SABI/NRF bursary applications for Master's and doctoral studies 2010 (new applications)

Only South African citizens may apply

Only full time Master’s and doctoral studies in animal (excluding humans)/plant/microbe systematics on a competitive basis. (Systematics is defined as the science of organismal diversity.

Applicants who recently obtained an aggregate of at least 60% for the subject(s) with which they wish to continue into doctoral studies

Bursary values:
R40 000 Masters and R65 000 per annum for Doctoral studies

Fields of study:

  • Studying poorly documented groups and/or under-explored geographical areas from a morphological alpha taxonomy and/or molecular perspective (however the significance and relevance of these studies need to be contexualised within the proposal).
  • Preferably but not exclusively integrating morphological alpha taxonomy and ecological information with molecular studies from phylogenetic through to phylogeographic and biogeographic perspectives.
  • Incorporating other approaches to systematics e.g. indigenous knowledge systems
  • Addressing innovative approaches in dealing with large taxa or datasets.
  •  Developing efficient methods of making results available e.g. electronic publication, electronic keys, image analyses and computer-automated identifications involving neural networking.
  • Undertaking research that will lead to the construction of taxonomic keys and databases.

Please note :
• Bursaries are available to South African citizens only and only to full-time students (not working more than 12 hours per week).

• Scholarships may not be held simultaneously with a bursary/scholarship from any other NRF source

• Full-time Master’s scholarships are awarded for postgraduate studies leading to research-based Master’s degrees. Support for Master’s degrees with coursework will only be considered provided the proposed study requires the submission of a thesis/dissertation which weighs at least 50% of the total course content and the research component is externally evaluated.

• Applicants who are applying for Masters support must have obtained an aggregate of at least 60% for the honours/final year BTech subject(s) they are pursuing for Master’s study.

• Applicants must have obtained their previous degree in the minimum prescribed period. An exception is made for Black (i.e. African, Coloured and Indian) students who may have taken an additional year to complete the previous degree.

• Applicants who are applying for Doctoral support should be currently enrolled for the degree concerned or who intend registering for the degree during 2010.

• In the case of a possible upgrade, students should also apply.

• Renewal applicants should not apply now for 2010 (subject to the availability of funds). A notice will be sent to renewal students once the applications are open.

It is recommended that you request assistance from your supervisor regarding the completion of the “Details of Research Proposal”.

Application procedure:
All applications are to be completed electronically on the following website:  Applicants who have previously registered on NRF Online ( will be able to access the Interim system ( with the SAME ID AND PASSWORD they use for NRF Online and MUST NOT REGISTER on NRF Interim again.

Applicants who have registered on NRF Online recently and are unable to access the NRF Interim system with their NRF Online ID and password, should please register with the same ID and password on NRF Interim system.

All applicants would be required to:
• nominate 4 referees to confirm their academic performance

Masters 1 Head of department (HOD)and Minimum 2 referees, maximum 4

Doctoral 1 Supervisor of Masters study and Minimum 2 referees, maximum 4

• upload an electronic copy of their full academic record and ID copy. (Please save the documents in PDF or JPEG format)

Please note that applications without the official supporting documents as requested above and incomplete applications will be rejected.

The internal closing date for electronic applications is 31 July 2009.

Contact person: Chantal Swartz ( or Rozelle Petersen ( or 021 808 2957