UFS and SASPP Fellowship South Africa

About UFS and SASPP

UFS, or the University of Free State, is one of the largest and oldest public universities in South Africa. It was founded back in 1904 and later renamed to UFS around 1950. The university is located in Bloemfontein, which is the main campus. It has two other companies, one in Phuthaditjhaba (called the Qwaqwa campus) and another in Bloemfontein (called the South Campus).

SASPP stands for South African Society for Plant Pathology. It is a not-for-profit organisation that allows plant pathologists in the country to collaborate and exchange ideas. The society also coordinates affiliation with other societies, both national and international.

UFS and Southern African Society for Plant Pathology (SASPP) Fellowship

The University of Free States offers fellowships to a certain number of doctoral graduates in the plant pathology discipline. SASPP offers these fellowships to those willing to take up a post-doctoral study programme at UFS in the Department of Natural and Agricultural Sciences/Plant Sciences.

Under this fellowship, students will have to pursue full-time post-doctoral studies at one of the UFS campuses. As part of their studies, they’d have to research soil-borne pathogens in agricultural crops and their biological control. Renowned professor, Wijnand Swart, will supervise the students.

The value of the fellowship is R 220,000, which is paid annually. For additional expenses, there’s a sum of R 30,000 set aside for each candidate.

If students wish to take up the fellowship, here are some of the duties expected from them:

  • Give lectures at 2nd-semester courses in Ecology of Plant Pathogens and a course in host-parasite interaction
  • Plan and prepare the undergrad and postgrad
  • modules for lectures and practical classes
  • Check and assess the students’ class tests, tutorials, and exams
  • Supervise the postgrad research students (Honours, Masters, PhD) if needed
  • Performing research and coordinating with other researchers
  • Securing the funds for own research and other scholarly projects
  • Developing and leading internal networks like moderating university working groups. Also doing the same for external networks, if needed
  • Advising and acting as an external examiner to other institutes
  • Establishing strong relationships with international students and researchers
  • Make sure that the research undertaken is published in major, peer-reviewed journals

Satisfactory performance during the fellowship programme will lead to permanent employment at UFS.

Eligibility Criteria

To select candidates for the fellowship, SASPP has laid out specific eligibility criteria. If you’re applying for the fellowship funding, make sure you fulfill all of them. Otherwise, you risk not being selected for the fellowship.

The eligibility requirement for the UFS and Southern African Society for Plant Pathology (SASPP) Fellowship 2022 are:

  • Must have completed their Ph.D. programme in plant pathology from a recognised university
  • Must have obtained the degree within the last four years
  • Must specialise in soil-borne diseases and the biological control of pathogens
  • Must have undergone training in microbial biology and studied host-pathogen interactions in their undergrad programme
  • Must be willing to study and stay at the Bloemfontein campus from 2022 onwards
  • Age must not exceed 50 years at the time of applying

For the fellowship, preference is given to those belonging to designated groups. So fulfilling all the criteria doesn’t guarantee funding.


How to Apply?

Those who meet the eligibility requirements and are interested should move forward with the application process. For the UFS and Southern African Society for Plant Pathology (SASPP) Fellowship, there’s no application form available. You’re just required to send a few documents to UFS for verification and consideration. The selection committee will review those documents and make a decision.

Documents Required

Here are the documents you need to prepare:

  • D. certificate
  • Academic transcripts
  • Updated CV (including your contact details)
  • A motivational letter explaining what you’re the best candidate for the fellowship
  • 2 Academic references and their contact details
  • A write-up demonstrating your academic writing skills (can be an article or chapter of your Ph.D. thesis)

Send the above documents to “swartwj@ufs.ac.za.” For the subject line, insert “UFS SASPP Fellowship Application.”

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to attend an online interview. UFS will release the list of successful candidates after 6 to 8 weeks of the interview.

Closing Date

Currently closed for application.

Contact Details

For more details on the bursary, contact Professor Wijnand Swart at swartwj@ufs.ac.za.

If the bursary has already been closed, you are requested not to contact the University of Free State/SASPP. View our other bursaries open for application here: https://allbursaries.co.za/notice/

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