TWAS-NRF Postdoctoral Fellowship, South Africa


October 02, 2015

Opportunity Cover Image - TWAS-NRF Postdoctoral Fellowship, South Africa

TWAS-NRF Postdoctoral Fellowship

TWAS-NRF Postdoctoral Fellowships are tenable at research institutions in South Africa for a minimum period of six months to a maximum period of three years. They are awarded to scientists from developing countries (other than South Africa) to enable them to pursue postdoctoral research in the natural sciences.
Minimum degree held PhD 5 - years
Duration Up to 3 years

Programme Details

  • TWAS-NRF Postdoctoral Fellowships are tenable at research institutions in South Africa for a minimum period of six months to a maximum period of three years. They are awarded to scientists from developing countries (other than South Africa) to enable them to pursue postdoctoral research in the natural sciences.
  • NRF will provide travel to and from South Africa, a standard monthly allowance which should be used to cover living costs, such as accommodation, food and health insurance. The monthly stipend will not be convertible into foreign currency.
  • The language of instruction will be English.


Applicants for these fellowships must meet the following criteria:

  • be nationals of a developing country (other than South Africa);
  • must not hold any visa for temporary or permanent residency in South Africa or any developed country;
  • must have obtained  a PhD degree in a field of natural sciences;
  • apply for the fellowship within five (5) years of having obtained a PhD degree in a field of the natural sciences;
  • be a regular employee in a developing country (other than South Africa) and hold a research assignment there;
  • provide evidence that s/he will return to her/his home country on completion of the fellowship;
  • not take up other assignments during the period of her/his fellowship;
  • provide an official letter from a host South African institution, department or laboratory and motivation from the applicant’s host;
  • proof of  knowledge of English is preferable, if language of instruction was not English*;
  • present a detailed research project that must be registered and approved by the host institution  and provide a letter of support from the prospective host supervisor;
  • be financially responsible for any accompanying family members.

*Preference will be given to applicants that meet the following requirements of the English Language Proficiency Academic test: IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0); or TOEFL (paper) 575 (TWE 4.5); or TOEFL iBIT (min. 20); or Cambridge minimum 58.

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 postdoctoral research training programme. For details of recognised HEIs click here and for other Public Research Institutions click here.

An official letter of acceptance must be obtained from the potential host institution and/or supervisor. The letter must cover detail on:

  • The research project to be undertaken by the applicant; and
  • Available infrastructure and facilities for an enabling environment for host’s research

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

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 Postdoctoral Fellowship Call for 2016 by accessing the link: on the NRF Online application system and follow the steps below:

On accessing the link, please follow the following instructions:

  • Individuals that are not registered on the NRF Online system, must first register by selecting the ‘new registration’ option and complete all sections.
  • Once a profile has been created, login using your passport number and password.
  • Select “My Applications”.
  • Select “Create Application”.
  • Select the call for which you are applying: NRF - TWAS Postdoctoral Fellowship Call for 2016.
  • Select “Apply now”.
  • Complete all relevent sections of the application form
  • Ensure that the Curriculum Vitae section is also completed as the information submitted therein will also be used to evaluate your application.

Please attach the required documents in one PDF file in the following order:

  • Passport;
  • Official acceptance letter from host institution;
  • Certified copies of undergraduate and postgraduate certificates;
  • Letter of release from employer in home country;
  • English Language Proficiency Academic test if available; and
  • SAQA evaluation certificate if available.

Should you not follow the guidelines for attaching the necessary documents, your application will not be considered.

Remember to submit your application upon completion. 

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:


TWAS Fellowships Office

ICTP campus, Strada Costiera 11

34151 Trieste, Italy

Tel:       +39 040 2240 314

Fax:      +39 040 2240 689


National Research Foundation, South Africa

For NRF Online application and grants management related enquiries:

Ms Zikhona Lose

Professional Officer: Grants Management and Systems Administration (GMSA)

Telephone: 012 481 4365.


For funding instrument related enquiries:

Ms Nompumelelo Thwala

Professional Officer: Human and Infrastructure Capacity Development (HICD)

Telephone: 012 481 4232.


For international relations enquiries:

Mr Malose Ledwaba

Liaison Officer: International Relations and Cooperation

Telephone: 012 481 481 4356.


This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:

Host Country
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Publish Date
September 25, 2015