Public-private partnership initiative shows its commitment to enhancing the development of the next generation of scientists

Cape Town | The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) has received a R10 million boost to assist young South African scientists who are studying towards their PhDs in clinical and health research.

The funds, contributed by the Public Health Enhancement Fund (PHEF), will be allocated to the National Health Scholars Programme (NHSP) – a brainchild of the late Professor Bongani Mayosi. The renowned scientist spearheaded the NHSP, which commenced in 2013 as part of his vision to train at least 1,000 clinical and health PhD scholars "who will change the fortunes of clinical medicine in Africa for the next 100 years."

The NHSP is an initiative of the National Health Research Committee (NHRC) and is funded by the PHEF under the auspices of the National Department of Health. The SAMRC manages the Programme through our Research Capacity Development Division, which offers grants and scholarships to Masters, Doctoral and Postdoctoral students in medical and health sciences.  

“The NHSP is the gold standard of PhD development in South Africa,” says Dr Thabi Maitin, Division Manager at the SAMRC’s Research Capacity Development Division. “It is an honour to manage such a prestigious programme as it contributes to Professor Mayosi’s vision of developing the capacity of the next generation of South African scientists and leaders,” adds Dr Maitin.  

The NHSP is also funded by a group of 22 private healthcare companies under the umbrella of the PHEF. The Programme has awarded 90 scholarships since inception some years ago, 35 of whom have graduated. 


About the SAMRC’s Research Capacity Development Division (RCD)
This division of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) supports the growth of health research capacity by offering scholarships and grants to South African citizens who are pursuing their research careers in Medical and Health Sciences.

Eligible candidates:

  • Masters students
  • PhD students and Postdoctoral
  • Early-Career Investigators holding a PhD
  • Mid-Career Investigators

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

All scholarship applicants must be registered for the degree for which they seek funding.

For more information:

Left to right: Mr Stavros Nicolaou: Aspen and Public Health Enhancement Fund ( PHEF),
Professor Mayosi: Ex NHRC chair & NHSP Originator, Ms Carorine Pule: NHSP scholar, PhD at SUN,
Dr Ayanda Ntsaluba: Group CEO Discovery & Chief of Party PHEF,
Dr Thabi Maitin: SAMRC Scholarships Division head & NHSP manager, Mr Nick Buick: SAMRC CFO

Release date: 
Friday, August 17, 2018 - 16:04
Keletso Ratsela
Contact: Keletso Ratsela

Media Strategist
Tel: +27 71 214 5272