Calls for Application: Opportunities in the Humanities and Social Sciences


The National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) has partnered with the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) to develop the African Pathways Programme through doctoral scholarships.

The aim of the programme is in line with the mandates of the institute and council to promote and facilitate research in the humanities and social sciences as well as to explore new vistas in pan-African scholarship.

Applications are invited from suitably qualified non-South African students to study full-time towards a doctoral degree in the humanities and social sciences at South African public universities.

The call will be open to students whose research is focused on their country or a comparative study in the following broad themes:

  • Pre and post-colonial states, institutions and local experiences.
  • Histories and legacies of liberation struggles.
  • Regional integration, new development and economic alter natives.
  • International political economy and the role of African humanities.
  • Heritage, identity and culture (including literature, performance, art and musicology).
  • Eligibility

  • Only non-South African citizens (based in any African country) from designated groups, with a preference to women.
  • Not older than 45 years old at the time of the application.
  • A successful completion of a master’s degree, or entering the first year of PhD/doctoral study following an upgrade from a master’s registration, or registered for PhD study in first year of enrolment.
  • Value, period and conditions of the award

    The value of the scholarship award is R132 000 per annum, tenable for three (3) years.

    Selection criteria

  • Academic merit.
  • Coherence and feasibility of the proposed research project.
  • Contribution of the project to the body of knowledge.
  • Application procedure

    Candidates should submit the following documentation for application:

    1. Online application form, which is accessible through the link: student-form

    Letter of confirmation by the prospective department or supervisor that you will be admitted to the participating university for registration for PhD study.

    3. A motivation letter (not longer than one A4 page – 500 words).

    4. A recent intellectual autobiography: a narrative of the major influences in your intellectual life (not longer than one A4 page – 500 words).

    5. A research proposal outlining the problem statement, methodology, feasibility of your study and the contribution it will make to the body of knowledge in the particular field of study.

    6. A certified copy of your full academic transcript/s.

    7. A certified copy of your passport.

    8. Sample copies of your best writing, e.g. a chapter from your Master’s study or any published academic work.

    9. Two letters of recommendation from academics who are familiar with your work, of which one must be the supervisor of your Master’s thesis. Letters of recommendation can be uploaded by the relevant academic at the following link:

    Please direct all enquiries to Ms June-Rose Ngcobo at: [email protected]


    The National Institute for the Humanities and the Social Sciences (NIHSS) and the South African BRICS Think Tank (SABTT) are pleased to invite suitably qualified researchers and postgraduate students in South African universities and research institutes to apply for the BRICS Researching and Teaching Mobility Grants.

    The objectives of the BRICS research and teaching initiative are to provide a platform for researchers and academics to exchange ideas and to generate evidence-based policy recommendations in the identified BRICS thematic areas.

    These themes are:

  • Promoting cooperation for economic growth and development.
  • The maintaining of peace and security.
  • Social justice, sustainable development and quality of life.
  • Political and economic governance.
  • Achieving progress by sharing knowledge and innovation.
  • Funding in this programme will support South African researchers and academics as well as postgraduate students (master’s and doctoral) undertaking research and teaching endeavours at BRICS universities and research institutes. The fund also supports academics and researchers from other BRICS universities and research institutes conducting mobility activities in South African universities and research institutes. Funds will be reserved for use in one financial year.


  • Only South African citizens are eligible to apply.
  • Full-time post graduate students must currently be registered for either a Master’s or Doctoral programme in a South African public university.
  • BRICS-based academics and researchers must be invited by a South African based academic or researcher.
  • Selection criteria

  • Applications will be considered on the basis of scientific and technical merit.
  • Applications should outline the framework for establishing long-term collaborations with BRICS researchers and institutions of choice.
  • The proposal should promote equality and redress/capacity-building in the case the researcher applies for training of South African postgraduate students (master’s and doctoral).
  • Applicants responding to this call should submit the following documentation for application:

    1. Online application form, which is accessible through the link:

    2. A comprehensive CV.

    3. Motivational letter (not longer than one A4 page – 500 words).

    4. Copy of ID/Passport.

    5. Proof of Registration.

    6. Letter of acceptance of invite from a BRICS researcher.

    7. Letter of recommendation from the host university.

    8. An itemised budget.

    9. A letter of recommendation from the home university and provisional acceptance from the BRICS institution in the case of postgraduate students. This may only be uploaded by the student’s supervisor at the following link:

    Please direct all enquiries to Dr Elias Phaahla at: [email protected]



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