MINDS Doctoral Scholarship 2023 Batch For African Students – National Research Foundation (NRF)

Calls for new applicants have been made by the DSI and NRF for MINDS Doctoral Scholarship, 2023 academic year. Current students who are eligible for a second or third year of the MINDS Doctoral Scholarship fund are required to submit a Progress Report and not necessarily a new application.

MINDS Doctoral Scholarship

MINDS Doctoral Scholarship seeks to identify academically gifted African scholars from resource-challenged backgrounds to pursue postgraduate study in some of the best universities across the continent.

MINDS will support Over 40 Master’s over a period of five years to study at African universities outside their country of origin, while the NRF will fund 50 Doctoral scholars coming from the rest of the continent based at South African universities.

About MINDS Doctoral Scholarship

MINDS is the short form for (Mandela Institute for Development Studies), it is an Africa-wide think tank that offers platforms for dialogue, information dissemination, and networking.

MINDS supports programs that are underpinned by rigorous research into all aspects of African Heritage, in order to shape policy and practice on critical issues of governance, integrated economic development, and the evolution of African institutions.

Through the MINDS Doctoral Scholarship,  MINDS seeks to address the short, medium, and long-term developmental challenges facing Africa in a holistic and comprehensive manner.

About NRF

National Research Foundation (NRF) is an independent body that was established in line with the National Research Foundation Act. It has a mandate is to support and promote research through funding, human resource development, and the provision of research facilities to enhance the creation of knowledge, and innovation in the fields of science and technology.

Eligibility Criteria for MINDS Doctoral Scholarship

Being interested in applying for this scholarship is not enough, you must ensure that you meet the criteria below:

  • Applicants must be a citizen of an African country other than SA, residing in any African country
  • Applicant must be 32 years of age and or younger by 31 December in the year of application for the doctoral scholarship and
  • The Candidate applying for MINDS Doctoral Scholarship Must have the intention to pursue full-time doctoral studies with effect from the following academic year of the year of application at a SA public university.
  • Candidates must Produce evidence of demonstrated leadership abilities or requirements set in the application form
  • Applicants must submit a complete online application form with the required supporting documentation.

How to Apply for MINDS Doctoral Scholarship

To apply for the MINDS Doctoral Scholarship, take note of the following guidelines:

  • All the postgraduate students are expected to apply to the NRF Connect system via the link below: https://nrfconnect.nrf.ac.za/.
  • Once the link opens, click the green ID icon to Login or Register
  • Ensure you have the following documents listed below scanned, saved, and ready for uploading.
  • Documents uploaded must be in PDF format with each attachment not exceeding 2MB in size.

Needed Documents

  • One copy of the data/ bio page of your passport.
  • An academic transcript/ results slip of the last two years of study.
  • An official acceptance letter from the university containing:
  1. Addressed to the applicant.
  2. The accepted study degree for the applicant
  3. The duration of the course
  • Study permit or visa or proof of application.
  • Good written CV/ Resume of not more than four (4) single-sided pages.
  • 2 reference letters (max. 3 pages each) showing applicants’ demonstration of integrity, their competency and potential as a leader, and their commitment to the development of the African continent.

Note:  Manual applications will not be accepted.

Details of MINDS Doctoral Scholarship

  • Eligible Fields: African Heritage; Water-Energy-Food Nexus; Smart Economy; ICT; Artificial Intelligence and Robotics; and Health.
  • Application Deadline: July 8, 2022
  • Type of Scholarship: Doctoral
  • Eligible Countries: South African students and International
  • Awards to be taken: In South Africa
  • Number of Scholarship given: 50
  • Duration of program: 3 years

The benefit of MINDS Doctoral Scholarship

The scholarship will cover the Full Cost of Study (FCS) or Partial Cost of Study (PCS).

Best of luck!



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