The Department's researchers have been able to attract substantial funds for research in the past years. These funds pay for student support, equipment, technical assistance, travel, and so forth. Much of the research in the Department is of an applied nature. Such research places constraints on the freedom of the researcher, but of course it has the outstanding benefit of increased industrial and community support.
The National Research Foundation (NRF) provides bursaries to South African citizens or holders of permanent residence permits who are accepted as full-time students. The amount of the NRF bursary is not fixed, but will be determined on the basis of each application.
The NRF has two mechanisms of student support: grantholder-linked bursaries and freestanding prestigious bursaries. A grantholder is someone who has received research support and funding for bursaries from the NRF for an approved research project. The grantholder-linked bursaries will be the major source of student support.
In 2007 a maximum amount of R 20000 may be awarded for Masters and R30000 for Doctoral students. The value of NRF bursaries will be determined on the basis of the financial circumstances of each applicant.
Furthermore, Computer Science students qualify to apply for an additional NRF “Scarce Skill” scholarship which could double the NRF bursary.
Research Related Funding
Some members of the Department have funds available for research, which may be available to students involved in projects undertaken by these members of staff.
Opportunities to work in the Department as teaching assistants and tutors (for a maximum of 9 hours per week) are available to Masters and Doctoral students. Such students will earn at least R6000 per annum (currently a study permit does allow foreign students to perform such duties that are related to their study).
The University has very limited resources for supporting Foreign Students. The amounts awarded are usually related to, but somewhat lower than, the equivalent NRF bursaries.
As an indication, bursaries are awarded university-wide in two categories: for students already studying at UCT and going on to postgraduate studies, there are University Research Scholarships and about 24 are awarded; for students that have been accepted from elsewhere there are about 20 scholarships.
Applications for Financial Assistance
Applications for NRF prestigious scholarships and equity scholarships should be submitted via the Department. The closing dates are generally in mid-August and students should enquire beforehand and in good time from the Department. Very few such bursaries are awarded. Financial support from members of the department, and this includes the grantholder-linked bursaries from the NRF, should be discussed with the individuals concerned.
Enquiries about UCT merit scholarships and bursaries should be directed to the Postgraduate Scholarships Office, where booklets describing the relevant Student Fees and Financial Assistance for Postgraduate Study are available.