The Teaching Relief Grant (TRG) is managed by the Office of Research Development and enabled by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) through the University Capacity Development Grant. It provides funding for lecturer replacement to enable emerging academics to focus on inter alia completion of masters and doctoral degrees or writing and publication of research outputs. The TRG is meant to provide supplementary funding and will not cover the full cost of a sabbatical.


  • Promote the attainment of masters and doctoral degree degrees by early- and mid-career researchers who have been granted research leave or sabbatical by the Faculty Research and Engagement Committee (FREC).
  • Foster research productivity by boosting research outputs.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicants must be emerging researchers with academic, administrative or joint academic and administrative professional appointments at Nelson Mandela University. In general, this includes Professional, Administrative and Support Services (PASS) members of staff who are pursuing masters and doctoral degrees.
  • Newly appointed emerging researchers must be in their first or second year of appointment.
  • Applicants must be early or mid-career academics who are registered for a masters or doctoral degree in any discipline.
  • Professional, Administrative and Support Services (PASS) members of staff are not eligible to apply for the TRG

Ineligible Applicants for Internal Research Grants:

  • Researchers who received or hold a valid NRF A, B, C, Y or P rating.
  • New Generation Academics Programme (nGAP) academics who are in their first and second year of appointment are excluded from applying. They should apply instead for the DSI-NRF Research Development Grant.
  • Applications from postgraduate students, postdoctoral fellows and lab technicians or similar will not be accepted
  • These grants may not be held concurrently with grants than provide funding for lecturer replacement such us the NRF-funded Black Academics Advancement Programme.

Application Process:

  • Application for the Teaching Relief Grant must be submitted online at:
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • All applications must include a recommendation from the Head of Department (HOD) and the relevant Director of School (DOS). Applicants are kindly requested to follow up with the relevant parties to ensure that recommendations are submitted timeously.
  • This call has no closing date, applications received will be reviewed each month and outcomes communicated to applicants.

Award and Period of funding:

  • The CTF will contribute towards the appointment of  a lecturer replacement to provide teaching relief. The budget must be well-motivated and the grant is capped at R40,000. The grant should be expensed in the academic year in which it is awarded. No carry-over of unspent funds will be permitted, and the funding is not transferable to another grantholder.
  • Besides lecturer replacement, the TRG does not fund any other costs associated with research sabbaticals.

Conditions of the award:

  • Grantholders are not exempted from fulfilling other normal duties such as attending committee meetings or taking final responsibility for the administrative aspects of a module for which s/he obtains relief.
  • Qualifying for a TRG award does not imply automatic qualification for research leave or research sabbatical. The normal processes for applying for research leave or research sabbatical need to be followed
  • TRG funding will only be released upon receipt of proof of approved research leave/research sabbatical.
  • It is unlikely that the full budget required to fund a lecturer replacement will be possible. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for external funding such as the NRF’s Black Academics Advancement Programme.
  • All funding from other sources must be reported to the Office of Research Development and the total funds received by the applicant shall not exceed the total expenses.

Documents to be submitted with the application:

  • Motivation for funding
  • Relevant supplementary information


  • Successful applicants agree to post-grant reporting requirements and will be required to provide proof of progress in terms of envisaged outputs.


IMPORTANT: The Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (POPI Act) has been promulgated and implemented on 1 July 2020. All personal identifiable information provided by applicants shall be treated in accordance with this statute and only used for academic and academic administration purposes, as indicated by the Nelson Mandela University Privacy Policy. By applying, emerging researchers provide consent for use of all their personal identifiable information provided to the university for the aforesaid purposes.


This grant is enabled by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) through the University Capacity Development Grant (UCDG)


Contact information
Ms Jadine Januarie
Research Development Administrator
Tel: 041 504 2027

Office of Research Development