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SANBI Postgraduate Bursaries available for 2016

Bursaries are available to conduct research on specific aspects of managing invasions as part of the Department of Environmental Affairs funded South African National Biodiversity Institute’s Invasive Species Programme (SANBI ISP). 


Projects will be considered providing they are relevant to one of SANBI ISP’s focus areas (detection, post-border risk assessment, and eradication planning).  Before submitting an application read Wilson et al. 2013 South African Journal of Science (available free at If you are unsure whether a project qualifies please contact us before submitting an application.

Who is eligible to apply?

Candidates must be pro-active, enthusiastic, and interested in doing excellent research that will help improve our understanding and management of biological invasions. Student bursaries are only available to South African citizens and will be awarded in line with national equity targets, but unsuccessful and ineligible bursary applicants may be considered for support with project running costs if their projects are closely aligned to SANBI ISP’s focus areas. Post-doctoral research bursaries are open to anyone who has completed their PhD in the last five years. Honours students need to apply to a university honours programme themselves and the bursary is conditional upon them securing their position in such a programme. Project running expenses are covered separately to the bursaries and vary depending on the project. Funds are only available to students and post-docs registered at universities in South Africa.

Value and Duration

Bursaries are to cover living expenses and university fees
  • Honours/4th year undergraduate: R 60,000 p.a. for 1 year
  • Masters: R 105,000 p.a. for 2 years*
  • Doctoral: R 135,000 p.a. for 3 years*
  • Post-doctoral: R 240,000 p.a. for 2 years
*Applicants for Masters or Doctoral bursaries can be considered for a one-year project development internship should the applicant be unlikely to finish their studies within the prescribed period of time. In such cases, a candidate may be offered an internship interview. A project development intern is expected to re-apply for a bursary the following year.


Each application is to be accompanied by a standard bursary application cover sheet (attached below). Applications must include a full CV; certified copies of ID and academic record; two letters of academic reference; an agreement from a prospective academic supervisor; a one-page project outline for Honours applications; and a two-page project outline for Masters, Doctoral, and Post-doctoral applications. Send all documents to with “SANBI ISP bursary application” in the subject line. 

Contact details

For academic queries: Prof John Wilson (
For questions about the application process: René du Toit (

Closing date

Friday 30 October 2015 (successful candidates will be notified by the end-November) 
SANBI reserves the right not to fill these bursaries.
If no response has been received within 21 days of the closing date, candidates may assume that their applications were unsuccessful.
Please note that any emails sent to SANBI must be under 10MB in size.

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