UKZN College of Humanities – Mellon Early Career Scholars Programme SA

About UKZN and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

UKZN or the University of KwaZulu-Natal is a leading public university located in Berea, Durban. It has five campuses in the province that offer world-class education. The university came into existence in January 2004 after the merger of the University of Natal and the University of Durban-Westville.

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports equal access for everyone to the field of arts and humanities. It partners with colleges and universities worldwide and takes necessary measures to attract historically underserved populations into humanities education.

UKZN College of Humanities – Mellon Early Career Scholars Programme

The College of Humanities at the University of KwaZulu-Natal is inviting early-career scholars to apply for the UKZN College of Humanities – Mellon Early Career Scholars Programme. This is funded by the Mellon Foundation.

For the upcoming academic session, there are five postdoctoral fellowships, three doctoral scholarships, and nine Master’s scholarships on offer. These are awarded at the following campuses:

  • Howard College
  • Pietermaritzburg campus
  • Edgewood campus

The fellowships and scholarships are limited to the following fields of study:

  • English Studies, with a specialized focus on African literature and Women in literature
  • English Studies, with a technical focus on Film Studies and Cultural Studies
  • Drama and Performance Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology, with a focus on Industrial Sociology and Sociology at work
  • Sociology, with a focus on Menstruation and Menstrual Hygiene Management
  • Gender Studies
  • Humanities, with a technical focus on Culture and Language
  • Humanities, with a specialized focus on African women and sexual agency
  • Higher Education Studies, with a specialized focus on Transformation and Decolonial Studies
  • Higher Education Studies, with a specialised focus on Online Learning

Fields of study like Clinical, Counselling, Industrial, and Research psychology are not considered for the programmes.

The valuation of the fellowship and scholarship programmes are as follows:

  • Postdoctoral fellowship – valued at R 200,000 per year for 12 months
  • Doctoral scholarship – valued at R 135,000 per year for up to 48 months
  • Master’s scholarship – valued at R 105,000 per year for up to 24 months (two of the nine Master’s scholarships are only for 12 months)

Shortlisted candidates will get more information regarding the fellowship/scholarship programmes.

Eligibility Criteria

There are specific eligibility criteria for the scholarship progammes. Everyone applying for the funding must meet all of the criteria to be considered. Since the University of KwaZulu-Natal receives an excess of applications, it rejects those that do not fulfill the requirements. Therefore, always cross-check before applying.

The eligibility requirements for UKZN College of Humanities – Mellon Early Career Scholars Programme 2022 are:

  • A South African citizen
  • An Early Career Scholar
  • Pursuing a postdoc, doctoral, or Master’s qualification at one of the three UKZN campuses mentioned above
  • Pursuing their qualification in one of the fields of study mentioned above
  • Postdoctoral applicants must have completed a Ph.D. degree and have conducted research in relevant areas
  • Doctoral applicants must have completed a Master’s qualification
  • Master’s applicants must have completed an Honours degree
  • Have an excellent academic track record
  • Passionate about making an impact in society through research work

Preference is given to students belonging to previously disadvantaged backgrounds. Students with disabilities also get priority during the hiring process.


How to Apply?

If you’re interested in the scholarship programme, consider applying for it. All applicants are required to go through a small application process and submit their candidature.

There is no application form required for any of the available scholarship programmes. All you need to do is send in the following documents to the required email address:

  • Updated CV (include your details, contact details, and academic qualification)
  • A letter of motivation supporting your application
  • Contact details of two academic referees who are familiar with your research/study (provide phone number and email ID)
  • A summary of your research interests (within one page)
  • Example of your academic writing (a thesis or a chapter of your Honours long paper)

Send the documents to Ms. Nokuphiwa Mbhele, Committee Officer, College of Humanities at

Closing Date

The last date of application is 31 March 2022.

Contact Details

For more details regarding the scholarship programme, contact Prof. Saleem Badat at:

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

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