05 January 2022


Opportunity Description


As part of its programme to provide postdoctoral research opportunities for scholars with a proven research track record, the College of Human Sciences (CHS) at the University of South Africa (UNISA) is pleased to announce that the Postdoctoral Fellowship Support Programme is now open to all doctoral graduates whose doctoral qualification was awarded less than five years prior to the time of application and who are not UNISA employees.

The Postdoctoral Fellows (PostDocs) will be expected to professionally conduct and publish research under the guidance of a mentor, in order to strengthen research and scholarship at UNISA, and to support research excellence. PostDocs are appointed for a maximum period of three (3) years, annually evaluated and renewable. Renewal is not automatic but based on satisfactory performance. Successful applicants will receive a research scholarship from UNISA, but will not be deemed employees or academic associates of UNISA.

Doctoral graduates can apply for the Postdoctoral Fellowship in the following Research Entity:

  • College of Human Sciences (CHS)


  • Preference will be given to South African citizens and members of designated groups.

The minimum requirements to apply for a Postdoctoral Fellowship, are the following:

  • Completion of a doctoral qualification at a recognised higher education institution, and qualification should have been awarded less than five (5) years prior to the time of application.
  • Official Proof of Submission for Examination of a doctoral qualification will be accepted, but if the application is approved, it will be conditional on the qualification being awarded (and the fellowship taken up) within 3 months of the appointment being made.
  • If the qualification was obtained from an international institution, a SAQA Evaluation of Foreign Qualification certificate must be submitted before a Principal Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) could be signed between the PostDoc and UNISA and the appointment could commence.
  • Fellowship must be taken up within 3 months of the appointment being made, otherwise, the scholarship will be forfeited.

Applicants must have already published at least:

  • one (1) accredited journal article; and
  • one (1) peer-reviewed presentation in accredited conference proceedings.
  • UNISA employees are not eligible to apply, unless if they are resigning from their position.

Important to Note

  • Read the Policy on Postdoctoral Fellows very carefully before applying.
  • The expected outputs per annum will be:
  • A minimum of two (2) accredited research output units (publications with UNISA as the affiliate institution);
  • Presentation of research at one (1) national or international (according to College priorities) accredited conference, funded by the hosting College;
  • Presentation of research at a minimum of two (2) symposiums/workshops / seminars/colloquia arranged for UNISA academics;
  • Assistance with organising postgraduate research workshops/seminars / colloquia;
  • Assisting or co-supervising, postgraduate students, where applicable, with appropriate recognition.
  • The mentors must be proven, researchers.
  • PostDocs undertake to submit 3-monthly progress reports until such time as the expected outputs have been produced and proof thereof have been submitted, even if the PostDoc Fellowship has been completed.
  • PostDocs cannot hold any concurrent employment, either on a contract or on a permanent basis.
  • PostDocs are based on Muckleneuk campuses.
  • PostDocs do not qualify for any of the research incentives.
  • PostDocs cannot be reappointed after the maximum limit of three (3) years has been reached.
  • PostDocs will receive a non-taxable stipend of R300,000 per annum (R25,000 per month), paid in South African Rand (ZAR), only while their visa/work permit is valid, if applicable.
  • Appointment can be terminated by giving one calendar month’s notice, however, the scholarship will need to be paid back pro-rata for the period of the appointment at UNISA.

Incomplete, late, and/or applications filled in by hand will not be accepted.

How to Apply

Use the approved attached Application Form.

  • Completed and signed application forms, with the required supporting documents, should be submitted electronically to the CHS Office of Graduate Studies and Research at blose@unisa.ac.za.
  • The following documents should be submitted with the application:
  • a fully completed and signed application form;
  • a detailed curriculum vitae (CV);
  • a detailed list of all research outputs, including ISBN / ISSN numbers;
  • a copy of the doctoral qualification or official proof of submission for examination of doctoral qualification; and
  • a detailed research plan, including research focus area and expected research outputs.
  • Colleges will interview shortlisted applicants and submit an interview report to the Directorate: Research Support (DRS).
  • The Research Administration Department (RAD) will finalise the application process by making recommendations to UNISA Management Committee (ManCom).
  • The DRS will notify the Executive Deans of the Colleges, the Heads of the Offices of Graduate Studies & Research or the Research Manager, the School Directors and the Chairs of Departments, as applicable, of the outcomes.
  • Annual renewals will only be processed based on satisfactory performance as detailed in annual progress reports, including College recommendations for renewal or non-renewal, together with copies of submitted articles, sent to the DRS at least two months before the renewal date of the contract.