The major sources of merit-based awards are the 2 state-funded research councils:

National Research Foundation

The NRF provides various funding opportunities for postgraduate honours, master’s and doctoral students intending to study at UCT.

The DSI and NRF are pleased to announce a call for new applications for DSI-NRF Postgraduate Student Funding for the academic year 2023. All continuing students who are eligible for a second or third year of funding must submit a Progress Report and not a new application.

The NRF minimum academic requirement for postgraduate funding is 65%. The entry age requirement is 28, 30 and 32 years or younger for honours, master’s and doctoral studies respectively, in the year of application, regardless of first year of registration. Successful applicants will be funded either at Full Cost of Study (FCS) or Partial Cost of Study (PCS).

2023 application closing dates
Level of study Closing dates
Honours 20 November 2022
First-time Master’s 8 July 2022
First-time Doctoral 8 July 2022
Master’s and Doctoral Extension Support 15 August 2022


All the postgraduate students will be expected to apply online on the NRF Connect system. No manual applications will be accepted.

Please refer to the application and funding guide and framework documents (as listed below) when completing the online application form at every step of the process.

Document direct links

Medical Research Council (MRC)

For more information regarding the requirements for the MRC's 2 scholarships, please visit the Medical Research Council's website.