Call for applications for a postdoctoral scholarship to carry out research on biodiversity biobanks in South Africa

The Biodiversity Biobanks South Africa (BBSA), which is funded by the Department of Science & Innovation as part of the South African Research Infrastructure Roadmap (SARIR), is offering a one-year postdoctoral scholarship, with the potential for extension for a further year, to carry out research on the biodiversity biobanks in South Africa.

The objective of this postdoctoral grant is to enhance capacity for research infrastructure assessment and management, specifically biodiversity biobanks.

The following requirements must be met in order to qualify for this fellowship.

Applicants must:

  • have been awarded their PhD in the last five years (ie. after 2016).
  • have completed a PhD in a relevant discipline where biodiversity biobank materials were collected, processed, stored and used for research purposes.
  • not be employed on a full-time basis, or hold another postdoctoral grant.
  • be South African citizens or permanent residents.
  • be available to take up the postdoctoral fellowship no later than 1 February 2023
  • have excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • be willing to travel nationally and have an unendorsed driver’s licence which has been held for more than one year.

Expectations from the Biodiversity Biobanks South Africa

Project options:

  1. Research on biodiversity biobank holdings in South Africa, including the taxa covered, the type of materials, extent of these, purpose, and access restrictions; identification of critical gaps in holdings considering purpose and / or user / client needs. If time permits, this research could be extended to cover other African countries.
  2. Research on the use of South African biodiversity biobank materials, covering extent of use, nature of users, purpose and outputs and outcomes.

The expectation is that at least two papers will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals and relevant data will be compiled into an appropriate format for future use.

Recipients will be expected to sign an agreement with SANBI. Should the agreement signed not be complied with, SANBI reserves the right to withdraw the scholarship.

Details of the postdoctoral scholarship:

  • The scholarship is offered for one year, at a value of R350,000 per annum. Payment will be made directly to the postdoctoral fellow in four payments per annum. Should funding permit, and depending on performance, the scholarship may be extended for a second year.
  • Operating costs for the project will be covered.


Please submit the following information:

  • Full CV, including record of studies, publications, conference presentations, posts held
  • Copy of PhD certificate and academic record
  • Details of experience relating to biodiversity biobanks
  • 3 contactable references
  • Cover letter detailing interest in the project.

The following criteria will be used to assess applications:

  1. Relevance of PhD study and other experience to biodiversity biobanks
  1. Previous performance of applicant (publications, conference presentations, teaching, mentoring)
  1. Cover letter / motivation
  1. Equity (black (African, Indian, Coloured), female and persons with disabilities).


Applications must be submitted to Michelle Hamer before 16h00 on 30 November 2022.

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