17 PhD Bursaries For South African Students 2021

A Bursary is a certain amount of money that is awarded to enable someone to study at the university or in a college. So if you are a South African student in search of PhD Bursaries, then you are in the right place as we’ve compiled some of the ongoing bursaries for you.

A good number of organizations, government, or corporate does offer the Bursary to study at a university and will cover the costs of complete tuition fees.

Sometimes the bursary will also take care of the additional costs involved in studying, such as textbooks, laptops, the living cost for meals and accommodation.

Organizations that offer bursaries often require that the person complete a work program or training for this organization, after which the person gets the bursary.

This is useful for Bursars and organizations because the receiver gets a job after graduation and the organization itself would get the upper hand in recruiting the individual, which is a bonus considering the person’s work experience.

People often talk about security in numbers. The number of Bursaries you can apply for is unlimited. Therefore, it recommended completing as many applications as possible for Bursary applications where you qualify for.

With those clarity made. I’ll walk you through the best 19 south African Bursary available for Ph.D. students and how to win them.

Good luck!!

List of Ph.D. Bursaries For South African Students

  • African Institute for Mathematical Sciences Bursaries South Africa
  • Ernst & Ethel Eriksen Trust Bursary Grant South Africa
  • HWSETA Postgraduate Bursary South Africa
  • Maize Trust Bursary South Africa
  • Kaplan Centre Bursaries
  • AON Bursary South Africa
  • FoodBev SETA Bursary
  • Commonwealth Bursary
  • SACTWU Bursary
  • Poliomyelitis Research Foundation Bursaries
  • FirstRand Laurie Dippenaar Scholarship
  • SANZAF Zakah Bursary
  • Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme
  • SAAFoST Bursaries
  • Postgraduates Canon Collins Trust Bursary
  • The Rhodes Trust Bursary (Ph.D.)
  • South African Veterinary Foundation Bursary
  • Mandela Rhodes Foundation Scholarship

African Institute for Mathematical Sciences Bursaries South Africa 2022 

Applicants who have finished their studies at AIMS could qualify for a not full bursary (to the amount of R90 000) to pursue a PhD degree at an SA university.

The bursary is paid not once but in 3 times R40k during the 1st year of study, R25k for the 2nd year of study and R25k for the 3rd year of study.


Applicants must have the following entry criteria before applying:

  • Doctoral studies at the AIMS Research Centre:
  • Must be a South African citizen,
  • Preference will be given to students with a  background is deprived, however, all students are welcome to apply for this Bursary.


Click here to apply:

For any bursary queries, please contact:
Tel: 021 787 9320

Ernst & Ethel Eriksen Trust Bursary Grant South Africa 2022

30 September, Annually

Ernst & Ethel Trust are awarding Bursaries for Doctorate degree qualifications.

Bursaries would be made available for one year at a time and applicants are required to seek funding each year.

Bursaries will be awarded to the value of not more than R20 000 per year.

Applicants will receive a reply on the status of their application by the end of December.


Applicants must come with the following minimum entry criteria before applying:

  • Must be a South African citizen
  • Must complete an Honors degree qualification
  • Studying or intend on studying towards a Doctorate qualification
  • Must have been admitted to take a study at a recognized South African tertiary institution
  • Must have a strong academic portfolio.


Applications must be done online at:

You will need to Register here: before you can log in and apply.

It is important you submit clear copies of the following supporting documentation along with your online application.

  • ID document (certified copy)
  • Latest university academic results (certified copy)
  • Proof of university application/ proof of admission.
  • 3 essays (max 1000 words each): 1 an essay about yourself; your family, your current circumstances, about you in 3 words, how your friends see you, your passion, your biggest strengths and weaknesses
  • 1 about your achievements after Matric and at the tertiary level
  • 1  essay about your future study plans and dreams.
  • 1 about how you wish to see South Africa in the next 10yrs
  • Two academic references

Tel: 083 459 1789

HWSETA Postgraduate Bursary South Africa 2022

Deadline July 29.

The HWSETA Postgraduate Bursary will finance only postgraduate students pursuing areas of study relating to Health and Social Development strictly.

Honors students who are interested in the program that will lead to professional registration and licensing should also apply. Various streams within Nursing Education, Psychology and other Clinical Program are welcome to apply.


InterestePh.D. students must satisfy the following minimum entry eligibility before applying. And please note that failure to satisfy all the requirements will lead to your application not being considered at all.

  • South African citizen Employed or unemployed
  • Studying towards a Ph.D. qualification (Doctoral/ Post-Doctoral) preferably a research proposal within one of the mentioned areas
  • Studying at a good university in South Africa
  • Learners with disabilities are also welcome to apply for this opportunity.



Also, attach these docs.

  • South African ID document.
  • Evidence of registration at a tertiary institute
  • Draft research proposal
  • Itemized and detailed project budget

Also, put together a motivational letter regarding your financial need (1 page)

Contact Person: Dr. Sipho Buthelezi

Maize Trust Bursary South Africa 2022

Closing Date: 31 January

The Maize Trust will be presenting and dispatching bursaries within fields related to the Agricultural sector and to the South African maize industry.

Bursaries will be awarded specifically within the following fields of study Ph.D. studies.

  • Agricultural Economics
  • Agricultural Meteorology
  • Agricultural Engineering
  • Agronomy
  • Plant Breeding
  • Plant Physiology
  • Plant Biochemistry
  • Plant Pathology
  • Plant Entomology
  • Plant Nematology
  • Pasture Science
  • Food Sciences (relevant to the crop industry)
  • Livestock Science
  • Weed Science
  • Soil Science
  • Soil Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biometry


Applicants must meet the following entry criteria before applying.

  • South African citizen
  • Completed Matric
  • Studying full time within one of the listed fields of study
  • Must be studying at a recognized University in South Africa.


Download and fill out the Maize Trust Bursary Application Form in pdf format

Attach the following:

  • ID document (certified copy of)
  • Matric certificate (certified copy of)
  • Other qualification certificates (certified copy of)
  • Full tertiary academic record
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Summary/ short description of your intended thesis

Contact Person: Audra du Plessis
Tel: 012 807 3958/ 012 807 4191
Fax: 012 349 8707

Kaplan Centre Bursaries 2022

The Kaplan Center now accepts bursary applications, students or prospective students who focus on Jewish experience and/or Jewish language and literature.

Bursary only covers costs and expenses, operational costs, trips and/or other costs associated with an approved UCT research project.

Candidates are invited to include other funding sources in the application form.

Bursary Requirements And Eligibility:

  • Students of courses directed on the Jewish experience or Hebrew Language and Literature
  • Must be registered at the University of Cape Town.
  • How to Apply and Application Details

Click here to apply

Attach these:

  • CV
  • Academic transcript
  • Proof of acceptance in a programme at the University of Cape Town
  • At least two testimonials  Testimonials should, and must be conveyed under confidential cover by the referees directly to the Centre.
  • Itemized budget
  • Two-page research proposal

Contact Details

AON Bursary South Africa 2022

Closing Date: 18 January, Annually.

Aon South Africa provides scholarships to the three best students who want to continue their studies and begin their careers in the insurance industry.

Bursaries are given to students (2nd year / 3rd year) or students with awards who are trained in risk or economic management pursuing Ph.D.


  • South African citizen
  • Completed Matric
  • Studying full time towards a Ph.D. degree qualification majoring in Risk Management or Economics
  • Studying at a recognized school in South Africa
  • Excellent academic record


Applications must be done online at
You will be required to Register an account here:

Attach the following doc.

  • ID document
  • Matric certificate (certified copy of)
  • Full academic record from your place of study
  • Curriculum Vitae

Head Office – Sandton
Tel: 011 944 7000

FoodBev SETA Bursary 2022

Closing Date:  19 February annually

FoodBev SETA awards bursaries for fields and scarce skills based on the food and beverages producing sector.

FoodBev bursary accepts an application from students who are already registered at Higher Education Institutions in the food and beverages related fields.

Bursary Requirements And Eligibility:

  • Full-time students registered at an accredited university pursuing a PhD
  • Excellent academic record
  • Proven financial need
  • Female applicants and person with disability or applicants from a disadvantaged background will be given special consideration
  • NOT a recipient of any other bursary

How to Apply and Application Details


Attache these files:

  • Certified copy of South African ID
  • Certified copy of National
  • Proof of registration with the institution
  • Account indicating the full amount for tuition from the Institution
  • Must have sworn affidavit that the applicant is not a recipient of other bursary programs

Contact Details
Address: 13 Autumn Street Rivonia 2128
Post: PO Box 245
Gallo Manor 2052 South Africa.
Tel: +27 11 253 7300
Fax: +27 11 253 7333

Commonwealth Bursary 2022

The Commonwealth Bursary will enable Ph.D. students, a doctoral candidate from low and middle-income countries including South Africa to participate in postgraduate studies at universities in the UK or their home country.

This grant is funded by the UK Department of International Development (DFID), which helps qualified staff obtain the knowledge and skills needed for sustainable development.

This is for those my chance may not have the financial means to study in the UK or anywhere.

This Bursary is offered to the forms below.

  • Science & technology for development
  • Empowering health systems and capacity
  • Promoting global prosperity
  • Strengthening global peace, security & governance
  • Strengthening resilience and response to crises
  • Access; inclusion and opportunity

Ph.D. Bursary Applicants:

NOT registered for a Ph.D. or an MPhil leading to a Ph.D. in a UK university on or before September/October 2022

Split-site Ph.D. Scholarship Applicants:

Ph.D. registered at a university in the person country

An institutional or departmental link between the home university and proposed UK institution.

Woburn House 20-24 Tavistock Square, London. WC1H 9HF UK
Tel: +44 (0)207 380 6700

SACTWU Bursary 2022

The SACTWU program provides financial academic support to members and their dependents at South African universities in Ph.D. pursuit in Engineering and other higher education institutions registered with the Ministry of National Education.

Bursaries cover only 75% of the fees up to a maximum of R 35,000 per year. All other costs must be borne by students.

SACTWU Bursary Requirements and Eligibility:

  • SACTWU qualified members
  • SACTWU qualified member’s spouse
  • Also, SACTWU qualified member’s children or dependents and legally adopted children who are not more than 25 years old and are not with a job.

How to Apply and Application Details:

Download and complete the SACTWU Bursary Application Form (pdf)

Also, attach:

  • Student’s ID
  • Member’s ID
  • ID size photo of the applicant
  • Latest certified copy of member’s proof of financial status
  • Statement of account from the institution of the applicant.

 Contact Details
Address: 3RD Floor – James Bolton Hall P.O. Box 18359 127 Magwaza in  Maphalala
Street Dalbridge 4014 in Durban 4001
Post: PO Box, 18359, Dalbridge, 4014
Tel: (031) 301-1351
Fax: (031) 305-1039

Poliomyelitis Research Foundation Bursaries 2022

PRF provides Bursary for and doctoral degrees. Bursaries are usually only given to South African citizens, and a number of Bursaries can be given to non-South African applicants. PRF Bursaries do not support full-time or paid candidates.

The research project cannot be changed without permission from PRF after providing a Bursary. Candidates from communities that are historically disadvantaged will be given priority.

PRF Bursary Requirements and Eligibility:

  • Minimum 60% average
  • Disadvantaged applicants are given attention
  • South African citizens or individuals with permanent resident status are given more attention.

How to Apply and Application Details

Click here to apply

Visit scholarship website here

  1. Application forms must be typed because handwritten applications will be rejected.
  2. Email applications to

Contact Details
Address: 1 Modderfontein Road Sandringham Johannesburg
Post: C/O the National Institute responsible for Communicable Diseases
Private Bag X4 Sandringham 2131
Telephone: +27 11 555-0395
Fax: +27 86 758 3326

FirstRand Laurie Dippenaar Scholarship 2022

FirstRand founded its foundation in 1998 to improve the lives of many people, especially students in South Africa. One of the Foundation’s programs is the FirstRand Bursary Laurie

Dippenaar. This scholarship is intended to give South Africans the opportunity to complete postgraduate degrees in the Ph.D. level or specified.

International Postgraduate Bursary FirstRand Laurie Dippenaar is open to South African citizens from all sectors at their chosen international university.


The following criteria will be considered in the awarding of the Bursary:

  • Excellent academic performance
  • Leadership skills
  • Community involvement
  • Applicants who are under the 35 years of age mark are preferred.
  • Interested students should already be accepted by an accredited educational institution, important!

How to Apply and Application Details: 

  1. Register for an online account at the FirstRand Laurie Dippenaar scholarship website,
  2. Go to the FirstRand Laurie Dippenaar scholarship application page located via this link.
  3. The last step is to upload your Curriculum Vitae to your online profile.

Contact Details
Beth van Heerden
Address: 4 Merchant Corner Fredman Drive and Rivonia Road Sandton, 2196
Post: PO Box 650149 Benmore, 2010
Tel: +27 11 282 1808

SANZAF Zakah Bursary 2022

This Ph.D. Bursaries For South African Students aims to improve the moral and ethical problems of the complainants and the complainants’ families.

This is a priority for Bursaries owned by poor families, such as unemployment, low-income households, and people who are responsible for some uncontrolled circumstances.


  • Families with proven financial need:
  • Unemployed
  • Employed but with insufficient household income
  • In debt

How to Apply and Application Details

Apply here:

Contact Details
Durban: Zakah House, 91 Charlotte Maxeke Street, Durban 4000 / 031 309 6786 /
East London: 53b Union Street, Central, East London / 5201043 722 7453 /
Gauteng: 39 Mint Road, Fordsburg / Shop L16, Trade Route Mall, Lenasia 1826 / Office 108, H, S Ebrahim Centre, 190Bengal
Street, Laudium 0037 / 011 834 6046 /
Kimberley: Moghal Park Madressa, Moghal Park / 053 831 2758 /
Ladysmith: 27 Daisy Lane, Acaciavale, Ladysmith 3370 / 036 633 2792 /
Pietermaritzburg : 34 Simeon Road, Raisethorpe / 033 397 9133 /
Port Elizabeth: Movement Hall, Cnr Van der Kemp, and Van Rooyen Streets, Parkside / 041 506 7288 /
Western Cape: 021 447 0297 /

Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme 2022

Applications for “Funza Lushaka” scholarships must be made online every year.

Mandators must teach in the public school where they are called, and they cannot choose the school where they are assigned because the assignment is preferred.

They bear most of the costs required by the recipient. This may include training, accommodation, including food, books, and teaching materials, and, if possible, a small allowance for monthly living expenses.


  • South African citizen
  • Good academic performance
  • Graduates who want to complete a teaching degree.
  • Applicants who want to make a career change and become teachers.
  • Higher Education Institution employees, their spouse, and their dependents or children are not eligible.
  • Two of the priority area subjects must be inclusive as a concentration in the teaching qualification.

How to Apply and Application Details:

  1. Must be an online application.
  2. Go to
  3. Register your online profile by providing your personal information.
  4. Put in your username and password to the system and login.
  5. Once logged in, go to the e-Services menu and select Funza Lushaka Bursary.

Follow this link to see other criteria

SAAFoST Bursaries 2022

The SAAfoST Foundation invites all students who are interested and qualified to apply for Bursaries in the field of food and science.

The SAAFoST Foundation Bursaries is awarded based on academic achievement, workplace fairness, and proven potential.

The Bursary program covers the university’s actual tuition fees according to the auditor’s account up to a maximum of 35,000 RK per year is awarded. Payments are made every semester directly to Institution, depending on the peer academic results.

How to Apply and Application Details:

Download and fill out the relevant bursary application form via:

See here for more application processes:

Contact Details
The SAAFoST Membership Development Officer
Post: PO Box 35233 Menlo Park 0102
Tel: (012) 349 2788
Fax: (086) 698 4784

Postgraduates Canon Collins Trust Bursary 2022

Canon Collins Trust offers grants to qualified individuals who wish to obtain further qualifications and participate in South African social justice to create a better society.

This Ph.D. Bursaries For South African Students welcomes full-time and part-time students to apply and consider applicants who want to complete a distance learning course.

Currently, the Bursary grants support for the following study areas:

  1. Justice: Law; Economics, Politics, and Environment
  2. Education: Policy and Practice
  3. Humanities: Literature; History; Anthropology and Arts

Requirements and Eligibility:

  • Citizens with permanent or refugee status in

Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe (good reference or equivalent) students at recognized South African universities.

  • Graduating students or in the possession of a good first degree.

How to Apply and Application Details:

The Canon Collins Bursary for Postgraduates is currently closed for applications and will reopen in June 2022

Please contact +44 (0) 20 3770 0396 when it opens for direction, and application when it opens.

Contact Details
Scholarships: +44 (0) 20 3770 0396

The Rhodes Trust Bursary (PhD) 2022

The Rhodes Bursary Program was founded in 1903 and offers South Africans and other international Bursaries throughout the world.

Every year, the program offers more than 100 Bursary that is fully funded for Ph.D. studies at Oxford University in the UK. This Ph.D. Bursaries For South African Students choice of providers depends on the intelligence and character of the candidates, including their motivation to engage with global issues, their commitment to others, and demonstrations to lead in the specific areas


  • Citizen/legal permanent resident of South Africa, Botswana; Lesotho; Malawi; Namibia or Swaziland.
  • The resident for not less than five years within the period of ten years before your application in South Africa; Botswana;
  • Lesotho; Malawi; Namibia or Swaziland.
  • Between the ages of 20 to 29 years old in October 2019, for students the medics department.

How to Apply and Application Details:

The Bursaries online applications will only open starting 1st June at Rhodes Trust’s official website

Note at applications are only done online, no other application method will be accepted or recognized.

Also, attach these:

  • Birth certificate or proof of valid citizenship and legal residency, for applicants not born in one of the required countries.
  • School leaving cert.
  • University transcript of records showing results and acquired Degree certificates

See more here:

Mrs. Annette Gibson
Post: PO Box 41468, Craighall 2024
Tel: (011) 794 4693
Fax: 086 606 2545
Cell: 082 770 0515

South African Veterinary Foundation Bursary

The South African Veterinary Foundation has provided financial support to veterinary students, mostly Ph.D. students since 1999. This  Ph.D. Bursaries For South African Students make the cost of veterinary research available for their winners annually.

Every year 4 Bursaries totaling 10,000 rubles are offered. Two of the Bursaries are related to Lakato Veterinary Wholesalers, while two other Bursaries work with Mercantile Bank. This Bursary is given without obligation.


  • Proven, and obvious financial need
  • Students of BVSc IV and BVSc V for the 2019 year of academics
  • Must have a minimum 60% average examination marks
  • Student activities involvement such as sport, cultural activities, or any other aspect of student life is important and will be considered

How to Apply and Application Details:

  1. Complete the SAVF online application form very important.
  2. Complete the 10 multiple-choice questionnaires on the SAVF online.

Include and upload the following documents listed:

  • Proof of current student debt in PDF format, don’t cheat!
  • Certified copy of the previous  academic record in PDF format
  • A concise CV uploaded on SAVF in the webform

Contact Details
Dr. Lobetti
Tel: ( 011 ) 706 6023
Address: 47 Gemsbok Avenue Monument Park Pretoria 0181 South Africa
Post: P.O. Box 25033 Monument Park Pretoria 0105 South Africa.

Mandela Rhodes Foundation Scholarship 2022

The Mandela Rhodes Foundation is inviting qualified specialists to apply for the selection of Mandela Rhodes’s 14th group of scientists for the 2019 academic year. The MRF

This Ph.D. Bursaries For South African Students Program provides financial support for postgraduate(Ph.D. and Master)  programs and leadership development programs designed to strengthen leadership in Africa.

The Bursary covers the costs of Ph.D. Studies and institution registration, educational benefits, accommodation, food allowances, and medical benefits will be determined by the MRF, Economy Class Travel.


  • Citizens from all the countries of the African is eligible for this one Ph.D. students at South African universities or tertiary institutions.
  • Must be above average academic records
  • Attendance to all compulsory elements of MRF’s leadership development program is required which may occur during the week or on weekends, depends.

How to Apply and Application Details:

All interested students must apply online via the Embark application system.

Contact Details
Coralie Valentyn
Programme Associate
Tel: 021 424 3346


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