Nurturing Emerging Scholars Program 2021

The Nurturing Emerging Scholars Program (NESP) is the brainchild of the Department of Higher Education and Training. The funds are committed to encouraging promising students to pursue a career in academics. The scholarship targets undergraduates in their final year, as well as students pursuing an Honors or Master’s degree.

NESP works with multiple universities in the provision of attractive prospects in academia. The program requests its partnering institutions to identify high achieving students from different areas of study. These students are then targeted by the program, in the hopes of encouraging them towards an academic career.

The Nurturing Emerging Scholars Program 2021

The Nurturing Emerging Scholar’s Program offers its candidates the opportunity to further their education and enter the field of academia.  The three-year program includes a two year Master’s scholarship, which is immediately followed by a one-year academic internship. Students can choose from a range of established South African universities, depending on their subject of interest.

The primary objective of NESP is to ensure that highly qualified professionals remain a part of the academic field in the country. Their one-year internship is designed to help candidates develop their research and teaching abilities. The scholarship involves a full-time study position, with successful applicants expected to begin their studies at the start of the 2021 academic year.

The different universities and courses on offer with this scholarship program include:

UniversityScholarship Courses
Cape Peninsula University of Technology2.1 Emergency Medical care2.3 Electronic Communication and Satellite Technology2.4 Dental Technology
University of Pretoria 2.57 Civil Engineering (Geotechnical, Structural, Transportation, Water, Materials)2.59 Toxicology2.6 Heritage and Cultural Tourism
Rhodes University2.19 African Music Studies2.23 Financial Markets and Quantitative Economics2.24 Pharmacy
Nelson Mandela University2.16 Information Technology Software Engineering2.18 Law – Ocean Governance
University of KwaZulu-Natal2.44 Engineering (Electronic, Electrical and Computer)2.48 Civil Engineering
North West University2.1 Physical Science2.2 Movement Education
Tshwane University of Technology2.32 Performing Arts
Durban University of Technology2.10 Generic Health Sciences
University of Venda2.69 Industrial Psychology
Central University of Technology2.5 Design
Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University2.30 Clinical Pharmacy
University of Limpopo2.52 Haematology
University of the Free State2.65 Optometry

Nurturing Emerging Scholars Program 2021 Application and Requirements

The NESP scholarship is only available in its partner universities and for the courses outlined. Candidates need to meet a set of base requirements to qualify for consideration.  In addition, they will also be expected to meet the criteria outlined by their university of choice. Students applying for this scholarship should:

  • Be a South African citizen
  • Portray interest in an academic career
  • Be 35 years or younger
  • Be able to prove their eligibility for a postgraduate master’s course
  • Have attained an average grade of 65% in a Level 8 qualification program (Such as an Honors degree)
  • Be willing to commit to the program for the full three years (two years of study and one year of internship)

Application Process

Candidates who wish to apply for this opportunity can click on the name of the university they are interested in, which will direct them towards an online application platform. Students should note that the name and photo associated with their Google account will be recorded during the application process.  In this form, applicants will be required to provide:

  • Personal details (Contacts, full names and DOB)
  • Certified academic background
  • A copy of their ID
  • A brief Motivation Letter
  • Two academic references
  • A brief CV

Interested parties will be required to enter into a contractual obligation with the program. Internships will be offered by a recruiting university, and not necessarily where the two years Master’s was studied. Candidates who qualify for the scholarship will also enjoy the full support of a mentor throughout their time in the program.

Closing Date

21st February 2021

Contact Details

Address: “Staffing South Africa’s Universities” Framework Teaching and Learning Development Chief Directorate University Education Branch Department of Higher Education and Training Private Bag X174 Pretoria, Gauteng 0001 South Africa

Telephone Number: (+27) 312 5482/6233

E-mail Address: