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Wits-Edinburgh Sustainable African Futures (WESAF) Doctoral Programme 2023

The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and the University of Edinburgh (UoE) inaugurated the Wits-Edinburgh Sustainable African Futures (WESAF) Doctoral Programme, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program – a global initiative that enables learning and leadership development for talented young people, primarily young Africans, who face the highest barriers to accessing higher education. The WESAF doctoral programme aims to build sustainable development-focussed, interdisciplinary research capacity in partner higher education institutions in Africa.

About University of the Witwatersrand

Wits University is taking the lead in reimagining trendy Braamfontein to further our contribution in delivering high level scarce skills for the global knowledge economy. Our location in Johannesburg, the economic and industrial heartland of the African continent, places us in good stead to interact with the public and private sectors, civil society and other social agents to effect meaningful change in society. ... continue reading

University of the Witwatersrand

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Wits-Edinburgh Sustainable African Futures (WESAF) Doctoral Programme

Application Deadline15 May 2023
Country to studyUnited Kingdom
School to studyUniversity of Edinburgh
SponsorUniversity of the Witwatersrand
GenderMen and Women

Aim and Benefits of Wits-Edinburgh Sustainable African Futures (WESAF) Doctoral Programme

The WESAF programme is in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program

Costs covered during the 12 months of the MSc by Research programme are:

  • MSc by Research fees
  • Participation in two sustainability schools (in person) in Johannesburg. Covered costs include visa applications for South Africa entry, vaccinations as necessary, accommodation and subsistence while in Johannesburg, return flights and internal travel.
  • Laptops and connectivity where appropriate
  • Reading material will be accessible through the University of Edinburgh online library and other resources will be made available by course lecturers (no cost will be attached to courses or dissertation).

Requirements for Wits-Edinburgh Sustainable African Futures (WESAF) Doctoral Programme Qualification

The target group for scholarships is emerging researchers and academics who meet the requirements to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Edinburgh.

To apply for this programme, applicants must:

  • Have successfully completed a university degree that will qualify for entry into a Master’s programme at the University of Edinburgh (A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).
  • Demonstrate a level of English language competency that will enable one to succeed in the studies, regardless of nationality or country of residence.
  • Have generally completed their last university degree not more than three and a half years ago and/or have demonstrable experience in academia/research at the time of application
  • Be nationals or permanent residents of an African country
  • Be a) a staff member at one of the partner universities, OR b) a candidate being considered for teaching or research staff recruitment by the partner universities.

Documents Required for Application

In addition to the online application form, candidates will need to upload the following mandatory documents:

  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of publications (if applicable)
  • A final official university degree certificate and final official transcript.
  • Letter of support from the university where the candidate is based
  • If applicable, information on the UNHCR registration as a refugee

Application Deadline

May 15, 2023

How to Apply

Interested and qualified? Go to University of the Witwatersrand on to apply

The call for applications to the programme is open with some guidelines on apply. Applications close at 17:00 on Monday, 15 May 2023.

Successful applicants who will form the first WESAF cohort are scheduled to gather in person for a week of structured orientation as part of the official commencement of the programme in Johannesburg in September 2023. For further information please visit

For more details, visit University of the Witwatersrand website.

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