Student Financial Support

Normal  postgraduate student support obtained from the National Research Foundation. Additional internal funding for exceptional students is offered through NMMU postgraduate bursaries, and top-up funding is usually available with a research assistantship. See links below and take note of the deadlines!

National Research Foundation Funding Handbook

An extensive list of funding opportunities are published here: NMMU Bursary Booklet. Below are the funding opportunities available for biology students, along with the application deadlines and details:

South African Association of Botanists (SAAB) Scholarship Hons: R10,000 SAAB ( mid-February each year
CSIR/NMMU ScholarshipMSc: R60,000
PhD: R90,000
NMMU RCDTo be confirmed 
Dormehl-Cunningham ScholarshipVariableNMMU RCD~31 January
Ersnt and Ethel Eriksen TrustVariable Ersnt and Ethel Eriksen TrustPublished by the administrating organisation
National Research Foundation (Innovation, Scarce-skills, Free-standing)MSc: R40,000 - R80,000
PhD: R60,000 - R110,000
NMMU RCD (applications on NRF website)~15 August (Check RCD internal deadline)
National Research Foundation extended support (3rd year MSc, 4th year PhD) Variable NMMU RCD (applications on NRF website) ~31 October (Check RCD internal deadline)
NMMU Postgraduate Research ScholarshipVariableNMMU RCD~30 November
Green Matter Fellowships    MSc: R40,000
PhD: R90,000
 Green Matter ZA ~mid-August (online applications independent of NMMU)
Leakey Foundation PhD: $15,000 Leakey Foundation 5 January and 15 July, annually 
Palaeontological Scientific TrustPostgraduate and researcher: variablePalaeontological Scientific Trust01 February; 01 May; 01 August; 01 November

Post-doctoral funding

Claude Leon Foundation R180,000Claude Leon FoundationUsually the beginning of May each year

Studying abroad

If you wish to study abroad, there are many options available at MSc, PhD and Postdoctoral levels. The Department of Higher Education & Training has quite an extensive list of scholarships here.


South African Association of Botanists Junior Medal Award R0.00 South African Association of Botanists  Usually end of October each year.
AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science $5000 AAAS Usually in October each year.