Call for Applicants for SASAC Doctoral Scholarships for Research using a Systems Analysis Methodology – 2018

The Southern African Systems Analysis Centre (SASAC), launched in November 2011 is a multi-year initiative coordinated by the University of the Western Cape, in partnership with the Universities’ of Limpopo and the Witwatersrand, and Stellenbosch. This initiative takes cognisance of additional and multi-level systems analysis capacity interventions, and a comprehensive approach to policy related activities in South- and Southern Africa. SASAC has dedicated three-year bursaries for South African and Africa PhD students based at a South African university to complete their studies with a supervisor from South Africa, experienced in systems analysis, possibly in collaboration with a co-supervisor associated with IIASA.

SASAC PhD Programme Objective

The aim of the SASAC PhD programme is to provide an opportunity for excellent young doctoral students to advance their research under the direct supervision of senior scientists from South African and UK-based research and higher education institutions and IIASA, and at the same time contribute to IIASA’s ongoing scientific agenda and to the DST’s strategic research agenda as documented in the Grand Challenges. The SASAC PhD curriculum will provide young and emerging researchers with the following benefits:

  • A three-year scholarship for 20 South African citizens and permanent residents, and 10 African PhD students based at South African universities.
  • 10 of these scholarships will be awarded to students being co-supervised by a UK research or higher education institution, including mobility grants to support collaboration on the PhD study.
  • A capacity development intervention during the early stage of their PhD studies.
  • Supervision by experienced South African/African and IIASA/UK scientists/alumni, as well as contributing to collaborative research by the supervising senior scientists.
  • Broadening their research into interdisciplinary and trans-boundary research relevant to national, regional, and global needs.
  • Opportunities for research publications in internationally accredited/recognised scientific journals in collaboration with IIASA and senior South African scientists.
  • Exposure to international research through engagements with national and international experts participating in the programme and seminar series.
  • Exposure to local, national, regional and international research programmes.
  • Opportunities to build long-lasting collaborative contacts with the senior supervisors and with other programme participants.

Application Procedure

  • Supervisors should submit applications electronically on the NRF Online Submission System at
  • Register/Log in using your ID number/Passport number and password
  • Go to ‘My Applications’
  • Select ‘Create Application’
  • Select the call for which you are applying for: SASAC Call for PhD Bursaries 2018
  • Click on the ‘Apply’ icon on the right
  • Complete all the compulsory sections and the non-compulsory sections that are relevant to you
  • Please attach the necessary documents in PDF format:

o   South Africans:  Copy of ID document or proof of permanent residence (if applicable) and certified academic transcripts

o   African students: Copy of passport and certified academic transcripts

o   Letter of Support from UK HE or research institution (for those applying for the UK co-supervised PhD opportunity)

  • Should you not follow the guidelines for attaching the necessary supporting documents, your application may not be considered
  • Remember to submit your application on completion
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applications must be submitted by 29 September 2017. No late applications will be accepted.


Contact details                                                                                                                                                    

Ms Gugu Dube

Professional Officer

Human and Infrastructure Capacity Development (HICD)


Tel: +27 12 481 4169


For those enquiring regarding the UK co-supervised PhD opportunity:

Ms Anisa Khan

British Council Newton Fund Programme Manager 

Tel: +27 11 560 9312

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