Scholarship Application

PARI Scholarship

About the scholarships

The PARI Scholarships are intended to support postgraduate study in institutional and organisational studies with a focus on the public sector. PARI is a multi-disciplinary environment and we welcome applications from students from across the social sciences, economics and other relevant disciplines. What is key is that the applicant is interested in doing empirically grounded research on the state and its institutions.

These scholarships are made possible and are generously funded by Nedbank and by the PSETA.

Successful applicants will be supervised by committee, including academics in the relevant teaching department and in PARI. They will have an organisational base at the Institute, where they will be included as PARI Research Fellows. Students will be part of, and contribute to, an academic community at the Institute. This will include compulsory participation in its Post-graduate Development Programme, academic and research seminars at the Institute, writing retreats as well as the possibility of inclusion on relevant PARI research projects (dependent, for example, on the student’s research focus).

Scholarships are available for 2016, for registration at the University of the Witwatersrand only.


Applications are welcome from students from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, including, for example, economics, politics, history, anthropology, and sociology, as well as law.

The existing scholarships are, for the first time, open to Honours students. Candidates must have received firsts for both major subjects in their third year or, at least, a first and an upper second.

Masters applicants should have an Honours (or equivalent degree) with a minimum of a 70% pass. Applicants who did not achieve a 70% pass will be considered if they are able to provide a motivation in support of their application from the Head of Department in which they completed their last degree.

Students who have already been awarded funding (bursary or scholarship) for the 2016 academic year of R35 000 or more should NOT apply for the scholarship.


Applicants must complete the online application form and provide the following in support of their application:

  • a short cover letter
  • an up-to-date curriculum vitae
  • original academic transcript/s (or certified copies) of the applicant’s Honours degree (or equivalent) as well as undergraduate degree
  • the applicant’s Honours research report or a long essay written as part of the applicant’s last degree
  • the names and contact details of two referees, one of whom must be an academic referee from a department in which the applicant obtained a degree (see Referees section in the application form)

Enquiries about the scholarships or the application process can be directed to Mbongiseni Buthelezi at

Award of scholarships

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by a panel of academics from PARI, and the Schools of Social Sciences, Economic and Business Sciences, and Law.

Scholarships will be awarded on a competitive basis, taking into account academic merit and the resonance of the applicant’s academic or research interests with PARI’s research themes and approach, as well as the specific focus area of the scholarships. More information about PARI’s research focus and approach can be found at

Successful applicants will be awarded the relevant scholarships on condition that:

  • they are accepted by the University of the Witwatersrand for postgraduate study, and
  • they are registered for full time study.

NOTE: Should students who are awarded a PARI Scholarship not complete their degree, the scholarship awarded will be treated as a loan: students will be expected to pay back the value of the scholarship over a reasonable period as stipulated by PARI.

Applications are closed