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

  • Doctoral candidates and Postdoctoral fellows who have obtained their PhD within the last five years
  • 60% females
  • 80% Blacks


  • To leverage innovation and research in science councils and national facilities and to implement science and technology-related skills development;
  • To enable Doctoral candidates and recently qualified Doctoral graduates to increase their experience in a research facility, in order to improve their prospects of employment in the science and technology system;
  • To attract and retain young scientists and professionals of the highest calibre to complement the influence that senior researchers exert on the current science and technology system; and
  • To support young scientists and professionals in basic and applied research, and to promote innovation.