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.

Vaccinology Workshop for Early-Career Scientists (VWECS)

Date: 18-21 October 2021
Venue: SAMRC Cape Town

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

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


Bongani Mayosi National Health Scholars ProgrammeThe Bongani Mayosi National Health Scholars Programme is an initiative of the National Health Research Committee (NHRC). The Bongani Mayosi National Health Scholars Programme 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 Bongani Mayosi National Health Scholars Programme was funded in 2013.

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

Doctor Gillian Dumsile MahumaneRead 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 2019, five universities within South Africa (namely; MUT, SMU, UKZN, WITS and WSU) and seven SAMRC research units and hosted/funded entities namely; Cochrane South Africa, Health Systems Research Unit, HIV Prevention Research Unit, Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit, Afrigen Biologics, Cape Town HVTN Immunology Laboratory and CAPRISA are hosting scholars participating on the program.

The value of the scholarship is R300 000.00 for completion of the Master degree. The next request for applications (RFA) will be next year 2020 for 2021 intake

For more information: contact dedicared administrator:
Colleen Van Wyk at - call + 27 21 938 0384

Currently, RCD is not accepting any new applications submitted under the IMVACC programme.   While we remain committed in building and strengthening capacity within the  field of Vaccine Development. We are currently evaluating this funding instrument in order to improve its effectiveness.

Funding of the new application is set to resume on October 2021.

Dr Duduzile Ndwandwe – IMVACC Scholar (3rd Cohort, 2019 . 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:
Colleen Van Wyk at - call + 27 21 938 0384

SAMRC Clinician Researcher MBChB PhD Programme scholars. Read more.

Dr Cosnet Lerato Rametse. 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:
Philistia Joshua at or call 021 9380873

Dr Janan Dietrich. 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:
Philistia Joshua at or call 021 9380873

Prof Lizzy Netshikweta, a PI from the university of Venda, visited the SAMRC. 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:
Philistia Joshua at or call 021 9380873

Our PI, Prof Nchabeleng, at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University. Read more.

Our PI, Prof Lizzy Netshikweta, from the University of Venda. 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:
Colleen van Wyk at - call + 27 21 938 0384

Neziswa Titi. Read more.


Building Academic Partnerships for Economic Development (BAPED) is a Partnership between The National Treasury (IDC), Enable (ex-Belgian Technical Cooperation) and the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC). The Purpose of BAPED is to provide Master and Doctoral Scholarships for South African citizens or permanent residents and under 40 years of age in the field of Biostatistics at a South African University. Potential applicants for the Master Scholarships should be in possession of at least an Honours degree in Mathematical Statistics, Applied Statistics or Mathematics  while for the doctoral scholarships a masters degree in these fields are necessary.  The value of the scholarships is dependent on exchange value and costs of travel variations but is at least the following:

  • Master: R140 000.00 plus R20 000.00 = R160 000.00 p.a.
  • PhD: R180 000.00 plus R20 000.00 = R200 000.00 p.a.

The scholarship provides for

  • Tuition costs
  • A monthly stipend to cover accommodation and living expenses.
  • Textbooks and study materials
  • Attendance at relevant conferences (flights, accommodation, conference registration fees).
For more information contact dedicated administrator:
Colleen van Wyk at or call 021-938 0384

Yusentha Balakrishna, MSc Statistics, PhD student. Read more.

Early Career Scientist Convention



Division Manager: Dr Thabi Maitin