Opportunities

The NSCF will offer postgraduate bursaries, postdoctoral grants, travel grants for visiting scientists working on the collections, and grants for accelerated species descriptions. Keep an eye on this site for postings of these opportunities.

Call for travel grants for researchers to work on natural science collections in South Africa

Natural science collections are considered as global research infrastructure that is critical to the work of researchers from many different institutions and countries. The collections benefit from having expert identification or verification of specimen identifications, often for groups where there is no institutional or local expertise.

A challenge facing researchers is that the traditional approach of obtaining material on loan through the post is becoming increasingly problematic and so researchers have to travel to institutions and spend time there working through material. Travel costs can limit such visits and this could negatively impact on research outputs, and on the quality and therefore the value of the specimens and associated data.

For this reason, the Natural Science Collections Facility (NSCF), which is funded by the Department of Science & Technology, as part of the South African Research Infrastructure Roadmap (SARIR), and which is co-ordinated by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), is offering travel grants for researchers to work on South African collections. Travel grants are available for both overseas and nationally based researchers to travel to any of the main collection institutions in South Africa. These institutions must provide access to their collections and data to external researchers.

Travel grants for natural science collections staff to attend an international conference

The Natural Science Collections Facility (NSCF) is funded by the Department of Science & Technology, and is a distributed facility involving museums, universities and science councils that hold, manage and make accessible natural science collection materials and data. The NSCF is co-ordinated by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). The NSCF recognises the value of staff attending international conferences related to natural science collections, specifically conferences dealing with collection and data management, in order to develop local capacity and to establish global networks. Examples of relevant conferences include the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) and the Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) conference (combined in 2018).