Scholarships and Research Grant Funding

The SAMRC’s Research Capacity Development (RCD) Division supports the growth of health research capacity by offering scholarships to South African citizens studying towards their Masters, PhDs and Post-doctoral qualifications in Medical and Health Sciences.

The Division also focuses on strengthening capacity development within previously under-resourced universities to ensure that they are able to produce scientific knowledge for the advancement of health.

All applications for SAMRC funding undergo a review process. Only the very best candidates and/or research projects receive funding.

General announcement

On behalf of the Division Manager, kindly receive the information below:

Attention: National Health Scholars Program ( NHSP) applicant and participant in the recent Request For Applications ( RFA) 2018 for 2019 Intake

We thank you for participating in the recent RFA ring fenced for the research area of  Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). 

Because of changes in human resources in the Division, we wish to ensure that all applicants have indeed received a response by email of the outcome of their application from Ms Colleen van Wyk If you have not received an email of your outcome, please immediately contact Ms van Wyk at : forwarding your original email that you sent to Ms Zonke with your application.

Such confirmation by forwarded email will be received by our office from today till 17th January 2019. Thereafter,  no further communication on this recent RFA will be entered into and the RFA process will be considered officially closed.

Kindly note that Ms Pumla Zonke previous administrator of the National Health Scholars Program (NHSP) is no longer working for SAMRC’s Division of Research Capacity Development (RCD). In the interim, Ms Colleen Van Wyk, mentioned above is handling all issues relating to the NHSP until further notice.

Outcome of NHSP 2018 RFA for 2019 intake have been released. For queries you may  contact Ms Colleen Van Wyk via eMail at

All scholarship applicants must be registered for the degree they are seeking funding for.


The National Health Scholars Programme (NHSP) is an initiative of the National Health Research Committee (NHRC). The NHSP is funded by the Public Health Enhancement Fund (PHEF) under the auspices of the National Department of Health (NDoH)

There is no set amount of scholarship value. The scholarship value  is determined by establishing how much the SA Government would pay the candidate if they were full time employed with the qualifications they currently hold. Thus the scholarship value  is equivalent to the after-tax take-home pay of the candidate, based on the salary scales of the relevant post (or equivalent) in the National Department of Health.

Eligible candidates: the priority is to focus on professions in which research skills are scarce or still being developed such as Biostatistics, Nursing, Health Economics, Health Systems  etc as well as to strengthen under represented designated groups, institutions and research tracks, on PhDs and where compelling Masters degrees.

The first group of National Health Scholars Program was funded in 2013.

For more information contact the Interim Administrator:
Colleen Van Wyk at or call 021 938 0384

Ms Hlengiwe Sacolo is a beneficiary of the NHSP. Read more.


The SAMRC Researcher Development Grant is a strategic Staff PhD Development Grant.

The value is R250 000.00 once off to fund the last year of a PhD.

Application process is initiated by email to Dr Maitin stating intension to apply for support. Guidance will be provided after initial profiling.

For more information contact dedicated administrator or call 021 938 0945

 Ms Stella Mokitimi is one of the beneficiaries in the Researcher Development Grant category in 2018. Read more.


The SAMRC has collaborated with the Government of Switzerland via the Swiss Vaccine Research Institute (SVRC) and the University of Lausanne (UL) in a capacity development program in the research field of Vaccine Development. This is an e-learning facilitated program.  As at November five (5) universities within South Africa and three SAMRC research units which are hosting scholars participating on the program, namely MUT, SMU, UKZN, WITS, WSU and Cochrane South Africa, Health Systems Research Unit and HIV Prevention Research Unit.

The value of the scholarship is R295 000.00 for completion of the Master degree. The next request for applications (RFA) will be next year 2019 for 2020 intake.

For more information: contact dedicared administrator:
Thobile Mabuya at or call  021 938 0432

Dr Thandeka Khoza is one of the beneficiaries of the IMVACC Programme. Read more.


There is a dearth of MBChB or D.D.S graduates that read for PhD research degrees. The SAMRC continues to strengthen efforts that take cognizance of this paucity of Clinician researchers in South Africa.

The value of the scholarship is R500 000.00 p.a per scholar up to maximum of 4 yrs.

For more information: contact dedicared administrator:
Thobile Mabuya at or call  021 938 0432

Dr Andre Rose, completed his PhD in July 2018. Read more.


The purpose of the research fellowship is to contribute and assist in accelerating the building of intramural research capacity and scientific leadership within the SAMRC. This is done by creating opportunities for intramural research units within the SAMRC to host post-doctoral scientist that has demonstrated a potential to become established researcher.

The value of the grant is R350 000.00 p.a per fellow for 3 years with an option to extend to further 2 years subject to satisfactory performance and the availability of funds.

As at February 2018, Research Capacity Development (RCD) Division boasts six units hosting a total of fourteen post-doctoral fellows. The host research units are:  Centre for Tuberculosis Research Unit (TBRU), Biomedical Research Innovation Platform (BRIP), Health Systems Research Unit (HSRU), Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Research Unit (ATODRU), Cochrane South Africa and Gender and Health Research Unit (GHRU).

For more information: contact dedicated administrator:
Thobile Mabuya at or call  021 938 0432

Dr Andile Ngwane, is a junior molecular biologist in the Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics of the University of Stellenbosch and currently funded under the SAMRC Intramural Postdoctoral Programme. Read more.


This is a strategic initiative of the President of the SAMRC. The objective of the project is for the SAMRC to increase its footprint nationally to include all strata of universities - particularly to include under resourced universities otherwise referred to as Historically Disadvantaged Institutions (HDIs). To date, eight universities have been invited for participation under this initiative, namely: i) University of Limpopo, ii) University of Venda, iii) University of Zululand, iv) University of Fort Hare, v) Walter Sisulu University, vi) University of the Western Cape, vii) Mangosutho University of Technology and viii) Sefako Makgatho University.

Each university is awarded one million rand per financial year ) for five years.  Currently there are 16 funded PIs hosted in the eight universities.

For more information contact dedicated administrator: or call 021 9380873

Prof Les Mampuru is the PI of the RCDI (HDI) Programme hosted at the University of Limpopo. Read more.


Postgraduate scholars are identified and supervised by a PI funded under the RCDI project. The scholars do research towards an MSc or PhD using the structure provided by the funded RCDI project and contributing to the main aim and objectives of the project Post graduate scholars are awarded scholarships worth R160 000.00 pa for MSc and R200 000.00 pa for PhD to degree completion.

Application process is by identification and invitation by RCDI funded PI at the HDI.

For more information contact dedicated administrator: or call 021 9380873

Mr Vuyolwethu Mbombela a MSc student at Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha is currently  a Post-Grad Scholar on the RCDI postgraduate scholarship programme. Read more.


The MCSP is a strategic initiative of the President of the SAMRC. The objective of the project is the establishment of a 2-year pilot mid-career scientist programme to fast-track and transition mid-career scientists to independent researchers who will become equipped to write their own grants and thereby secure their own salary and research support. The MCSP will invest in promising mid-career scientists to facilitate their retention in the public sector in areas of strategic interest to both the NDoH and the SAMRC.

To date, five mid-career scientists have been invited for participation under this project, namely : i) University of Cape Town, ii) University of Western Cape, iii) Walter Sisulu University, VI) Sefako Makgatho University and V) University of Stellenbosch.

Each mid-career scientist is awarded one million two hundred fifty rand for the first year (R1 250 000.00per FY) and one million five hundred rand for the second year (R1 500 000.00 per FY)

For more information contact dedicated administrator: or call 021 9380873

Prof Kebogile Mokwena is the head of the  Department of Public Health at Sefako Makgatho University and a PI on the Mid-Career Scientist Program. Read more.


Funding for MSc or PhD.  This program focuses on funding Generic Black Candidates (African Black, Indian, Coloured and Asian) whose research supervisors are employees or researchers at SAMRC -  working for the SAMRC as researchers within SAMRC intra or extra mural research units. The research supervisor may also be an SAMRC funded Principal Investigator working as a research scientist at any of the universities in South Africa.

The SAMRC Internship Scholarship Programme has renewed 18 beneficiaries that will be continuing in the 2018/19 Financial Year

For more information contact dedicated administrator:  call 021 9380911/0945

Dr Nicole Cardoso completed her PhD in August 2018 in the SAMRC Internship Scholarship Program. Read more.

Early Career Scientist Convention



Division Manager: Dr Thabi Maitin