Apply Now | Higher Education & Human Development (HEHD) Research Programme Doctoral Fellowship South Africa – 2023

The SARChI Chair in Higher Education and Human Development Research Programme offers a limited number of Doctoral Fellowship for South African and international students/fellows. 

Application Deadline: 30th September 2022. 

Eligible Countries: South Africa, International

To be Taken at (Country): University of the Free State, South Africa

About the Award: The SARChI Chair in Higher Education and Human Development Research Programme (HEHD) at the University of the Free State invites applications from qualified, motivated and talented candidates for doctoral scholarships. In HEHD we conduct theoretical and empirical research into human development applied to the challenges of social justice in higher education and development, in collaboration with international partners. Under the leadership of Professor Melanie Walker, SARChI Chair in Higher Education and Human Development, HEHD undertakes a suite of mixed methods research projects and graduate research.
Ideally, Doctoral Research Fellows will have conducted research in education and development, development studies, higher education studies or a related discipline such as philosophy, politics, and sociology for their Masters or Honours degree. The 2022 research areas may include, but are not limited to:

  • Inclusion/exclusion in African Higher education
  • International Student Mobility
  • Refugees in Higher Education
  • University and Community Collaborations
  • Educational Technology in Higher Education
  • Participatory Methods in Higher Education Research
  • Private higher education in Africa- comparative perspectives

Type: Doctoral

Eligibility: The Higher Education & Human Development fellowship is open to all South African and foreign nationals for full-time research at the University of the Free State. Prospective fellows need to meet the following criteria:

  1. Graduated with a master’s degree in a relevant discipline within the last five years and a minimum average grade of 70%.
  2. Successful applicants may not hold full-time salaried employment during the fellowship.
  3. Successful applicants must be able to relocate to the UFS for the duration of the fellowship.
  4. Applicants may also need to provide a SAQA verification certificate.
  1. Conduct doctoral research on human development and higher education.
  2.  Register and reside as a full-time doctoral research fellow at the UFS and participate in relevant HEHD activities and the School of Postgraduate Studies

Number of Awards: 2

Value of Award: The Higher Education & Human Development fellowship is valued at R180 000 annually including R30 000 for research expenses. Note that registration fees are deducted annually.


  • Each fellow will receive an annual stipend of R250 000, which includes research expenses of R30 000pa. The stipend is paid in advance in quarterly instalments.
  • Unless already resident in Bloemfontein, each fellow will normally have travel paid from their home city or home country to the UFS at the start of the fellowship. For those who stay for at least one year a return ticket to their home city/country will be paid by the HEHD Research Programme.

Duration of Award: 3 years

How to Apply for Higher Education & Human Development (HEHD) Research Fellowship: Please email the following documentation by 30 September 2022 to Dr Faith Mkwananzi via 

i. Motivation letter
ii. A 6-10 page outline of your proposed doctoral research including aim, research questions, a preliminary literature review, and methods.
iii. CV including any research publications, conference papers and grants received
iv. Transcripts of academic record and copy of Masters degree certificate
v. PDF copy of Masters Thesis
vi. Copy of ID document (or copy of passport in the case of foreign applicants)
vii. Contact details of two academic referees who have taught/supervised the candidate.
Please include “Doctoral Scholarship HEHD” in your subject line.

  • It is important to go through all application requirements in the Award Webpage (see Link below) before applying.


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