Joan Wrench Scholarship Fund South Africa

The protection of biodiversity has always been a crucial topic all over the globe. Since it supports the ecosystem, it is important to preserve it and take all the steps that may help to improve it. To encourage deserving students, the South African nation provides bursaries for their studies in the relevant field.

If biodiversity is your field of interest, then the Joan Wrench scholarship is what you need to know about.


The South African National Biodiversity Institute was established in the year 2004 to carry out research and gather information about biodiversity. SANBI also undertakes to contribute towards the management of biodiversity resources of the country.

It came into existence in 2004 under the National Environmental Biodiversity Act of the South African Department of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries. Among the goals of SANBI is to contribute towards the rehabilitation and restoration of the ecosystem.

SANBI also undertakes to contribute to South Africa’s sustainable development by providing access to and maintaining biodiversity data and conserving the biodiversity in its botanical and zoological spaces.

SANBI-Joan Wrench Scholarship Program

To support and encourage students interested in the field of biodiversity, the Joan Wrench scholarship fund was established in 2018. This scholarship program aims to fund the studies of those students who wish to pursue a career in this field.

The Joan Wrench scholarship is provided to students who are interested in Honours, Masters, and Doctoral studies. However, only the following fields or projects are recognized by SANBI:

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Horticulture
  • Honor Degree in Plant Systematics, Taxonomy
  • Master’s Degree in Plant Pathology/ Biological invasions/Plant Systematics, Taxonomy/Ecology, Climate change, Urban ecology/Restoration ecology/Conservation, Ecology/Freshwater ecology
  • Doctoral or Master’s degree in Plant Systematics, taxonomy/Ecology, pollination biology/Climate change and land degradation/Freshwater Ecology
  • Doctoral Degree in Plant systematics, taxonomy/Freshwater Ecology


Those students who have an inclination and interest in the field of biodiversity are provided financial assistance under the Joan Wrench scholarship program. The scholarship is awarded to those students who want to make a difference through their education in the field of biodiversity.

The value of the scholarship provided is as follows:

  • Honors Program- R96 000 for 1 year
  • Master’s Program- R144 000 per annum for 2 years
  • Doctoral Program- R180 000 per annum for 3 years


Scholarship Eligibility Requirements

Those students who wish to receive financial assistance through this scholarship program are required to fulfill the eligibility criteria specified by the institution. Those students who fail to meet the criteria will not be selected for the scholarship.

  • One must be a citizen of South Africa
  • Students must be registered at a university in South Africa
  • One must not be employed anywhere
  • Students must be residing in the Western Cape to attend the fieldwork/lab purpose for at least 3 months of every year of study.
  • One must participate in those projects that come under SANBI’s mandate
  • One must be proactive
  • Applicant must have the enthusiasm to conduct research
  • One must not be a recipient of any other scholarship

The scholarship will be awarded to students only after they have secured a placement in a post-graduate program and should receive provisional acceptance from university supervisors. Students must also note that at least one supervisor must be from SANBI for their application to get accepted.

How to apply for the scholarship?

To begin with, students must complete the application sheet online. Along with the application, students must submit copies of the following documents. If any document is not submitted, the institution may reject the application.

  • Duly filled application sheet
  • Certified copy of ID document
  • Certified copy of driver’s license
  • An updated curriculum vitae
  • Certified copies of academic transcripts
  • Certified copy of highest qualification
  • A project outline
  • A provisional registration/application on the university’s letterhead
  • 2 academic reference letters
  • A letter from the university supervisor declaring willingness to supervise
  • Letter of interest

All the applications along with the documents must be mailed to: and

Students must insert the words, “Joan Wrench Kirstenbosch Scholarship studentships” in the email subject line.

Closing Date

Currently closed for application. Please check back later for the updated opening and closing date of this bursary.

Contact Details

For any queries or information related to the scholarship students can contact the following:

Name: Dr. Ferozah Conrad

Name: Rene’ du Toit

Please do not send any questions after the closing date. View our other bursaries/scholarships open for application here:

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