Graduate School of Economic & Management Sciences
Welcome to Stellenbosch University




The Graduate School has two separate calls for applications:

  • [CLOSED ON 17 MAY] The first runs from 12 April to 17 May. This round will specifically recruit for 6 full-time PhD scholarships funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for 2020. These scholarships are reserved for candidates from African countries (excluding South Africa). Cl​​ick here for more information on the DAAD scholarships
  • [OPEN FROM 1 JUNE UNTIL 31 JULY] The second round runs from 1 June to 31 July and will recruit for at least 4 full-time PhD scholarships, funded by the Graduate School to a maximum of R138 000 per year for three years. This call is open to all applicants who did not qualify for the DAAD scholarships advertised in the first call (i.e. candidates from South Africa and International applicants from outside Africa). ​

The Graduate School allocates these scholarships by considering each application on its own merit.

Candidates must meet the minimum criteria to be considered for a scholarship:

  • A candidate has to meet the minimum criteria for admission to a PhD at Stellenbosch University. This requires a master's degree in the relevant discipline or, in exceptional circumstances, an equivalent qualification.
  • Candidates must have achieved a grade of 65% in their master's programmes.
  • Candidates must be under forty years of age when the programme commences in January.
  • Only applications in one of the Faculty's  Research Themes  will be considered.​
  • All students who meet the above criteria will be considered. 

 Application process - GEM Scholarships

​Follow these steps to apply for the 2020 cohort of the Graduate School:
  • Read the criteria for eligibility stated above
  • Fill in the  Application form 
  • You will be required to write a letter motivating your suitability for the scholarship (maximu​m length: one A4 page), as well as a research concept note (no maximum length) on one or more selected research topics or problems which you intend to study in the course of your doctoral programme. These should be completed on the application form in the relevant sections. 
  • Please consult the ​2019 Research Themes to guide you in choosing a research topic. Research topics outside the listed research themes can be accommodated only if it falls within the current research themes that are active in one of the Faculty's academic departments.
  • Please note that scholarships can only be awarded where the Faculty is able to appoint a suitable supervisor for the topic to be studied. 
  • Submission of an application does not guarantee entry. There are limited scholarships available and awards are made on a competitive basis.
  • Please ensure that your three references are informed that their referee reports stating your capability to complete doctoral studies should be sent directly to the Graduate School via email ( on or before 31 July 2019
  • Send your completed application form electronically to:
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. If you have not received communication from the Graduate School Office by the 12th of October 2019, the application should be considered as unsuccessful.

The new intake of PhD will commence their studies on the 21st of January 2020.


​​Graduate School Office contact details