GreenMatter Fellowship PhD at University of Cape Town South Africa 2024 – 2025

By | July 8, 2020

GreenMatter Fellowship PhD at University of Cape Town South Africa 2024 – 2025


GreenMatter is an initiative that drives transformation in graduate-level skills for Biodiversity. It was co-founded by SANBI (the South African National Biodiversity Institute) and the Lewis Foundation led the development of a Biodiversity Human Capital Development Strategy (BHCDS), to produce specialist, research and management skills for all organisations with biodiversity mandates, objectives, interest or impact, in the context of skills shortages, the need for social transformation, and opportunities for growth and employment in the greening of the South African economy.


GreenMatter will be awarding bursaries to Postgraduate students (Honours, Masters’ and PhD), to pursue their studies at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Students who commenced their studies either in December 2019 or in 2020, and are studying within one of the following skills areas in the biodiversity sector, as identified by GreenMatter, may apply:

  • Agricultural extensionists with biodiversity specialism
  • Bioinformatics: ICT specialists and technicians with biodiversity skills
  • Curators of biodiversity collections
  • Ecologists: in marine, aquatic and terrestrial systems
  • EIA practitioners
  • Civil Engineers with biodiversity specialism
  • Lawyers with an environmental specialism
  • Geneticists: molecular biology with a specialisation in biodiversity conservation
  • GIS specialists and technicians
  • Human Capital Development: High-level biodiversity education and HCD specialists
  • Monitoring specialists, species protection officers and inspectors
  • Policy developers | analysts, urban | regional planners with biodiversity insight
  • Protected area managers
  • Resource economists with a biodiversity-related specialism
  • Social scientists specialising in the environment, indigenous biodiversity knowledge
  • Social ecologists
  • Soil scientists
  • Statistical ecologists | modellers
  • Taxonomists
  • Wildlife veterinarians
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The bursary is renewable each year, based on satisfactory academic performance, up to a maximum of 3 years. The bursary amount is R90 000 per year and will provide coverage for the following:
1) Allowances for study fees, research costs and living expenses
2) Mentoring support, career guidance and platforms to engage in learning networks

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted – if you have not received any feedback by 30 August 2020, please regard your application as unsuccessful.


Applicants must satisfy the following minimum entry criteria before applying (please note that failure to satisfy all the requirements will lead to your application not being considered):

  • South African citizen (preferably)
  • Completed a Masters degree
  • Studying full-time towards a PhD qualification (NOT 2nd and 3rd-year studies)
  • Studying at the University of Cape Town
  • Studying within a field that aligns with the GreenMatter priority skill areas (as listed above)
  • Started studies in December 2019 or 2020



The application must be done online at

Students must download and read the GreenMatter Fellowship PhD Guidelines (.pdf) before applying.
Submit copies of the following supporting documentation along with your online application form (the submission of these documents is compulsory – if any items are missing, your application be disregarded):

  • Proof of South African Citizenship (ID document/ passport)
  • Academic record (certified copy) (if they are not available at the time of application, please provide your current marks and submit your final marks as soon as they are available)
  • Degree certificate (certified copy)
  • Honours certificate (certified copy)
  • Masters certificate (certified copy)
  • Thesis proposal
  • 2 x reference letters (1 academic reference and preferably 1 employer reference if applicable – if never been employed, a reference from voluntary work, or 2 academic references. Must relate to your application for this bursary and how you meet the selection criteria, outline your strengths, demonstrate your capacity to study at the level required, and identify your potential impact in the future) (referees can submit their references directly to and if they prefer)
  • Curriculum Vitae (with details of any work or volunteer experiences)
  • Motivation letter explaining how your field of study aligns to the GreenMatter priority skill areas
  • Any extra documents to support your application
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(Please note: documents must be named as follows: “Your initial and surname, document name” – eg. “J Abrahams, ID document”)
Completed application forms and supporting documentation must be submitted by email to AND


15 July 2020.
(Applications submitted after this date will not be accepted – please apply before the closing date to ensure your application is considered.)


For any queries related to this bursary programme, please contact GreenMatter directly:
Email: /