Funding postdoctoral research fellows

27 July 2009

Postdoctoral research fellows are funded from a number of sources, based on merit - and of course, aspects such as how many peer-reviewed publications an applicant has produced.

Most financial support comes from a category called Departmental Funds, sourced by individual academic departments, and usually from industry, trusts and so on, to fund their research. Such grants come with money for postdocs, who are given awards to carry out specific research projects.

The second biggest supporter of postdocs is the National Research Foundation. ( They also support South African PhD graduates who wish to do postdoctoral research overseas.)

The MRC (Medical Research Council) provides some support to a handful of postdocs in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

An important category of support comes from Donated Funds, particularly from three foundations: the Claude Leon Foundation, which provides the lion's share of this support (R2.5 million in support of 22 postdoctoral researcher fellows in 2008), followed by the AW Mellon Foundation, and the Harry Crossley Foundation.

The General Operating Budget (GOB) category funds between seven and 10 fellowships via the University Research Committee. This support is sourced directly from the university's GOB funds.

Finally, a small amount for fellowship awards is derived from the income from an invested fund and is used mainly to support conference travel.

2008 Postdoctoral research fellows by faculty

Faculty Number of registered postdoctoral researchers Number of awards made Value of awards made
COM 1 3 228 000
EBE 20 24 2 576 033
FHS 51 76 6 294 667
HUM 10 14 1 075 022
LAW 2 3 270 000
SCI 95 127 10 171 091
Total 179 247 20 614 813

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.