce Skills Masters Scholarship 2017

Scarce Skills Doctoral Scholarship 2017

Doctoral Studies Abroad

NRF-DAAD Masters and Doctoral Awardees 2017