Unisa Bursary Applicationz- how to Request

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How to Request Unisa Bursary Application 2020

Call for applications: NRF honours and final-year BTech bursaries for 2020

The internal closing date is 25 November 2019.

The National Research Foundation (NRF) has opened the above call for applications for third-year undergraduate, BTech students.


The NRF is mandated by an Act of Parliament, the National Research Foundation Act (Act No. 23 of 1998) to “support and promote research through funding, human capacity development and the provision of the necessary research facilities, in order to facilitate the creation of knowledge, innovation and development in all fields of science and technology, including indigenous knowledge”. In support of this mandate, the NRF makes funds available to support honours’ and final-year BTech students for the 2020 academic year. The bursaries for qualifying applicants are released to South African universities depending on the availability of the budget as well as in line with the Ministerial guidelines for improving equity in the distribution of DST/NRF Bursaries and Fellowships (Ministerial Guidelines on Bursaries and Fellowships, 2013).

Objectives of the programme   

  • Support the development of a critical mass of globally competitive human resources in prioritised knowledge areas.
  • Promote and advance science, research and innovation.
  • Contribute towards the increase in the number and quality of South African postgraduate students (honours and final-year BTech) in all areas of (i) Science, (ii) Engineering and (iii) Technology and in the (iv) Social Sciences and (v) Humanities.
  • Build a pipeline of the next generation of skilled scientists and researchers in South Africa.
  • Effect transformation in the percentage representation of postgraduate students from designated groups, namely, black, female and persons with disabilities.
  • Support the development of postgraduate training to meet the specific needs of the country in conjunction with the higher education sector and industry.

Areas of support





The bursary is intended to support full-time honours and final-year BTech candidates to pursue research studies in all areas of (i) Science, (ii) Engineering and (iii) Technology and in the (iv) Social Sciences and (v) Humanities, at public universities and research institutions in South Africa.
The percentage of supported students will be 80% from the Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) disciplines, and 20 % from the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH).
  • Astronomy
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biotechnology
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Climate Change
  • Computer science
  • Drug Discovery and Development
  • Earth Sciences
  • Earth Observation
  • Ecology
  • Engineering
  • Functional Genomics
  • Global Change, Society and Sustainability
  • Indigenous Knowledge Systems
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Material Sciences
  • Marine Sciences
  • Medicinal Plant
  • Medical sciences
  • Nanotechnology
  • Nuclear Science
  • Nuclear Technologies in Medicine and Biosciences
  • Palaeosciences
  • Physics
  • Renewable Energy
  • Social Science and Humanities
  • Space Science

The percentage of supported students will be 80% from SET and 20% from the SSH disciplines.

  • Accounting
  • Actuarial Studies
  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Auditing
  • Biotechnology
  • Business Management
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Demography
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • Forestry
  • Financial Management
  • Geology
  • Health Science
  • Information Systems
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • Statistics
  • Sport Science
  • Transportation studies
  • Tourism
The bursary is intended to support honours and final-year BTech students, with a physical or mental impairment, to pursue research degrees in all areas of (i) Science, (ii) Engineering and (iii) Technology and in the (iv) Social Sciences and (v) Humanities, at public universities and research institutions in South Africa.


  • Bursaries are open to South African citizens and South African permanent residents who will register at a South African public university in 2020 on a full-time basis.
  • Applicants must be registered or temporarily registered at Unisa on 11 January 2020 for the application to be considered.

The following Students are NOT eligible to apply:

  • Foreign nationals
  • Applicants that already hold an honours or final-year BTech degree
  • Applicants pursuing an undergraduate degree, irrespective of the degree for which they are enrolled.
  • Students intending to pursue a postgraduate diploma qualification, including a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting.
  • Students who will be employed (full time or part time) in 2020 will not be considered.

Value of the award

  • Innovation (including DST Priority Research Areas), Scare Skills, NRF-Sasol-Inzalo, current DST-NRF Interns and Students with disability: R60 000
  • Freestanding: R30 000
  • NSFAS: R76 000

Application process 

All applications are submitted on the NRF online system: https://nrfsubmission.nrf.ac.za

Late or Incomplete applications will not be considered.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure the following:

  • The application is completely filled with the correct information.
  • To observe the institution’s internal closing date.

Click here for the application guide and click here for the framework document.

Posted by Mr Tau Moholoopa, Research Grants Assistant, Research Support Directorate.

Transport Education Training Authority bursaries

The Transport Education Training Authority awards bursaries annually for studies aligned to critical and scarce skills identified in the transport sector. Bursary awards are categorised according to sector requirements, with due consideration of the National Skills Development Strategy III, compiled by the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Click here for the bursary criteria, application procedure and application deadline.

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