South African National Biodiversity Institute-Global Biodiversity Information Facility (SANBI-GBIF), funded by the Department of Science and Innovation, is making two bursaries available for MSc’s in the field of biodiversity information management/biodiversity informatics. Funds are only available to students registered at universities in South Africa.

One of the key strategic objectives of the SANBI-GBIF Node is to develop the capacity and skills base of biodiversity informatics professionals and practitioners in the country. In light of this, the National Node has developed a capacity development strategy and follows a holistic approach to building biodiversity informatics skills in the country.

SANBI-GBIF works with partners to mobilise primary biodiversity data, such as species, specimen and observation records and makes them available on the internet to support research, assessment, biodiversity monitoring, conservation planning, decision-making and policy formulation. Data is mobilized through a national network of data providers and published through the Integrated Publishing Toolkit to GBIF.

This project will favour data already in the public domain through informatics platforms or web portals, available on the SANBI-IPT or through GBIF. Alternatively, datasets already generated but not available/published are also encouraged to be analysed, with the intention of publishing at the end of the project.

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The bursaries are available to all South African citizens and preference will be given to students from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. Candidates with good university grades who are able to bring together the required expertise in biological and information sciences are encouraged to apply as project proposals should include a biodiversity informatics and a natural science component.

Candidates must be pro-active, enthusiastic, and interested in doing excellent research that can make a difference and contribute to the work of the SANBI-GBIF Node and its partners. Projects that consider the entire value chain of data from primary biodiversity information production to dissemination and application of knowledge to benefit society, will be preferred.

Read more about SANBI Biodiversity Information Management and also visit the Biodiversity Advisor website for more information.

Bursary value 

To cover living expenses and university fees, R 144 000 per annum for two years. Running costs will be available separately depending on the project. 

Application procedure 

Each application is to be accompanied by the following documents:

  • Project outline (2 pages);
  • Full CV;
  • Two letters of reference (academic);
  • Statement of acceptance from supervisor;
  • Certified copy of academic marks;
  • Certified copy of highest qualification;
  • Certified copy of ID.

Please send all documents to with ‘GBIF bursary application’ in the subject line.

SANBI reserves the right not to fill this bursary. If no response has been received within 21 days of the closing date, candidates may assume that their applications were unsuccessful.

Ms. Fatima Parker-Allie (academic queries)

Ms. Rene du Toit (application process queries)

Closes: Friday, 22 November 2019
Bursary value: R144 000 per annum for two years
Location: South Africa

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