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Who is eligible?

The DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (CoE-MaSS) receives funding from the national Department of Science and Technology (DST), which is administered by the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Host Institution, Wits University.  This research funding is administered across the 15 partner institutions that make up the CoE-MaSS.

Applications for postgraduate student support must be made by the Supervisor on behalf of the student. Applications for postdoctoral support must have the support of the Supervisor/Host.

What do we fund?

The Centre reports to the NRF on 5 main Key Performance Areas (KPAs), namely:

  • Research (incl. publications, writing retreats to train emerging researchers to develop publications, mini-sabbaticals, research collaborations, etc.)
  • Education and Training (incl. short course training, MaSS staff capacity development, etc.)
  • Service rendering (incl. community engagement activities, academic citizenship in MaSS, etc.)
  • Information brokerage (incl. science communication, technical reports for industry partners, etc.)
  • Networking

As such, applications for funding must cover requests for funding in one or more of these areas. The Centre also highlights that research outputs arising, as well as co-funding obtained from other sources are also key factors that are considered in determining funding success.

We are currently funding Postgraduate Bursaries, Post-Doctoral Fellowships, Focus Area research projects and activities, accredited and non-accredited Short Courses, Workshops and other Training events, Writing Retreats, MaSS Capacity Development, etc. provided that the activities fall within one of the CoE-MaSS Focus Areas.

Are there any specific funding exclusions?

As of October 2017, the Centre will no longer fund any Outgoing Conference Attendance from CoE-MaSS funds on an ad hoc basis. CoE-MaSS members are encouraged to take advantage of the NRF KIC Travel Grant Funding Call or the NRF Conference Fund Call for any outgoing travel outside of South Africa.

Going forward, the Centre will only fund Incoming Conference Attendance for national/international keynote/plenary speakers that are presenting at academic/research events in South Africa with immediate effect but these applications should normally be included in the Focus Area’s Annual Research Plan, wherever possible. This is in line with the Centre’s mandate to develop human capacity locally, using the limited travel funding resources that are available to the Centre.

How is my application assessed?

Funding applications are assessed by a CoE-MaSS Selection Committee, and awards are made based on (i) merit, and (ii) availability of funds. Funding is highly competitive so applications need to include as much information as possible for the Selection Committee to make a decision.

How do I apply?

Application forms can be downloaded from this page of our website. These must be completed in their entirety and submitted to the CoE-MaSS by the specified deadline in order to be considered. Please note that incomplete/unsigned applications will not be considered. Unfortunately late applications will not be considered.

Applications for postgraduate student support must be made by the Supervisor on behalf of the student. Applications for postdoctoral support must have the support of the Supervisor/Host.

How do I cite support received from the Centre?

If you have already been successfully funded by the Centre, please find the policy on how to cite funding support by the CoE-MaSS on your publications and other outputs here.

Open Calls 

  • 2019 CoE-MaSS Event Support for Workshops, Conferences, and Capacity Development Training 
    (Application deadline: The last day of each month) 
    • This call is open all year for all events that are taking place in the 2019 calendar year.
    • The application deadline is the last working day of each month, for consideration by the Committee the following month.
    • This application for funding must be supported by the relevant CoE-MaSS Node Leader in terms of fitting in with (i) one or more of the recognised CoE-MaSS Focus Areas, and (ii) be in line with the Centre’s goals for research development and advancement, and capacity development in the MaSS fields.
    • Download the Application Form template here.
    • No incomplete applications will be accepted. Full information and all signatures must be included when the application is made to the Centre.
    • Outcomes should be expected by the 15th of the following month.
    • All successful grants need to submit photographs of these events, a narrative report, and an income/expenditure report. Download the Post-Event Report Form template here.


All applicants are reminded that the CoE-MaSS is funded by South African public funds through the national Department of Science and Technology (DST) budget, administered by the National Research Foundation (NRF), and as a result, the Centre has to conform to the Equity target excerpt from DST Ministerial Guidelines 2013. As such, the Centre usually offers in the region of approximately 40 awards to South African citizens and permanent residents per annum, and a maximum of 4 awards collectively to applicants from SADC / Africa / non-Africa nationalities per annum.

Past CoE-MaSS Funding Calls can be viewed on the Past Funding page.