The Nurturing Emerging Scholars Programme


Mandela University currently has three NESP positions available; Materials & Structural Engineering, Information Technology Software Engineering  and Mechatronics. The closing date for applications is the 31 October 2023. Further information and applications at:


NESP was launched by the Department of Higher Education (DHET) to facilitate the retention of highly qualified professionals in the academy and advance transformation.

NESP aims to identify postgraduate students with demonstrated academic ability who are interested in following an academic career and provides them with an attractive, structured study and development programme to prepare them for a career in academia.

This 3-year programme includes a 2-year full-time Masters scholarship at any South African University followed immediately by a 1-year academic internship at the recruiting institution.

NESP positions at Nelson Mandela University are aligned with its strategic disciplinary areas as well as priorities in the Higher Education Section. These opportunities are advertised each year both nationally as well as within the University, with some opportunities in partnership with participating French Universities.

In addition to the financial support of a scholarship for a full-time Masters study, successful candidates are also:

  • supported by a mentor for the duration of their participation in the programme;
  • provided an opportunity for exposure through support for a possible international mobility experience;
  • given the capacity to develop their research and teaching abilities during the internship year.

Further to the criteria specified by the recruiting University, applicants must also meet the following:

  • Show an interest in becoming an academic;
  • Be 35 years or younger;
  • Be a South African citizen;
  • Have attained a minimum average of 65% in an appropriate Level 8 qualification, e.g. an Honours degree;
  • Show evidence of eligibility to undertake postgraduate studies at Masters level;
  • Be committed to placement at the recruiting University for the full three years of the programme (2 years of studying at any University followed by the 1-year internship at the recruiting University).

The national implementation of the programme is in partnership with Rhodes University. Adverts are placed in national newspapers and other electronic platforms, generally in May/June of each year for a start in the next academic year. All applications will be submitted to the implementing partner, filtered for eligibility and forwarded to the University for consideration and to make final offers.

Contact information
Dr Priscilla Mensah

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