The CTF, funded by the University Capacity Development Grant (UCDG) is intended to provide financial support to Nelson Mandela University academic staff planning to deliver oral presentations at conferences related to their Masters, Doctoral or Postdoctoral research. This funding is intended to supplement funding provided by other sources.



In order to be eligible to apply, academic staff must be in the final stages of their Masters or Doctoral degrees or have recently completed their doctoral qualifications (“post-doctoral”, emerging researchers). The following criteria will be considered:

  • Preference will be given to academic staff
  • who will be presenting results from their Masters or Doctoral research;
  • who received their doctoral qualifications ≤ 5 years prior to application.
  • Newly appointed academic staff (within the first two years of residence) – Given that staff are not generally able to transfer their research funds from their previous employer, the CTF is made available to enable conference attendance for staff to sustain dissemination of their research and maintain their networks.

These awards are granted on a competitive basis and and will take the following into account:

  • the status of the conference;
  • the quality of interaction and exposure for the applicant;
  • envisaged research outputs emanating from the conference presentation;
  • only oral paper presentations, no applications for poster presentations will be considered.


The assessment of these criteria will be based on the information provided by the applicant and the motivation and support from the affiliated faculty/directorate.



The CTF is intended to provide funding primarily in the following category:


  • National conference attendance: Applicants in this category are requesting funding to present their research findings at reputable national conferences.
  • International conference attendance: Applicants must be in the final stage (just prior to, or after, submission of thesis for examination) of Doctoral degree or “postdoctoral” in order for an international conference to be considered. Exceptions will be up to the discretion of the Review Committee and budget limitations.

The CTF will provide partial support in one or more of the following categories:

  1. Conference Registration Fees.
  1. Lodging – cost of room in hotel, motel, dormitory, or conference centre and related taxes. Charges for television, phones, movies or other services will not be reimbursed.
  1. Sustenance – the cost of meals will be reimbursed in accordance with Mandela University policy at a rate no greater than the applicable per diem rate.
  1. Transportation
  • Public carrier – cost of plane, train, or bus ticket.
  • Personal vehicle – the cost of use of a personal vehicle will be reimbursed in accordance with Mandela University policy at a rate no greater than the applicable per diem rate. Carpooling is encouraged.













Items that are not funded by the CTF are as follows:

  • Expenses related to personal days, or travel, taken before, during, or after a conference attendance that are not in directly connected with the conference.  


Allocations will be limited to a maximum of R 15 000.00 for national conferences and a maximum of R 40 000.00 for international conferences. However, exceptions to this rule will be considered depending on the availability of top-up funding in the research account of the applicant and/or the contribution by the relevant faculty/department. Please Note: All allocations will be awarded at the discretion of the Review Committee and budget limitations.




  • There are two CTF calls per annum (Semester 1 and 2). All funding calls are advertised via MEMO. 
  • Interested applicants should complete the attached application form in typescript – all relevant sections must be completed and the relevant supporting documentation be attached. Only applications signed by all the relevant role-players will be considered.
  • Completed applications and accompanying documentation need to be submitted electronically as a single PDF file to Ms Jadine Januarie via email at Jadine.Januarie@mandela.ac.za by the closing date.
  • Applications will follow a review process and applicants will be informed of the outcome of the review process.
  • Incomplete, hand-written, and late applications cannot be screened and will thus be excluded. 



  • Awards are only made in the event that a paper is being presented. Attendance for professional development reasons only (i.e., “just attending”) is not supported.
  • The research being presented must adhere to all university requirements, including policies related to the ethical conduct of research, the protection of human subjects, and the use of animals in research.
  • Eligible researchers should apply well in advance, as awards will not be made for conferences retrospective to the application submission deadline unless proof can be provided that the conference call was made subsequent to the prior application submission deadline. 
  • It is NOT a requirement for the abstract to be accepted for presentation by the conference travel application submission date. Should the acceptance of the paper, including proof of registration not be available at the time of submission of the application, then a provisional award may be made pending the receipt of the acceptance of paper. 
  • Applicants may apply for one national conference per degree programme.  Completing Doctoral candidates may apply for one international conference just prior or post submission for examination. Those in the “postdoctoral” category may be eligible to apply for one international conference once every two years within 5 years post-doctorate. However, subject to this, applicants cannot apply for both a national and an international conference in the same year. Preference will be given to national conference attendance.
  • All funding from other sources must be reported to the Office of Research Development (RD) and the total funds received by the applicant shall not exceed the total expenses.
  • The award must be taken up within the financial year in which it is awarded. Should funds not be utilised in the year of award, the applicant is required to make contact with RD as such funds will need to be returned to RD for reallocation.
  • Successful applicants agree to post-grant reporting requirements. You will be required to submit a report to the Director: RD, within 30 days after the conference. 
  • Please note: The CTF should not be the primary source of funding for the applicant, as the CTF is unable to fund 100% of eligible costs.