New PhD, MA and Honours bursaries for 2021

NRF Scholarship Call now open

The NRF has introduced a new NRF scholarship system for 2021 which has changed the process of applying for scholarships/bursaries for postgraduate research degrees linked to the SARChI Research Chairs. Interested students wishing to be considered for funding for postgraduate scholarships within my Research Chair in 2021 are now required to apply directly through the NRF website:


General information on the new policies and how to apply, as well as the closing dates for applications, are available at the following website:


NRF SARChI bursaries are intended primarily for South African citizens or permanent residents, and equity considerations apply

Applicants wishing to be considered for a postgraduate scholarship/bursary linked to my Research Chair must use the following Grant Unique Identifier (UID) on their applications under ‘Details of Degree (for Honours applications) and Reference Record (for Masters and Doctoral applications): 98765 .

Note that prospective students will also need to meet the requirements of Stellenbosch University and the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology for acceptance into their proposed degree programmes in order to be able to proceed to registration.

Closing dates for applications for postgraduate studies in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology in 2021 will be made available in the second half of the year.

Other opportunities

Potential students who do NOT qualify for one of the NRF SARChI bursaries on offer may still be considered for acceptance into the research programme in 2021, provided they meet the general University, departmental and research programme admissions criteria; have sufficient funds to cover their academic and living costs, AND there is sufficient supervisory capacity within the research programme to include them.

General university and departmental requirements

Details on how to apply for postgraduate studies at Stellenbosch are available on the University’s postgraduate website: https://www0.sun.ac.za/pgstudies/enrolment-at-stellenbosch-university.html

Departmental requirements for postgraduate studies can be found on the Department’s website: http://www0.sun.ac.za/sociology/

Applicants can also contact the Department’s Postgraduate Administrator, Ms Genay Dhelminie, for assistance; e-mail: genay@sun.ac.za .

Research Chair motivations
Potential postgraduate students wishing to join Prof Walker’s SARChI Research Chair research programme in 2021 should also prepare an individual motivation that should be e-mailed directly to Prof Walker at the following email address: cjwalker@sun.ac.za.

Potential applicants are also welcome to engage with Prof Walker to find out more about the programme (via e-mail in the first instance).

The motivation should contain the following:

1. A letter setting out the applicant’s background, interest in the research programme, what s/he would bring to the programme, a brief outline of one or possibly more potential research topics for development into a full research proposal if accepted, and any other information the applicant deems relevant in support of his/her application

2. An example of the applicant’s academic writing (eg an academic essay or Honours project or chapter from a thesis or academic article)

3. For applicants NOT currently or previously registered in the Department:
                             – an academic CV as well as copies of relevant academic transcripts
                             – the names and contact details of at least two academic referees.

Other documentation may also be requested if required.

It is not expected that applicants will have a fully developed research project in mind when applying. What will count more than a detailed proposal is that they are excited by and committed to the overall scope of the research programme, are interested in developing a research project that will fit within and contribute to the programme’s overall objectives, and demonstrate the potential to succeed academically within the framework of their chosen degree programme, including have the capacity to graduate within the applicable timeframes.