UKZN Mellon Spatial Humanities Scholarship South Africa

About The University of Kwazulu-Natal

In 2004, the University of KwaZulu-Natal merged with Durban-Westville University to become the University of KwaZulu-Natal. There are five main campuses of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College, including Edgewood, Medical School, Westville, and Pietermaritzburg. Several colleges are located on the University’s campuses, specializing in different trades and disciplines.

UKZN Mellon Spatial Humanities Scholarship

Applications are now being accepted for the Andrew Mellon Masters and Doctoral Scholarship Project in Spatial Humanities at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Masters and Doctoral students at UKZN who are working on Spatial Humanities-related projects within a situated African context are eligible for the scholarship. Geospatial Humanities explores the relationship between space and the built environment, human behavior, history, culture, and identity by using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), geospatial technologies, and methods.

It engages in an interdisciplinary approach and brings together students and scholars of humanities and geosciences. As part of the project, Durban Central, Chatsworth and uMlazi sites, which are linked to artistic, cultural, architectural, or spatial narratives, use critical spatial methodologies.

Each scholar is assigned to one of the Broad Research Areas after consulting with their Supervisor/s:

  • Space/Place Making and Architectural Vernaculars
  • Spatial Humanities and Community-Integrated GIS
  • uMlazi, Chatsworth, and Durban Central: Cultural and Digital Mapping
  • Mapping memory, culture, and GIS
  • A Study of Indigenous Space and Place-Making: Language, Beliefs, and Place
  • A Spatial Humanities Approach to Africa

For Masters’s studies, the scholarship amounts to R100 000 per year, while for Doctoral studies it amounts to R130 000 per year. Scholarships will be paid in installments, following the completion of milestones and satisfactory supervisor reports.

In addition to a strong academic performance, scholarship holders may be required to submit a portfolio and a motivational statement.

Eligibility Criteria

The following minimum entry requirements must be met before an application can be considered (no application will be considered if all of the requirements are not met):

  • MA or PhD student in their first year or new to the program
  • Scholarships are ONLY open to full-time students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (part-time study, study outside of the mentioned disciplines, and students interested in research topics outside of Spatial Humanities are NOT eligible).
  • The Howard College campus must be your preferred location
  • The project requires you to work collaboratively with others under the supervision of supervisors
  • Focused masters and doctoral study topics are likely to be assigned to you
  • A fieldwork component is required at one of three sites: uMlazi, Chatsworth, or Durban Central
  • Full-time employment is not permitted
  • Students from Black South Africa, females, and those with an honours or masters degree in a related humanities discipline (History, Anthropology, Sociology, IsiZulu, Architecture, Community Development, Literature, Philosophy, Gender, Performing Arts, Religion (Music/ Theatre/ Dance) Arts ( Photography/Painting/ Film/ Ceramics) are encouraged to apply.


How to apply?

To apply, students must submit clear copies of the following supporting documents. The submission of these documents is a requirement – otherwise, your application may not be considered:

  • Document of identification (certified copy)
  • All degree certificates (certified copies)
  • Record of Academic Achievements: Undergraduate and Graduate
  • Letter of motivation explaining: Why you think you would be a good candidate to work in spatial humanities (2 pages)
  • Notes with bibliographies on one of the above research areas (2 pages)
  • Portfolio: Opinion Pieces / Publications/ Ceramic Work or Painting/ Film/ Photographic/ Theatre (Optional)

Note: You must combine all documents into one single PDF file.

Applications should be sent by email to Udo Fidelis at:

In the email subject line, typeUKZN Mellon Scholarship Application

Note: The bursary application does not require a form – students only need to submit the above documents.

Closing Date

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

Contact Details

The University of KwaZulu-Natal can be contacted directly if you have any questions regarding this scholarship programme.

Email ID: 

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

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