Freshwater biodiversity bursaries available for 2018: 2x Masters for 2 years each

31 January 2018 - 4:00pm

SANBI has established a Freshwater Biodiversity Unit to support the assessment of freshwater ecosystems and address the knowledge and evidence needs of the Working for Wetlands Programme at the Department of Environmental Affairs. 2x MSc bursaries are available to conduct research as part of this programme of work.


Projects will be considered providing they are relevant to one of SANBI’s focus areas, which include:

  • the assessment of status of freshwater species and ecosystems
  • the predicting of freshwater species’ distribution responses to climate change
  • the strategic spatial planning and prioritisation of freshwater biodiversity areas and sites for interventions (projects that inform wetland rehabilitation intervention methods, or rehabilitation thresholds are particularly welcome)
  • benefits of healthy wetland and freshwater systems (e.g. ecosystem services from wetlands)
  • monitoring to inform Working for Wetlands interventions in terms of success, return on investment, outcomes/impacts (both ecological and socio-economic)
  • information management systems to support wetland and freshwater biodiversity data management and decision support (projects that include using historical data and information from processes such as Environmental Impact Assessments, Working for Wetlands / Water Research Commission projects to inform better decision-making would be welcome)

Bursary values and running costs

Bursaries are to cover living expenses and university fees for a Masters student and total R120,000 per year for two years. Project running expenses are covered separately to the bursaries and vary depending on the project.  Funds are only available to students registered at universities in South Africa.

Requirements for applicants

Candidates must be pro-active, enthusiastic, and interested in doing excellent research that will help improve our understanding and management of freshwater biodiversity. Student bursaries are only available to South African citizens and will be awarded in line with SANBI’s equity targets. Unsuccessful and ineligible bursary applicants may be considered for support with project running costs if their projects are closely aligned to SANBI’s focus areas.  

Application procedure

Each application is to be accompanied by a standard bursary application cover sheet (attached to this advert). Applications must include a full CV; certified copies of ID and academic record; two letters of academic reference; an agreement from a prospective academic supervisor; a two-page project outline for Masters; and examples of journal publications if applicable. Send all documents to with “SANBI freshwater masters bursary” in the subject line.  

Contact details

For academic queries: Ms Carol Poole (  

For questions about the application process: Ms René du Toit (

Closing date

31 January 2018 (successful candidates will be notified by early February)

SANBI reserves the right not to fill these bursaries.

If no response has been received within 21 days of the closing date, candidates may assume that their applications were unsuccessful.

31 January 2018 - 4:00pm
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