Funding opportunities

For postgraduate applicants



There are several bursary, scholarship and assistantship opportunities available every year that post graduate students are encouraged to apply for. A compilation of financial assistance and scholarship opportunities for Wits postgraduate students can be found here. Please check the deadlines for applications and ensure you apply online for funding in time.

Included in the compilation above is the university's Postgraduate Merit Award system that can provide funding that covers the tuition fees of successful applicants. The deadline for Postgraduate Merit Award applications is 31 October 2016: please visit

Applications for National Research Foundation (NRF) funding, mentioned in the compilation booklet linked to above, must be submitted via the NRF Online system at NRF scholarship applications for 2017 funding open on 1 July and the closing date is 30 November. The NRF has a number of videos on YouTube about their funding options. Please consult this guide to using the NRF website.

Applications for Hons degree funding from the National Students Financial Assistance Scheme (NSFAS) close on 30 November, and should be done through the university's applications portal: see

Other funding opportunities that are closed for application are:

  1. The National Arts Council Bursary for Postgraduate Studies 2017 Closing date 9 September
  2. Margaret McNamara Scholarships for Women Closing date 15 September
  3. NIHSS African Pathways PhD Scholarships for non-South African Africans Closing date 30 September Applicatons are invited - by the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) in partnership with the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) - 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. Enquiries: Ms June-Rose Ngcobo

Other funding opportunities for 2017 that have already closed applications:

Call from the Canon Collins Trust:

  1. Canon Collins Scholarships for Postgraduate Studies in South Africa Closing date 15 August 

Calls from the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Science for two types of funding:

  1. PhD/Doctoral Scholarships Closing date 31 July Application Form. Enquiries: Ms June-Rose Ngcobo
  2. The African Pathways Programme Mobility Initiative will support South African researchers and postgraduate students who undertake research and teaching endeavours at non-South African universities across the African continent. Non-South African scholars from the rest of the African continent may be considered for the mobility grant only upon invitation by a South African scholar from any of the participating universities:  Teaching and Research Mobility Grant (for a mobility period of one to three months) Closing date 31 July: Application Form. Enquiries: Dr Elias Phaahla

Call from the NRF/RISA (Research and Innovation Support and Advancement):

  1. Freestanding, Innovation and Scarce Skills Development Fund Masters and Doctoral Scholarships Wits closing date for this was 15 July 2016. A summary about these scholarships is here. Please consult this guide to using the NRF website.
Photograph: University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (