Archive and Public Culture Postgraduate Bursaries 2021

21 May 2020 - 13:00


Deadline approaching for NRF Masters and Doctoral funding!!
Procedural changes in the NRF mean that applications for financial support for Masters and Doctoral students through the Chair for 2021 need to be finalised by the end of July 2020. Students who are planning to apply are advised to get their initial applications in to the Archive and Public Culture research administration (email address below) as soon as possible, not later than 14 July 2020. 


The NRF-funded South African Research Chair in Archive and Public Culture, Faculty of Humanities, University of Cape Town, offers a number of bursaries each year to postgraduate students at Honours, Masters, Doctoral and post-Doctoral  level. 

The fellowships and bursaries are available to students in any discipline who are registered or will register for study at UCT and are interested in pursuing topics relevant to the focus of the Chair on the interrogation of the intersection and co-production of archive and discourse. See Students who apply for MAs by coursework and minor dissertation, such as the MA History in Public Life, are also eligible to apply for this funding. 

The Chair and projects associated with the Chair offer a dynamic and supportive environment for students that includes reading groups, research development workshops, local and international networks and publication projects, as well as work/study opportunities in digital archival curation projects.  

Two areas of special interest supported by the Chair are:    

  • The history of southern Africa in the late independent era. This includes, but is not confined to, research into ideas, concepts, currents of thought, expertises and praxis that existed in southern African societies in periods spanning some three hundred years before colonialism. Students undertaking research in this area can expect to engage innovative theoretical and methodological work. An ability to work with materials in vernacular languages is a necessary prerequisite.
  • The digital humanities and new epistemologies. A key focus in this area is on digital opportunities for curatorial experiments in the development of new archives, the digital refiguring of inherited archives and the development of digital humanities materials for presentation in public life.

To apply:

Please send an initial letter of application and a CV to

Your letter should include the following:

  • an indication of the area in which you propose to undertake research (not more than 500 words);
  • a short statement that provides insight into the intellectual and academic concerns that interest you;
  • any contextual information that you would like to provide concerning your studies and work experience to date;
  • the names and contact details of two academic referees who are familiar with your recent work. Please explain in what capacity they know your work. 

Your CV must include full details of degrees completed and results achieved. You are strongly advised to attach official transcripts.  If you do not attach them at this stage and if you proceed to the next stage of application you will need then to submit them immediately in order to continue. 

NRF award conditions:

The NRF rules state that, to be eligible, applicants must have obtained at least 65% for their prior degrees. They may be no more than 32 years at the time of applying for funding for a PhD and no more than 30 years at the time of apply for funding for an MA degree. While the NRF allows partial funding to be awarded to others, those who receive full funding must have either achieved a minimum of 75% for the previous degree or must be able to reveal that their net family income is no more than R350 000 per annum.

The value of the awards is as follows

  • Full funding for Master of Arts studies: R 167 000 per annum for two years
  • Partial funding for Master of Arts studies: R 100 000 per annum for two years
  • Full funding for PhD studies: R 175 000 per annum for three years
  • Partial funding for PhD studies: R 90 000 per annum for three years
  • Full funding for Postdoctoral Fellow: R200 000 per annum (with the option to renew for a second year subject to satisfactory performance)