PhD students

IMPORTANT: New call for PhD students

Are you currently enrolled as a PhD student at a South African university? Then you can apply for a 6 or 10 month scholarship to do part of your degree in one of our European partner countries. More information below!

What do we offer?

EU-SATURN is a scholarship programme funded by the European Union that offers 6-month & 10-month scholarships to South Africans, currently enrolled in a PhD programme at a South African University. We have six partner universities in Europe which offer a wide range of courses (taught in English) and exciting research opportunities. To find out more about the universities and their academic offer, click here.


Can I apply?

If you

  1. are currently enrolled in a PhD programme at any South African University
  2. hold the South African nationality
  3. have not lived in Europe for more than 12 months over the past 5 years

you can apply for one of our scholarships!

Please contact the coordinator at the potential host university as soon as possible with a short outline of the work you intend to do during your mobility, to secure a potential supervisor.

The scholarship

As a EU-SATURN grantee you benefit from:

  • A monthly scholarship of €1500
  • A return flight
  • Insurance


Available Scholarships


Target Group 1+2


6 months



10 months



Motivated and talented PhD student’s will be given the opportunity to extend their 6 month scholarship to 7,8 or 9 months after they have been selected.

What are Target Groups? Please find the explanation below!



The application period runs until the 7 June 2015.

Grantees can start their exchange any time between 1 September 2015 and 31 December 2015. Please note that all mobilities have to end before the 14.07.2016! This means that if you get a 10-month scholarship, you need to start on the 15 September 2015! If you start at a later date, your exchange will be shorter.


Available Programmes

You can choose from any of the programmes that are listed in the “Academic Offer”. Please make sure you inform yourself about the programme by looking it up on the university’s website. Next, you need to find a supervisor at the university that you are applying for and obtain a letter of pre-acceptance.

If you have any questions, you can contact the EU-SATURN coordinator at the university (see contacts for the address) or the EU-SATURN coordination team at


What are Target Groups?

Applicants are divided into two Target Groups.

Target Group 1: All PhD students currently enrolled at one of our partner universities:

University of the Free State (co-coordinator)
Stellenbosch University
Tshwane University of Technology
University of Cape Town
University of Fort Hare
University of Johannesburg
University of Limpopo
University of the Western Cape
University of the Witwatersrand

Target Group 2: All PhD students currently enrolled at any of these (or another) South African universities:

University of KwaZulu-Natal
Cape Peninsula University of Technology
North-West University
University of Pretoria
Rhodes University
University of South Africa
University of Venda
Walter Sisulu University
University of Zululand
Central University of Technology
Durban University of Technology
Mangosuthu University of Technology
Vaal University of Technology


Required documents


  • Curriculum Vitae in English (preferably Europass format);
  • Scanned color copy of Passport (bio-data page);
  • Two recommendation letters in English;
  • Scanned copy of your last degree obtained
  • Transcript of Records
  • Research Plan
  • A pre-acceptance letter from the EU host institution
  • Declaration of Honour that may be downloaded here.


  • Language Certificates (in any case use the European Self Assesment Language Grid to evaluate your level)
  • Second Letter of Motivation in case you apply to a 2nd EU host
  • Letter of Special Circumstances in case you belong to a vulnerable group
  • Statement Letter by home university that your (undergraduate, master) degree will be issued before the planned EU-SATURN mobility period


  • Applications often get rejected because the candidate failed to upload one of the required documents. So please make sure that you have uploaded everything before submitting.
  • Convert your documents into PDF files
  • The maximum file size is 2MB
  • You may only apply once to a maximum of 2 EU host universities or a maximum of 2 programmes at one EU host
  • Paper applications will under no circumstances be taken into consideration