The objectives of SANBI’s student and intern programmes are to:

  • provide students with practical experience and on-the-job skills
  • prepare postgraduate students for a career in research
  • expose students to career prospects in biodiversity
  • provide SANBI with the opportunity to observe and track students for permanent positions
  • accelerate the development of designated groups into the mainstream of competitive biodiversity conservation opportunities.

Students and interns benefit from numerous learning opportunities, including orientation, formal and informal training, field work and networking with many specialists.


  • South African citizens only
  • Teamwork capabilities
  • Leadership qualities
  • Academic achievement

A variety of student and internship programmes as well as postgraduate bursaries become available on a regular basis.

1. Work-integrated (experiential) learning

Work-integrated (experiential) learning opportunities provide students with opportunities to apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom in a real work place context. At present SANBI offers work-integrated learning only to students studying Horticulture and Nature Conservation.


Second and third year Horticulture (National Diploma) students can apply for placement at most of our National Botanical Gardens. The duration of the programme is six months and is offered from January – June and July to December. Placement opportunities are advertised on the SANBI website and at relevant universities.

Nature Conservation

Final year Nature Conservation (National Diploma) students are accommodated at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. The duration of the programme is 12 months.

2. Internship programmes

SANBI offers a variety of internship opportunities to students, graduates and entry-level job seekers. Our internship programme was initiated at the Kirstenbosch Research Centre in 2001 and has since been extended to many other programmes in SANBI.

The aim of the programme is to offer students the opportunity to contribute towards ongoing research projects and at the same time gain practical experience in various fields of the biological sciences.

Internships are only advertised when specific programmes are available.

3. Postgraduate bursaries

Honours, MSc and PhD bursaries are made available regularly. Students are placed at our centres and co-supervised by our scientists. Research topics cover a wide range of fields.

Duration: Honours – 1 year, MSc – 2 years and PhD – 3 years.

4. Kirstenbosch Scholarship

The Kirstenbosch Scholarship was established in 1966 to enable suitably qualified candidates to aid in the preservation of the indigenous flora of South Africa. As from 2016, the scholarship includes studies towards a B Tech Horticulture. The B Tech research project is focused on generating knowledge about propagation, cultivation and conservation of indigenous South African plants. The programme is offered annually from January – December.

Applicants should be in possession of a National Diploma Horticulture.

Interested candidates should contact the Institute of Environment and Recreation Management (Africa) on +27 (0)11 061 5000.

How do I apply?

These student and intern opportunities are advertised on the SANBI website and at universities.

For more information on our programmes, please contact:

The Training Administrator,
Private Bag X7,
Claremont 7735
or email

Scroll to top