Division for Research Development
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

NRF Scholarships


​The National Research Foundation invites all 2024 postgraduate students, full-time students not in salaried employment (contractual or permanent) while studying to apply for funding support NOW. You should apply for this funding opportunity even if you are not sure if you are going to be accepted into PG studies for 2024.

​All Master's and Doctoral scholarship recipients currently receiving NRF funding and eligible for a second or third year of funding are required to submit a progress report, but they do not need to submit a new application.

Important to Note: 

  • The NRF minimum academic requirement for postgraduate funding is 65%.
  • The entry age requirement is 28, 30 and 32 years or younger for honours, master's and doctoral studies respectively, in the year of application, regardless of first year of registration.
  • Successful applicants will be funded either at Full Cost of Study (FCS) or Partial Cost of Study (PCS). The FCS funding will be awarded to South African citizens and Permanent Residents only, who are either financially needy (i.e., those whose combined household family income is less than or equal to R350 000 per annum), living with a disability or exceptional academic achievers. However, the PCS funding will be awarded to 5% of international students including South African citizens and Permanent Residents who could not be funded under FCS, but meet other minimum requirements for the NRF scholarship funding criteria.
  • International students do not qualify for Honours scholarship funding.

Please note the following exclusions:

  • ​Masters Coursework students with a thesis component weight of less than 50%;
  • professional master's or professional doctoral degree and
  • Individuals that are on sabbatical leave from their current employment 

All postgraduate students will be expected to apply on the NRF Connect system by accessing the link (https://nrfconnect.nrf.ac.za​). No manual applications will be accepted.

For technical assistance please contact the Support Desk at: Supportdesk@nrf.ac.za from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 16:30.

DSI-NRF Postgraduate Student Funding Docum​ents

DSI-NRF Postgraduate Scholarship Framework for 2024

Frequently Asked Questions_Postgraduate Funding

ISFAP - Application Consent Form

NRF Recognized Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)

NRF Statement of expectation for Postgraduate Training 2023​

NRF_Application-Guide_v1.0-web (1)


SARAO Postgraduate Scholarship Application Guide 2024


DSI-NRF Master's and Doctoral Application and Funding Guide for 2024

DSI-NRF Honours Application and Funding Guide for 2024


Stellenbosch University NRF Information Session - 16 May 2023

Funding OpportunitiesEligibilitySU Application Closing dates

(No late applications will be processed)
Contact Person
Honours General Scholarships

Minimum average of 65% for major subjects in the final year of undergraduate study


Only South African citizens and permanent residents are eligible for honours scholarships.

Applicants who do not have final year examination results at the time of application, must submit their applications without the marks. However, as soon as the exam results are made available by the university, the applicant must ensure that they send the marks to the Postgraduate Funding Office for the screening and scoring process.​

15 August​​ 2023

(for students who must undergo a financial means test)​

24 November 2023   

(for the rest of the applications)

Betina van der Merwe (betina@sun.ac.za)

SARAO Honours Scholarships

South African citizens and permanent residents

Bachelor of Science – Honours: in Physics and Electronics or Astronomy or Astrophysics or Computer Science


Bachelor of Science - Honours at NASSP (National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme)

31 July 2023​

Betina van der Merwe   (betina@sun.ac.za)

Master's General Scholarships

All fields of study

All citizenship

30 June 2023

Betina van der Merwe (betina@sun.ac.za)

Rozelle Petersen            (rnp@sun.ac.za)

Doctoral General Scholarships

All fields of study

All citizenship

30 June 2023

Betina van der Merwe (betina@sun.ac.za)

Rozelle Petersen    (rnp@sun.ac.za)

DAAD (Masters and Doctoral Scholarships)

Only South African citizens and permanent residents

Applicants should have a general interest in education and cultural exchange with Germany.

30 June 2023

Betina van der Merwe (betina@sun.ac.za)

Rozelle Petersen    (rnp@sun.ac.za)

NRF-MINDS (Doctoral Funding only)

Applicants must be a national of an African country and residing in any African country. Not for SA citizens.

The priority research fields are Water-Energy-Food Nexus; Smart Economy; African Heritage (People, Spaces and Settlements); Information and Communication Technologies; Artificial Intelligence and Robotics; and Health and Well-being.

Applicants must produce evidence of demonstrated leadership abilities or potential.

30 June 2023

Betina van der Merwe (betina@sun.ac.za)

Rozelle Petersen   (rnp@sun.ac.za)

SARAO Masters and Doctoral Scholarships

South African citizens and permanent residents, AND citizens of Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia

Students who wish to pursue postgraduate-level research relevant to the scientific and technical goals of the SKA and MeerKAT radio telescopes.​

All projects approved by SARAO for postgraduate research for 2024, as well as the contact details of the relevant supervisors, are available at: 


31 July​ 2023

Betina van der Merwe (betina@sun.ac.za)

Rozelle Petersen   (rnp@sun.ac.za)

Master's and Doctoral Extension Support

Applicants must be NRF scholarship-holders in 2023. ​​

Applicants applying for extension support at the master's level must have registered for their master's degree in 2022 or July 2021.

Applicants applying for extension support at the doctoral level must have registered for their doctoral degree in 2021 or July 2020.

18 August 2023

Betina van der Merwe (betina@sun.ac.za)

Rozelle Petersen   (rnp@sun.ac.za) ​