Fellowship Programs in South Africa 2024 – All You Need to Know to Win a South African Fellowship

Studying in Africa can be interesting. This is so because you learn two things simultaneously: Culture and Academics. In this piece, you will discover fellowship programs, jobs, and opportunities in Africa’s most interesting country: South Africa. These fellowship openings are for both citizens and international students in South Africa.

We have verified every information in this piece, and it’s up to date. It’s going to be an educative ride. Welcome aboard!!!

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Fellowship Programs, jobs and opportunities in South Africa 2021 - All You Need to Know to Win a South African Fellowship
Fellowship Program in South Africa


Known for its rich culture, South Africa is Africa’s most interesting country. Whenever you think of Africa, South Africa comes to mind. From the landscape and animals, South Africa gives you scenery of nature.

Amidst its interesting culture, lies within its shores are opportunities, programs, and platforms that support your academic and career goals. Amongst them are fellowship programs that will help boost your profession.

South African fellowships are open to both citizens and international students. Note that most fellowship opportunities are only for citizens and residents. This is not a “racist thing.” The fellowship openings for South Africans are so to improve the country’s economy and educational quality.

Without mincing words, choosing to go to South Africa for a fellowship program is not advisable. The reason is that South Africa has limited fellowship opportunities. With these limited opportunities, winning a fellowship program can be pretty difficult.

For countries with vast fellowship opportunities, check out Chicago and India.

Keep reading to discover more!!!

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Are Fellowship Programs Important?

Yes. A big Yes to that question. There is an increasing need for workers with experience besides a paper certificate. Fellowship programs are experiential learning programs that give you an avenue for international exposure and the opportunity to grow your skills and networks.

Before we proceed, take a look at the reasons why fellowship programs are important. Fellowship is a platform to;

  • Grow your leadership skills.
  • Work in actual life situations with professional teams (Hands on experience)
  • Sharpen your skills and knowledge in your field of study.
  • Have cultural competency through relationships with others.

Note: Fellowship Programs are open to graduates and mid-career professionals.

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Which Fellowship is South Africa Famous For?

South Africa streamlined its fellowship programs for postgraduates. This doesn’t mean you will not find fellowship programs for recent graduates or other fields. This means finding a postdoctoral fellowship program in South Africa is easier than other programs.

Who is a Postdoctoral Fellow?

Abbreviated as PDRF, a PDRF researches to benefit an individual or an organization.

What Does a Postdoctoral Fellowship Entail?

Like earlier stated, you can easily win Postdoctoral fellowship programs in South Africa. The reason is not far-fetched; postdoctoral are many in the country.

You can find Postdoctoral research fellowships via the following platforms

  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
  • Non-Governmental organizations
  • National Research Foundation (NRF)
  • The University’s Research Committee
  • Private Establishments and organizations
  • Other external foundations and agencies.

Note: These fellowship opportunities are non-taxable unless they comply with the guidelines for “open scholarships” set out by the South African Revenue Service. This means that; they must grant fellowship programs in South Africa without fringe benefits. Furthermore, they require no services from the successful candidate in return for the fellowship.

Read More: Chevening Fellowship| Everything You Need to Know to Win and Become a Chevener

List of Fellowship Programs in South Africa

  • CAS-HYI Fellowship
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
  • Harvard South Africa Fellowship Program
  • Rhodes University Postdoctoral Research Fellowships 2023
  • African Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
  • Machel-Mandela Fellowship Programme 2023 for young African graduates (Funded)
  • Jacobs Foundation Research Fellowship Program 2023 for early and mid-career researchers.
  • The Zukunftskolleg Konnect Fellowships 2023 for Early-Career Researchers from Developing Countries.
  • The SOZO Networks Youth in Development Boot Camp and Fellowship 2023.

1. Harvard South Africa Fellowship Program

Established in 1979 by President Derek Bok. Harvard South Africa Fellowship Program (HSAFP) came into existence to address the needs of South Africans who they denied access to advanced education by the apartheid system.

They target this fellowship program at mid-career professionals disadvantaged educationally by past laws and resource allocations in South Africa.

Winning the HSAFP is competitive and highly selective. Intending fellows must have shown considerable skill and expertise in their chosen fields. The examiners expect you to benefit from advanced training. Therefore, to win the HSAFP, you must have an A-grade GPA, your motivation letter must be impressive, and your interview.

HSAFP lasts for a year. You can complete your fellowship program in any of Harvard’s Professional Schools or the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. The school waives the tuition once they admit fellows.

HSAFP is a fully funded fellowship program. You need not worry about the administrative funds, stipends, and airfare. The Office of the President under Professor John Mugane pays for it.

Since its inception till date, HSAFP has awarded over 200 fellowships. The bad news is that it’s only open to CITIZENS OF SOUTH AFRICA.

Note: Do not apply if you’re not a South African citizen. It would be energy in the wrong direction.


Benefits of Fellowship Programs in South Africa

Fellowship Programs in South Africa 2021 for international students
Fellowship Programs in South Africa 2023 for international students

The fact is, fellowship is an avenue for you to earn and learn. Aside from the fact you get to put to work your theoretical knowledge to produce the theoretical result as taught in the four walls of the university, fellowship is a cashing out platform.

A fellowship is a great opportunity if you’re interested in public service. We strongly recommend you apply for fellowship programs per your field of study. This is unless you want to pursue your passion.

Fellows in South Africa enjoy the benefits mentioned above and more. They include;

  • Parking facilities
  • Library borrowing facilities
  • Membership in sports and other clubs
  • Access to edu-care and related services
  • Access to student health and counseling facilities
  • Access to student and/or staff housing, where such accommodation may be available. (Do not count on this!!!)

Read More: Fellowship Programs in Italy– Tips and All You Need to Know to Become an Italian Fellow.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fellowship in South Africa

Are Fellows Paid in South Africa?

Yes, fellows in South Africa are paid unless otherwise stated. Most fellows receive a salary equivalent to an entry-level employee. The amount might differ based on
Field of Expertise
Work location in South Africa, etc
In addition to the monetary compensation, you can enjoy other benefits as stated above. A wise fellow uses this opportunity to plan for the future.

Should Fellowships be Considered as Employment?

No, fellowship jobs and opportunities are not to be considered official employment. You’re part of an organization, academic institution, or private firm based on peculiar terms and conditions, unlike employment.

Chances are that you will be employed afterward. Your hard work, commitment, and dedication determine that.

Is Fellowship the same as Scholarships?

Scholarships differ from fellowship programs. Scholarships aim to give a scholar financial assistance, whereas fellowship gives you a platform to practice what you have learned. You can be on a scholarship and still qualify for a fellowship. They’re two different things.

What are Fellowship Jobs?

Most fellowship programs are advertised as “fellowship jobs.” Fellowship Jobs are the same as fellowship opportunities. Most companies and organizations advertise Fellowships opportunities via jobs.

One way to find a fellowship job is to look at sites that advertise such.


Fellowship in South Africa are adventurous. Learning the African culture will enrich your experience giving you a memorable experience. Before applying for a fellowship opportunity in South Africa, be clear if it’s open for international students if you’re not a resident.

We hope you found this piece enlightening. We hope you find a fellowship in South Africa for international students. Explore the site for more interesting topics

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