Mathematics Wiskunde


DAAD In-Region Scholarship Programme

The Mathematics Division has a number of full-cost DAAD In-Region Scholarships available for MSc or PhD study, commencing in January 2021/2022/2023. Applications are now open for the January 2022 intake.

Applicants need to be nationals or permanent residents of a Sub-Saharan African country, excluding South Africa. Female applicants and candidates from less privileged regions or groups are especially encouraged to apply. If you are already enrolled for an MSc or a PhD at Stellenbosch, it is still possible to apply for a DAAD In-Region Scholarship for the remaining years of your degree.

Please see the the official DAAD call document as well as the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below for further information and eligibility criteria.

  • Applicants must first apply online directly to us at Stellenbosch in a pre-selection shortlisting process. Successful shortlisted candidates will then be invited to apply directly to DAAD via the DAAD portal for the final selection. The deadline is the 18th of May 2021. The following documents will be needed in the online application:

    1. A letter supporting your application from your proposed (or current) supervisor at Stellenbosch
    2. Certified copies of all university degree certificates, including transcripts
    3. A short cv
    4. A short cover letter (about 1 page), explaining a bit about yourself and your research interests

In addition, you will need:

  • Reference letter(s) by university teachers or supervisors (1 letter for MSc applicants, 2 letters for PhD applicants). These must be emailed by the referees directly to, with the emails stating clearly the name of the student concerned. These must also be submitted by 18 May 2021.

Finally, once you have submitted your online application, and have ensured that your referee(s) know that they must submit their reference letter(s) in time, you should:

  • Email a short notification to DAAD that you have applied. Use the subject line “Your Surname_First name_Stellenbosch University, Mathematical Division” and email to Helen Sahlmann, the DAAD contact person for these scholarships, at

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

For further enquiries, please contact Bruce Bartlett at

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why do I need to find a supervisor at Stellenbosch before I apply?

Our MSc and PhD degrees are research degrees, which means that you are paired with a supervisor right from the beginning, and there are no formal coursework requirements for these degrees.

It also means that, before we will accept you as a student at Stellenbosch, you need to have found a supervisor in the Mathematics Division who is willing to take you on as as student. The reality is that each staff member has their own research specialities, and if your research interests do not fall into one of these areas, then it is not going to work. We need to sort this out right at the beginning, to ensure that if your DAAD scholarship application is successful, then you will indeed be able to to come and study with us.

2. How do I find an appropriate supervisor for my MSc or PhD in Mathematics at Stellenbosch?

The best way is to go to our webpage:

Look at our Research Groups, and then look at the websites of individual staff members. If you identify someone who would be a good fit, then email them.

When you email a prospective supervisor, be sure to write an individual email addressed specifically to them. It should be clear from your email to your prospective supervisor that you have read up a bit about them and their research area. It is not advisable to write a general “Dear all” email that you send to everyone.

You may or may not get a response, and you may or may not get a fair response. But, at the end of the day, in order for this to work practically, we have to ensure that a supervisor is willing to take you on as a student. The good news is that most staff members are keen to take on new students, as long as they can be reasonably sure that it will work out.

3. Are these scholarships only for MSc and PhD study in the Mathematics Division?

Yes. You need to have at least one supervisor from the Mathematics Division.

4. Why must I apply to Stellenbosch in order to go through the pre-selection process?

This is because we need to ensure that, if you make our shortlist, and DAAD selects you as a candidate, that you will indeed be eligible to study at Stellenbosch.

Note that the online admission application at Stellenbosch for an MSc or a PhD degree is fairly straightforward and just asks you for some basic details, and a payment of a small admission fee. You will be given a student number as part of the process.

Later, if you actually come to Stellenbosch, you will formally register as a MSc or a PhD student. At that point, there will be another form to fill in.

5. What are the admission requirements for an MSc in Mathematics at Stellenbosch?

If you are applying to do a Masters in Mathematics at Stellenbosch, you will need to have successfully completed a four year (not three year) mathematics degree by the time you start.

5. What are the admission requirements for a PhD in Mathematics at Stellenbosch?

If you are applying to do a PhD, you will need to have successfully completed a suitable Masters (or equivalent) degree by the time you start.