Migration of Internship Programme to the Human Sciences Research Council

Migration of Internship Programme to the Human Sciences Research Council

The Department of Science and Innovation-funded Internship Programme, previously managed by the National Research Foundation (NRF), has been moved to the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).

Over the 15 years it was led by the NRF, the programme enabled over 6 000 young people to access internship opportunities, and the HSRC hopes to build on this impressive work.

The Internship Programme, intended to bridge the gap between academic study and competent performance in the workplace, 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.

Participation in effectively managed internship programmes is associated with improved career and employment prospects, enhanced motivation to continue studying, and greater confidence.  An NRF study in 2018 showed that

54% of the interns who had been in the Programme between 2005 and 2017/18 were registered for postgraduate studies and 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 Programme will focus on strengthening the transversal skills and capabilities of the interns, giving them a competitive advantage when entering the labour market, and supporting the growth of mentoring capabilities, particularly in the context of remote work becoming a mainstream phenomenon. The intention is to expand the reach of the Programme to include a greater number of interns and host institutions in the national system of innovation.

The new cohort of interns will be recruited to commence their two-year internships on 1 October 2021. The recruitment drive has been launched on August 20, 2021, through multiple channels, including mainstream, social media, and targeted contact with institutions.

To find out more about the DSI-HSRC Internship Programme Launch Call for 2021/23 for interns and Host Institutions click on the links below:

Host Institutions Call:


Graduates Call:


For further information on the implementation of the programme,

direct your queries to the HSRC on # DSI_HSRC_Internship.queries@hsrc.ac.za

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