South Africa-UK Scientific Seminars

This scheme is for mid-career scientists who want to organise a small three-day scientific seminar between groups of scientists from South Africa and the UK.

The meeting may take place in either the UK or South Africa and may have up to 20 attendees (5 from the visiting country and up to 15 from the host country). The scheme is intended to encourage scientific discussion and to promote collaboration and knowledge transfer by encouraging interaction within the wide research community.

The award holders are responsible for all aspects of organising and delivering the scientific content of the meetings, as well as finding a suitable venue and accommodation for all participants. There must be a clear strategy for securing long-term sustainable funds for the continuation of their research collaboration.

The scheme is administered by the Royal Society on behalf of the UK Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) and jointly run with the South African National Research Foundation (NRF).

Eligibility requirements

The scheme covers all areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering, but excluding clinical medicine.

The applicant must:

  • have a PhD or equivalent research experience
  • hold a fixed term contract or permanent position at an eligible institution.

Applicants should ensure that they meet all the eligibility requirements, which are explained in the scheme notes (PDF).

Value and tenure

The scheme provides funding to cover the cost international airfares for up to 5 scientists, local travel costs for attendees, accommodation for all external attendees for up to 4 nights, hire of meeting rooms and audio visual equipment and all meals whilst the meeting is taking place (breakfast, lunch and evening dinner).

The grant does not cover bench fees, conference fees, departmental costs, medical insurance, excess baggage costs, and expenses relating to accompanying dependents or contributions towards salaries.

Please note that the total value of the grant cannot exceed more than £12,000 in total.

The meeting should not exceed more than 3 days.

Application process

Applications should be submitted through the Royal Society’s electronic grant application system (e-GAP). The application must be submitted through the UK applicant’s host institution before the deadline. However, the application may be shared with the South African applicant (Named Co-Applicant on the e-GAP system). A PDF copy of the application form must be mailed to the NRF.

Applications are initially reviewed by two members of the Royal Society Networking panel with the most appropriate scientific expertise and then shortlisted. A similar process is undertaken by National Research Foundation (NRF) in South Africa. The two shortlists are then reconciled and the final decision is made by the Chairs of both panels.