South Africa: DSI

Name of Funding agency

Department of Science and Innovation

Geographical coverage (national/regional)


Name of the programme/initiative


Programme website

Programme owner

Department of Science and Innovation

Program manager (executing funding organisation)

Department of Science and Innovation

Contact person(s) (e-mail, tel.)

Ms Tugela Matubatuba


Ms Ntombi Mchuba


Funding Commitment

400 000€

Anticipated number of fundable research partners

1 - 4

Maximum funding per grant awarded to a partner

150 000€

Type of research eligible for funding: eligible TRL range

TRL 1 to7

Funding rates (approx.)

Type of research

Large Enterprises

Medium Enterprises

Small Enterprises

Universities and research organisations

Fundamental/Basic Research

Up to 80%

Up to 90%

Up to 90%


Industrial/Applied Research

Up to 80%

Up to 90%

Up to 90%


Experimental development

Up to 80%

Up to 90%

Up to 90%




Major eligibility criteria
(e.g. types of organisations, thematic restriction, cost types and caps)

This call is open to working researchers residing in South Africa and affiliated with a recognised higher education or research institution such as a university, university of technology or science council, small, medium (SMEs) and large enterprises in the private sector and national system of innovation organisations involved in R&D.


It is “obligatory” for South African lead researcher/principal investigator (PI)s based at historically advantaged institutions, SMEs and large companies to include, as part of the research team, a research partner from any of the historically disadvantaged institutions. Proposals submitted by an applicant based at a historically advantaged institution without a research partner from a historically disadvantaged institution will be ineligible. The research partner from the historically disadvantaged institution in this case can serve as a co-applicant in the proposal.

Applicants based at historically disadvantaged institutions can act as PIs and submit proposals without the involvement of and or partnering with researchers based at historically advantaged institutions if they so wish.

 Please note that only the following eight universities will be recognized as historically disadvantaged in line with the Department of Higher Education and Training November 2015 Ministerial Statement on university funding:

• University of Limpopo (UL)

• University of Fort Hare (UFH)

• University of Venda (Univen)

• Walter Sisulu University (WSU)

• University of the Western Cape (UWC)

• University of Zululand (UniZulu)

• Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT)

• Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU).


Eligible costs

Each project will go through a financial negotiation process with the DSI to finalise the exact percentage funding. The funding will be transferred in tranches in accordance with the project duration. The following costs are cost will be covered;


Travel and Daily subsistence allowance including accommodation

The DSI will cover travel costs in line with the guidelines of South African government regulations.


Consumables and supplies

Any consumables necessary for the implementation of the project may be considered as direct eligible costs. Consumables are only eligible costs under the project if bought after the start date of the project.


Costs of personnel

DSI will cover personnel costs including PhD bursaries to be incurred during project implementation


Submission of the proposal at national/regional level (schedule, cut-off dates, deadlines, etc.)

Cut-off dates will be as per call, however researchers are advised to submit the projects outlines for endorsement to DSI a month before submission to the coordinator

Submission of financial and scientific reports at the national/regional level

Will be in accordance with signed agreement between DSI and successful applicants

Further guidance