Department of Science and Innovation Internships for Unemployed South African Graduates
Are you a South African degree-holder having a hard time landing a job? Why not try an internship at the Department of Science and Innovation?

The Department of Science and Innovation – Human Sciences Research Council (DSI-HSRC) has posted internships for unemployed South African Sciences and Humanities graduates aged 35 years old or younger.

Application deadline: September 5, 2021

Benefits of the DSI-HSRC Internship Program

Offered for a period of 24 months, the DSI-HSRC Internships Program will provide its interns with a monthly salary depending on the level of qualification for the duration of the two-year period.

Bachelor’s degree holders shall receive  R6,375 per month while Honor’s degree holders with receive R 7,055 per month. On the other hand, master’s degree holders are entitled to a monthly compensation of R 8,375.

DSI-HSRC Internship Details

Previously handled by the National Research Foundation (NRF), the Department of Science and Innovation-funded Internship Program has now been placed under the care of the HSRC.

Over the past 15 years, the program has aided over 6,000 young people, including unemployed South African graduates, to access internship opportunities. It places unemployed graduates in science, engineering and technology disciplines, as well as in the humanities and social sciences, at various research performing or research policy institutions.

An NRF study in 2018 showed that 54% of the interns who had been in the program between 2005 and 2017-2018 were registered for postgraduate studies. Meanwhile, 45% were in full-time employment. Significantly, of those in employment, 48% were working in the national system of innovation.

Over the next three years, the internship program will focus on strengthening the transversal skills and capabilities of the interns.

In turn, this will give them a competitive advantage when entering the labor market, and supporting the growth of mentoring capabilities, particularly in the context of remote work becoming a mainstream phenomenon.

The new cohort of interns will be recruited to commence their two-year internships on October 1, 2021.

Eligibility Criteria

In order to be considered for this opportunity, interested parties must first meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be a South African citizen or South African Permanent Resident (with a valid South African Identity Document).
  • Non-South Africans are not eligible to apply;
  • Should be currently unemployed South African graduates and 35 years of age or younger at the time of submitting the application;
  • graduate holding any of the following:

NQF Level 7: Bachelor’s, Advanced Diploma, or B-Tech Degree;

NQF Level 8: Bachelor’s Hons Degree, and Postgraduate Diploma;

NQF Level 9: Master’s Degree or M-Tech.

  • Hold a qualification in Science, Engineering and Technology, Research, Development, Innovation, Social

Sciences and Humanities or related disciplines and SHOULD HAVE COMPLETED THEIR STUDY at the time of submitting the application. See the list of areas of specializations/disciplines by province below:

The following applies to candidates who are NOT ELIGIBLE to be appointed as DSI-HSRC interns:

• Candidates who hold a Diploma at BELOW NQF level 7 as well as PhD at NQF level 10;

• Candidates who would be registered full-time for study

• Registered Doctoral (PhD, DPhil and DTech) students; and

• Candidates who hold DSI-funded scholarships or bursaries during the internship year.

Internship Program Selection Process

Shortlisting and interview of applicants will be conducted by mentors at the participating host institutions*.

Applicants will be shortlisted and contacted by the specific host institution to schedule interviews, using the personal email they have provided in the application.

Furthermore, applicants are advised to check their emails regularly during the period of September 13-30.

After the host institution has selected their candidate, they will inform the DSI-HSRC Internship Program office. In turn, they will send out the letter inviting successful applicants to the program and forward the necessary contract documents for signing.

* Participating host institutions are located throughout the country, and so, interested applicants should ensure that they apply for a position available in the province where they would like to be placed. Kindly note that the HSRC does not pay relocation costs to any appointed candidates who choose to relocate to another province.

How to Apply

All applications must be submitted electronically on the DSI-HSRC Internship Online Management System.

Aspiring interns must first register under the tab new registration and provide their personal details as required.

After the registration, applicants are required to log in and go to My Applications, where they must create an application and complete all the relevant sections following the instructions provided.

The closing date for applications is Sunday, September 5, 2021. No late applications will be considered.

Furthermore, the DSI-HSRTC is asking applicants to attach the following documents within their submission:

• Certified copies of certificates;

• Certified academic records; and

• Certified copy of the South African ID or Passport

To download the application guidelines and internship program framework please click on the links provided below:

For further information on the implementation of the program, direct your queries to the HSRC on [email protected]


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