Rhodes University PhD/Doctoral Scholarships

Rhodes University PhD/Doctoral Scholarships

In Collaboration with the South African Humanities Deans’ Association (SAHUDA) The National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) invites applications from suitably qualified students to study full-time towards a doctoral degree in the humanities and social sciences at any of the participating South African public universities.

Programme Objective
The main objective of this programme is to promote scholarship in the humanities and social sciences in South Africa, specifically among designated groups and Historically Disadvantaged Institutions.


  • Only South African citizens from designated groups, with a preference to those from previously disadvantaged groups of the population.
  • Successful completion of a Master’s degree; or entering the first year of PhD/doctoral study; or currently registered for PhD study in first year of enrollment.
  • Not older than 45 years of age at the time of the application.

Applications are invited from ALL humanities and social science disciplines.

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Applications are especially encouraged from (but are not limited to) the following areas: Visual and Performing Arts; African Languages; History; Anthropology; Archeology; Economics; Political Science; Heritage Studies; Social Work; Indigenous Knowledge Systems; African Music and Musicology.

Batch applications from Professional Associations in the above-mentioned priority areas are also welcome.

Selection criteria

  • Academic merit.
  • Coherence of the proposed research project.
  • Feasibility of the project.
  • Contribution of the project to the body of knowledge in the field.
  • Confirmation by the prospective department/supervisor of your intention to enroll for a PhD-level programme of study at a participating university.

Value, period and conditions of the award
The value of the award is R132 000 in the first year. Annual renewals are subject to proof of satisfactory progress. The maximum funding period is three years.

Application procedure
Candidates should submit the following documentation for application:

  1. Online application form which is accessible through the link: https://nihss.ac.za/content/latest/call-applications-phddoctoral-scholarship
  2. 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. Two letters of recommendation from academics who are familiar with your work, of which one must be the supervisor of your Master’s thesis
  7. A certified copy of your full academic transcript/s
  8. A certified copy of your ID
  9. Sample copies of your best writing, e.g. a chapter from your Master’s study or any published academic work.
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Before submitting your application please bring the applications to the Rhodes University Postgrad Funding office, so we can go through them together.

All Call related queries can be directed to: scholarships@nihss.ac.za or 011 480 2326

All IT Support queries can be directed to: 011 480 2328

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

List of All Rhodes University Postgraduate Scholarships, Bursaries and Awards

Rhodes University NSFAS Application

List of Other Rhodes University  Bursaries , Loans and Scholarships

NSFAS Application for Universities and Colleges in South Africa

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