NRF-Nuffic Doctoral Scholarships for South Africans in Netherlands, 2018

Applications are invited for NRF-Nuffic Doctoral Scholarships to pursue research studies in all areas of Science, Engineering, Technology, the Social Sciences and Humanities at universities in participating countries.

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The National Research Foundation (NRF) was established as an independent government agency, through the National Research Foundation Act (Act No 23 of 1998). The mandate of the NRF is to promote and support research through funding, human resource development and the provision of the necessary research facilities in order to facilitate the creation of knowledge, innovation and development in all fields of science and technology, including indigenous knowledge, and thereby contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of all South Africans.

Scholarship Description: 

  • Application Deadline: May 14, 2018
  • Course Level: Scholarships are available to pursue doctoral degree programme.
  • Study Subject: The scholarship is intended to support doctoral candidates to pursue research studies in all areas of (i) Science, (ii) Engineering (iii) Technology, (iv) the Social Sciences and (v) Humanities, at universities in participating countries. The percentage of supported students will be 80% from the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines and 20% from the Social Sciences and Humanities, in line with South Africa’s National Development Plan. Preference will also be given to applications to obtain a Doctoral degree in a vulnerable discipline such as Statistics, Mathematics and Nursing, emerging research areas or where there exists a paucity of research infrastructure and/or suitably qualified supervisors in South Africa.
  • Scholarship Award: The scholarships are designed for students enrolled in a full-time, four (4)-year doctoral degree in either single or split-site mode. The Dutch HEI will waive tuition, provide research running costs 3 and access to research infrastructure. Costs that will be covered by the NRF are detailed in Tables 2 and 3 below and are in alignment with NRF scholarships and bursaries which may be adjusted from time to time. With respect to the single site mode, the NRF provides an economy airfare for the student, valid for not more than one (1) year, to and from the Netherlands and, the scholarship value for subsistence and health insurance based on minimum requirements set by the Dutch government. International visits funded in the split site mode will be for a maximum of three (3) months annually over the four (4)-year period of study.
  • Nationality: South African students are eligible to apply.
  • Number of Scholarships: Numbers not given
  • Scholarship can be taken in the Netherlands

Eligibility for the Scholarship: 

Eligible Countries: South African students are eligible to apply.
Entrance Requirements: To be eligible, applicants must:
  • Be South African citizens or permanent residents with an SA ID number, although South African citizens will be prioritised;
  • Not hold this scholarship concurrently with any other NRF or South African/Netherlands government scholarship;
  • Provide a Master’s degree certificate or an official document from the university certifying that all requirements for the Master’s degree have been met and that they will be graduating;
  • Be intending to pursue full-time doctoral studies; and
  • Not hold full-time salaried employment during the tenure of the award. However, successful applicants may undertake a maximum of 12 hours of teaching, tutorials, and assistance or demonstration duties, per week on average, during the year of study and may be remunerated for these duties, provided that they are reimbursed at a rate not exceeding the normal tariff of the institution for services rendered.
English Language Requirements: Applicants whose first language is not English are usually required to provide evidence of proficiency in English at the higher level required by the University.

Application Procedure: 

How to Apply: Applications must be submitted electronically to the NRF on the NRF Online Submission System at
Applicants must read the framework document and application and funding guide prior to applying.
The NRF issues a call for the NRF-Nuffic Doctoral Scholarship applications that are published on the NRF website and is accessible online. The NRF-Nuffic Doctoral Scholarship funding instrument will not accept more than one (1) application per applicant per year. All applications submitted to South African institutions must be duly authorised and approved by the Designated Authority (DA) of the research administration at the institution that submits the application. Applications must be submitted electronically to the institutional DA of the submitting institution for validation at the deadline date determined by individual institutions. Applicants must inquire with their institutions regarding internal closing dates. Applications for single site mode will be routed directly to the NRF for validation. The processing of a successful grant application takes approximately five (5) months from the call closing date until the commencement of funding.

Scholarship Link


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