How to Apply for TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship?

Please follow the following application instructions to apply for TWAS-NRF Doctoral Fellowship:

Stage 1:

Application for acceptance at South African Institutions

Applicants must contact institutions in South Africa or potential supervisors to obtain a placement into the doctoral research training programme. For details of recognised HEIs and other Public Research Institutions click here.

  • Applicants must provide an official letter from their host South African institution, department or laboratory and motivation from the applicant’s host. It is the responsibility of the applicant to contact the respective institution to apply for acceptance. In addition, it is also the responsibility of the applicant to secure a supervisor for the study;
  • The research project must be registered and approved by the host institution (a letter of support from the prospective supervisor must be attached to the application.
  • Universities will set their own internal cut-off dates for applications and applicants must abide by those dates.

Application for evaluation of foreign qualifications from the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)

Applicants must have all foreign qualifications (obtained from non-South Africa universities) evaluated by the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA). Proof that at least the applicant has submitted his/her qualification for evaluation at SAQA must be submitted with the application, failing which the application will be rejected.

Applicants are advised to start this process early to allow time for processing. Information on the process can be accessed by logging on to On the SAQA website, navigate to Service – Evaluation of Foreign Qualifications – General Information. Applicants must strictly adhere to all the instructions and provide all applicable documents to avoid delays and rejection of applications. Applicants are advised to courier all application documents to SAQA directly.

Stage 2:

Submitting your application

Applicants must apply for the NRF – TWAS Doctoral Fellowship for 2023 by accessing the link: on the NRF Online application system

On accessing the link, please follow the detailed guidelines in the step -by-step “Application and Funding Guide for 2022 academic year”. You can see or download the guide at the bottom of this page.

Remember to submit your application upon completion.

The deadline for applications is 08 July 2022.  However, universities will set their own internal cut-off dates for applications and applicants must abide by those dates.

No applications will be accepted after the deadline. Therefore, it is recommended to submit your electronic application as early as possible.

  • The call for applications where you will find the programme details, eligibility criteria, required documents and certificates as well as the online application form will only be available once the call opens. Applicants must be aware that NRF and TWAS will not accept applications submitted by any other means except via the online application portal.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered as will applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Contact the university postgraduate or research office for queries related to institutional processes and deadlines.
  • Queries concerning the call for applications to the TWAS-NRF Fellowships programmes should be directed to the contacts below: