DST-NRF Internship Programme


The Internship Programme, introduced in 2005, is a flagship intervention under the auspices of DST and NRF, which addresses skills shortages amongst young graduates in the science, engineering and technology (SET) sector. Interns are hosted for 12 months at various public and private sector institutions countrywide. The programme aims to attract and retain skilled human capital within the National System of Innovation, to transfer skills and competencies to the next generation of academic researchers in South Africa.
Within the programme, interns are provided a platform to showcase the skills learnt during the internship programme, and are exposed to a number of potential employers and researchers from various institutions. It is an evolving programme as relationships with new partners are forged. Recently, new internships in research management, in partnership with the South African Research Information Management System (SARIMA) were introduced.



The programme aims:

  • To establish and increase a pool of skilled human resources for the Public and Private Sector, Science Councils, Science Institutions and the National System of Innovation
  • To provide university graduates and post-graduates with work experience in Science, Engineering and Technology fields commensurate with their qualifications, thus increasing their chances of employment
  • To provide SET graduates with exposure to research and development projects that are critical to the National System of Innovation (NSI); and to attract them to the Science System


  • Unemployed SET graduates
  • 80% Blacks
  • 50% females
Human Capacity Programme