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Poliomyelitis Research Foundation Bursaries 2024-2025

About Poliomyelitis Research Foundation:

The Poliomyelitis Research Foundation (PRF) was established in the late 1940s as a non-profit organization. It is governed by a Board of Trustees and includes a Scientific Advisory Panel. The foundation is dedicated to advancing the field of virology through research development. PRF has distributed over R144,000,000 in research funds, supporting various activities such as major impact projects, research initiatives, a travel program, a bursary program, post-doctoral fellowships, the James Gear International Fellowship, as well as other research projects, including the PRF training center and conference.

Poliomyelitis Research Foundation Bursaries 2024-2025:

PRF offers bursaries to students pursuing BSc (Honors), Masters, and PhD degrees.

Bursaries are typically awarded to South African citizens, and a limited number may be granted to non-South African candidates.

The PRF bursary does not support full-time or salaried employees.

Once a bursary has been awarded, the research project cannot be changed without PRF’s permission. Preference is given to applicants from historically disadvantaged communities.

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Applications are evaluated based on the following research project criteria:

  • Emphasis on laboratory or epidemiological virus research (rather than clinical research of virus diseases).
  • Relevance to human viral diseases in South Africa with the potential to impact health in the country.
  • Innovation and clarity of the research hypothesis.
  • Applicant’s track record and contribution to the project.
  • Available resources for the project.
  • Feasibility of the project.
  • Budget requirements and other available funding resources.
  • Realistic disease interventions that could reduce illness.

Grants may run for three years and must be renewed through an application process that includes project results achieved and papers published and presented at congresses during the second and third academic years to PRF.

PRF Bursary Requirements and Eligibility:

  • Minimum 60% average.
  • Preference for disadvantaged applicants.
  • South African citizens and individuals with permanent resident status are preferred.
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How to Apply and Application Details:

  1. Complete an online application by selecting the appropriate PRF Bursary Application form for your level of study:
  2. Along with your completed application form, submit the following supporting documents:For new applicants:
    • A certified copy of your ID document.
    • A certified copy of your proof of permanent residency (if not a South African citizen).
    • Full tertiary academic record, including the most recent results on the institute’s letterhead.
    • Curriculum Vitae, including publications (maximum 2 pages).
    • The full scope of your proposed research project.
    • Literature review.
    • Supervisor’s written support.
    • Completed Grants Application Signatory Form (PDF).
    For renewal applicants (current bursary recipients):
    • Most recent academic record on the institute’s letterhead.
    • For MSc applicants, a completed Grants Application Signatory Form (PDF).
    • Supervisor’s written support.
  3. Download and complete the PRF Final Bursary Form and submit it via email to Use “PRF Bursary Application” followed by “BSc (Hons)” or “MSc” or “PhD” in the email subject line.
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Closing Date of the PRF Bursary:

The application deadline for the PRF Bursary is September 15 and February 28 each year.

Contact Details of the Bursar:

For inquiries or further information about this bursary program, you can contact the bursary provider directly:

  • The Chairperson, Scientific Advisory Panel of the PRF
  • Address: 1 Modderfontein Road, Sandringham, Johannesburg
  • Postal Address: C/O the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Private Bag X4, Sandringham, 2131
  • Email:
  • Telephone: +27 11 555-0395
  • Fax: +27 86 758 3326
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