Facilitator: Dr Layla Cassim is a pharmacist and holds a PhD (Pharmacology) (Rhodes) as well as an MBA (cum laude) (UNISA). She has diplomas in various health-related fields and is currently busy with a PhD in Ayurveda. She is the owner and managing member of Layla Cassim ERS Consultants CC (www.laylacassim.co.za), which specialises in providing support to postgraduate students and researchers. Dr Cassim has been a reviewer for Thuthuka and will share insights into key considerations and criteria that reviewers have when evaluating funding applications. She was also the lead author on the Grant application writing module for the Association of Commonwealth Universities in its STARs programme. She has produced the Postgraduate Toolkit, now in its 4th edition. All workshop delegates receive free online access to this 4th edition of the Toolkit.


Target Group: The Thuthuka Funding Instrument is a key intervention of the National Research Foundation (NRF) aimed at supporting emerging researchers. Thuthuka research grants are awarded to academics that hold academic and/or joint academic and administrative professional appointments, at NRF recognised public universities, science councils and other public research institutions.  Applicants must be employed at these institutions on a full-time permanent or full-time contractual basis that extends for the full period of the Thuthuka grant.


Background: This practical three-day workshop focuses on how to apply for funding for a research project. In particular, we look at the National Research Foundation’s Thuthuka application form and go through this in detail.


Key focus areas include the following:

  • A quick recap of the research proposal and fundamentals of research design and methodology, as this provides the scientific/ academic content of the funding application
  • Eligibility criteria and requirements that funders have;
  • The review process at the funder, including weaknesses in this;
  • The structure of the Thuthuka application form;
  • Developing a detailed and credible budget, with each line item justified;
  • Specific areas that funders are going to be highlighting;
  • Developing a sound project management plan to guide the successful execution of the research project;
  • Legal considerations in grant application writing (special guest presentation by Dr Meryl du Plessis); and
  • Some personal testimonials from successful Thuthuka applicants.

Requirements: All participants are required to bring along their draft funding application and budget.


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


Workshop Information

1-3 March 2023
New date: 3-5 April 2023


To be confirmed

Registration for this workshop has closed.


Enquiries: Jadine Januarie