TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship Program at Research Institutions in South Africa 2020


TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship Program application process at Research Institutions in South Africa. Learn the best way to apply for the TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship Program for the academic year  2020/2021, via Research Institutions Scholarship Portal.

If you are reading this, it means you have heard about the TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship Program 2020.

In this article, we are going to systematically outline the right way to apply for the TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship Program for interested and qualified applicants.

Scholarship Description

South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF) and Department of Science and Technology (DST) are working hand-in-hand with TWAS to further science in developing nations through the NRF-TWAS Doctoral Fellowship awards, thus, applications are presently being invited from all interested and eligible applicants who desire to advance their education in South Africa.

Universities will set their own internal deadlines for applications and candidates must abide by the date(s).

Many applicants have been asking us questions like;

Available Subjects

Courses offered are:

  • Agricultural Science
  • Astronomy, Space and Earth Sciences
  • Chemical Sciences
  • Engineering Sciences
  • Medical and Health Sciences incl. Neurosciences
  • Physics
  • Structural, Cell and Molecular Biology

Eligible Nationalities and Benefits

This scholarship is open to students from countries all over the world.

Benefits of the Fellowship

  1. TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowships are tenable at research institutions in South Africa for a maximum period of three years. They are granted to scientists from developing nations (that is not South Africa) to enable them to undertake PhD research in the natural sciences.
  2. NRF will make available travel to and from South Africa, a standard monthly stipend which should be used to foot living expenses, like food, accommodation and health insurance. The monthly allowance won’t be convertible into foreign currency. The medium of lecture will be English language.


Applicants for these fellowships must meet the following criteria: TWAS-NRF Doctoral program:

  1. Be citizens or permanent residents of a developing country* (other than South Africa);
  2. Must not be living, studying or working in South Africa or any developed country;
  3. Candidates who were in the past employed or studying towards a degree certificate, or carrying out research in South Africa, and have gone back to their home or nation of origin, but have been in their home nation or nation of origin for not up to two (2) years, are ineligible to apply;
  4. Must have obtained minimum of 65% at the masters’ level in order to apply for doctoral funding;
  5. Must enroll on a full time basis at a South African public university in 2021, and may be based at any South African public research institution which includes Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), Science Councils as well as National Research Facilities;
  6. Must be a maximum of 32 years of age by 31 December of the year of application;
  7. Must have obtained an MSc degree in a field of natural sciences;
  8. Must possess evidence of assessment of all foreign qualifications (gotten from non-South African universities) assessed by the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) or evidence that the candidates has forwarded his or her qualifications to SAQA for assessment. Failure to submit evidence will lead to the application being rejected;
  9. Provide evidence that s/he will return to her/his home country on completion of the fellowship;
  10. Not take up other assignments during the period of her/his fellowship;
  11. Provide an official letter from a host South African institution, department or laboratory and motivation from the applicant’s host;
  12. Provide English language proficiency certificate (if available at the time of the application). If unavailable, this will be requested before any NRF funds will be given to the student and must fulfil the following criteria of the English Language Proficiency Academic test: TOEFL (paper) 575 (TWE 4.5); or IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0)or Cambridge minimum 58; or TOEFL iBIT (min. 20).
  13. Show a comprehensive research project that must be registered and accepted by the host institution and submit a letter of assistance from the possible host supervisor;
  14. Be financially responsible for any accompanying family members.

How to Apply

Interested and qualified? Go to The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) on to apply.

Visit Award Webpage for Details


The deadline for the scholarship award application is 14th August 2020. Applicants should ensure they submit their applications on or before the specified date.