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Brian O’Connell Scholarship Programme 2023/2024



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We are pleased to announce that the application for the 2023–2024 Brian O’Connell Scholarship Programme is now open.

The Brian O’Connell (BOC) Scholarship Programme presented by the SANORD Network, provides an avenue for master’s students within the Southern African region. Through this scholarship, students can embark on a unique journey, integrating them into the academic and research spheres of our Nordic partners.

Brian O’Connell Scholarship Eligibility

To be considered for the BOC Scholarship Programme:


  • Be enrolled in a master’s degree at a SANORD-affiliated university in the Southern African region during the travel year. Preference is for candidates in their 2nd year of master’s studies.
  • The primary academic and research focus should align with the SANORD Strategy 2023.
  • Aspiring applicants should submit:
    • A comprehensive study plan detailing intended academic activities at the Nordic host institution
    • A motivation letter emphasising the reason for pursuing this opportunity, its potential benefit to your development, and its alignment with Southern Africa’s knowledge production and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
    • Accredited transcripts of records for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
    • A confirmed letter of acceptance from the Nordic host institution
    • A letter of support from the HOME supervisor and the relevant dean of the faculty
    • Commitment to present acquired knowledge at a seminar by the SANORD Central Office or a recognised scholarly conference.

Brian O’Connell Scholarship Application Procedure

  1. Initial Consultation:
    • Start by discussing your interest with the SANORD contact person at your institution. This individual is likely located in your international office or might even be your thesis supervisor.
    • For optimal alignment, consider selecting a Nordic institution with an existing Student Exchange Agreement or Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with your home institution.
  2. Engage with potential hosts:
    • Your home supervisor should initiate a conversation with potential host institutions in the Nordic region.
    • If a host institution agrees to your stay, obtain a formal letter of invitation or acceptance from the host supervisor.
  3. Gather the necessary documents:
    • A letter of support from your home institution, endorsed by both your supervisor and the Head of Department (HOD), is crucial.
    • Ensure you have your updated transcripts for both your bachelor’s and master’s programs.
    • A valid passport that remains active for at least another six months and has ample blank pages is mandatory.
  4. Draft Application Materials:
    • A comprehensive study plan detailing academic activities, research alignment with the host institution’s scholarship areas, and expected outputs such as conference presentations or research papers
    • Draft a compelling motivation letter explaining the reason for seeking this international opportunity, its anticipated benefits for your personal development, and its potential contributions to knowledge production in Southern Africa and alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  5. Budget Planning for Partial Funding:
    • Prepare a detailed budget, keeping in mind that the maximum funding is R100,000. This budget should account for:
      • Return flight tickets (economy class)EzoicEzoic
      • Accommodation expenses.
      • Living allowance during your stay.
      • Potential tuition fees (in cases where they aren’t covered by the host institution)
      • Travel insurance.
  6. Submission:
    • Send your completed application, ensuring all required supporting documents are attached, in a single email to [email protected]. Applications split across multiple emails or missing essential documents won’t be accepted.
    • Remember to include the provided application form in your submission, which can be accessed here.
  7. Follow-Up:
    • Post-application submission, communicate your travel plans with the SANORD Central Office. This ensures the timely transfer of funds in alignment with your travel schedule.


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