HCP Funding Programmes

The NRF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

BackgroundThe NRF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship aims to support Postdoctoral fellows in SET and SSH, and encourages them to spread their sphere of influence and learning by committing to projects at institutions other than those from where they graduated. Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis, taking the applicants' academic achievements and potential as researchers into account. Target groups

Space, Science and Technology


Government has made major investments in space science and technology infrastructure through projects such as the South African Large Telescope (SALT) and Meer Karoo Array Telescope/Square Kilometre Array (MeerKAT/SKA). The investments was a response to the demand of the necessary human capital to meet the the emerging national space priorities.
The DST has committed to a two-fold funding support for human and institutional capacity development.

Research Professional Development Programme

BackgroundThe DST-NRF Research Professional Development Programme (PDP) aims to accelerate the development of scientists and research professionals in key research areas. The programme focuses on young researchers conducting research in Science Councils and National Facilities. It is tailored to accelerate the development of scientists and researchers who are poised to contribute to South Africa’s innovation platforms. Target groups

NRF Freestanding Scholarships


The NRF offers financial support to students at Honours, Master's, Doctoral and Postdoctoral level. These bursaries and fellowships are made available to outstanding students in Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) and Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH). In addition, financial support to students through grant-holder linked bursaries is available, through which researc hers are able to nominate their own students for funding.
Target groups

National Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics

BackgroundBioinformatics skills are in short supply globally and have been identified as critical to the success of the South African government's Biotechnology strategy. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has recognized the need to support human capital and skills development initiatives for the growing bio-economy. The DST has therefore provided the principles for new strategic approach for bioinformatics and functional genomics support and development.

Innovation Postdoctoral Fellowships

BackgroundThe Innovation Postdoctoral Fellowship is a DST funding instrument that works towards building a strong knowledge economy across all sectors of the population, to drive innovation that will improve the lives of ordinary South Africans. The innovations that emerge from the research conducted by the programme’s Fellows will also boost the country’s standing in the international scientific community.This fellowship programme supports fellows conducting research in innovation areas to build and strengthen the Postdoctoral culture.