Process and Procedures

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Process and Procedures

The Postdoctoral Fellowship is advertised in at least one public forum other than the UJ intranet or internal electronic bulletin board in order to attract applicants from other universities. PDRFs may also apply directly to the faculty. PDRFs will be considered provided that they have completed their Doctoral degrees within the last five years.

1. Application process

A decision to appoint a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (PDRF) is with the Faculty. The host must confirm with the Vice-/Executive Dean of the Faculty regarding the availability of funds before the appointment can be finalised.

Fellowships are advertised through our internal and digital networks. The advert is also circulated to faculties to identify potential PDRFs for appointments, and external PDRFs who meet the requirements are encouraged to apply. Potential PDRFs are appointed when they have a research interest that is in line with the department’s expectations. For certain fellowship categories such as GES 4.0 and NRF, the online application form is made available, and the required documents are attached during the application process. For the applications to be shortlisted, PDRFs should meet the minimum requirement, that is, they must have obtained their doctoral degrees within the last five years.

It is important that prior to the application phase, PDRFs should identify a host who will guide them during the tenure of their fellowships with UJ. PDRFs are expected to complete the documents listed on our UJ website: after the appointment is confirmed. These documents are listed as follows:

  • UJ PDRF Agreement
  • UJ PDRF Admission Application Form
  • UJ PDRF Appointment Guideline (for our internal registration process)
  • UJ PDRF Declaration of Employment
  • Indemnity and Consent Form, applicable to International PDRFs.

On confirmation of the appointment by the host, the completed agreement must first be signed by the PDRF and sent to the host together with the following supporting documents. The host will ensure that the HOD and the Dean of the Faculty sign the agreement before the registration could be effected.

  • Curriculum Vitae (clearly indicating your study field, qualifications, employment history, awards and achievements, and names and contact details of references).
  • A research proposal of no less than three pages, the research proposal must contain inter alia a description of the research area, highlighting the research objectives, research questions, research methodology, and a clear timeframe indicating research outputs.
  • List of research publications produced in an ordered format, starting with the most recent publications.
  • Certified copy of a passport/ID.
  • PhD certificate.
  • Postgraduate exam transcripts. International PDRFs must do the necessary translations and obtain (where relevant) SAQA accreditation before submitting.

After all the abovementioned documents are submitted and the agreement is signed by all the relevant parties (PDRF, Host, HOD, and the Dean), PDRFs are expected to complete the online application form for the system to generate the registration number (refer to the appointment guideline document for the link to online application form).

2. International PDRFs

International PDRFs are expected to apply for a visitor’s visa to conduct their research work at UJ. The letter of undertaking is issued by the International Office and the following documents will be requested by the International Office:

  • A letter of acceptance from the Faculty.
  • A signed agreement should include the commencement and end dates aligned with the letter of acceptance and the value of the fellowship awarded.
  • A certified copy of the passport.
  • An address of the Embassy where the PDRF will apply for a visa.
  • The South African address where the PDRF will reside during the tenure of the fellowship. Should the PDRF not have a residential address yet, he/she is welcome to liaise with our Property Management: or to apply for UJ PDRFs accommodation.

3. Registration

South African PDRFs can register with a certified copy of an ID, the completed and signed agreement, together with the supporting documents as indicated in Paragraph 1 above.

International PDRFs must have a valid visitor’s visa or a critical skills permit, a certified copy of a passport, and medical aid certificate to be registered. The visitor’s visa will be accepted for registration when the condition of the visa indicates that the PDRF will be conducting a research project at UJ. Medical aid certificates should have the dates aligned to the dates provided in the agreement and PDRFs are expected to have a medical aid cover available for the full duration of their fellowships with UJ.

PDRFs can use the proof of registration to obtain access cards from the Kingsway Bridge or from the card office located on any Campus (APB, DFC, and Soweto) within UJ.

PDRFs are encouraged to request assistance from their departments to have the UJ username/account created during the tenure of their fellowships with UJ and the UJ account will be deactivated on deregistration as a PDRF with UJ. The following link can be used to create the UJ account: University of Johannesburg – Support Portal (

All PDRFs are expected to be registered by the 5th of the month to be paid by the end of each month, late registration may delay the payment date.

4. Payments

After the registration process, the funds are allocated to the PDRFs’ university accounts in accordance with the fellowship value provided in the agreement. The amounts are credited to the University accounts and spread over a period of twelve (12) months and are paid through the EFT to the PDRFs’ bank accounts by the end of each month.