South African National Biodiversity Institute – Joan Wrench Kirstenbosch Scholarship Fund


Call for postgraduate scholarships

The Joan Wrench Scholarship Fund was established in 2018 to recognise academic achievement of young professionals and to provide financial support to pursue practical training or postgraduate studies in relevant biodiversity fields.

The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) is pleased to announce a call for applications for Honours, Masters and Doctoral scholarships for full time studies in 2021.


Only projects relevant to SANBI’s mandate and identified as a priority will be considered. For specific projects click here. For other projects, please contact us before submitting an application to check if your proposal is suitable.


Candidates must be pro-active, enthusiastic, and interested in doing excellent research that can make a difference. These scholarships are only available to South African citizens and will be awarded in line with national equity targets. Students need to apply for university programmes themselves (only at universities in the Western Cape) and the scholarship is conditional upon them securing their placement in a postgraduate programme and have provisional acceptance from prospective academic supervisors, of which one should be from SANBI.


  • Existing studies will not be supported
  • Only full time studies will be supported
  • Registration for a second Honours, Masters or Doctoral degree will not be considered
  • Applicants must be South African citizens
  • Applicants must register at universities in the Western Cape
  • Applicants must reside in the Western Cape for the duration of the studies
  • Applicants must not be employed
  • Only research projects in line with the SANBI mandate will be considered
  • Applicants must not hold other scholarships/bursaries

Scholarship values: (to cover living expenses and university fees)

  • Honours: R96 000 for one year only
  • Masters: R144 000/year for two years
  • Doctoral: R180 000/year for three years

Project running expenses will be covered separately and will vary depending on the project.

Application procedure:

Each application is to be accompanied by a standard application cover sheet – attached.

Applications are to include a letter of interest; full CV; certified copies of academic record/transcript and highest qualification; as well as ID and driver’s license;  a project outline; two letters of academic reference; a letter from prospective supervsior indicating willingness to supervise and provisional registration from the university. Send all documents to with “Joan Wrench Kirstenbosch Scholarship studentships” in the subject line.

Contact details:

Dr Ferozah Conrad (;

Ms René du Toit (

Closing date: 31 August 2020 (successful candidates will be notified by 1 October 2020)

SANBI reserves the right not to fill these scholarships.

If no response has been received within 30 days of the closing date, candidates may assume that their applications were unsuccessful.