DSI-HSRC Internship Programme

The DSI-HSRC Internship Programme is a unique national skills development initiative, informed by the Human Resource Development Strategy for public service, which offers practical work experience and mentorship to unemployed graduates as well as postgraduates to gain practical skills in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH). Thereby increasing their chances of employment and exposing them to a vibrant research and development environment. The Programme is funded by the Department of Science and Innovation and managed by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).

Purpose: The programme is intended to attract and retain skilled human capital within the National System of Innovation (NSI). This is accomplished through mentoring and the development of skills and competencies among the next generation of our workforce in South Africa. It serves as an enabling platform that provides accelerated work experience in a manner that builds the critical occupational and research competencies required by the NSI. The interns emerge from their training as highly-skilled individuals who will help achieve the national goal of an equitable growth path that develops sustainable livelihoods, education, health and safe and secure communities.

What are the objectives of the Internship Programme?

  • Establish and increase the pool of skilled human resources for the Public and Private Sector, Science Councils, Science Institutions, and the National System of Innovation (NSI); 
  • Provide university graduates and postgraduates with work experience in various field SET fields and disciplines commensurate with their qualifications, thus increasing their chances of employment; 
  • Provide SET graduates and post-graduates (excluding post-doctoral applicants) with exposure to research and development projects that are critical to the NSI and to attract them to pursue careers in the NSI; and 
  • Build capacity in research management at higher education institutions (HEIs), research institutions, public and private institutions throughout the country. 

What does the Internship Programme Offer?


The internship programme is offered for a period of 24 months. Successful applicants will be required to sign a contract for the duration of the internship. 


The DSI-HSRC Internship provides interns with a monthly stipend depending on the level of qualification for the duration of the two years: 

  • Bachelors:        R 6 758 per month 
  • Honours:          R 7 478 per month 
  • Masters:           R 8 878 per month 

The DSI-HSRC Internship programme has a capacity development aspect which aims to

  • Recognise and nurture capabilities and competencies across all interns.
  • Facilitate a result-oriented approach to capacity development, focusing on enhancing core technical, foundational and transversal skills progression.
  • Strengthen the quality of mentoring provided to interns.
  • Support career planning and promote skills for enhancing labour market access of interns.

The capacity development programme will be facilitated through seminars, workshops and self-learning activities throughout the duration of the internship.

How to apply for a graduate internship or to host an Intern

The HSRC publishes two sets of calls;

  • Step 1: invite hosting institutions to declare their interest in hosting interns by expressing their intern profile requests.
  • Step 2: Invite graduates to apply for the internship.
  • Step 3: Grant successful hosts access to the intern portal to identify their relevant interns aligned to the qualification.
  • Step 4: Hosts identify and interview selected interns and communicate with the HSRC if they have found an intern to match their needs.
  • Step 5: HSRC undertakes verification of eligibility of the applicant and, if approved, then facilitates the contract

DSI-HSRC Internship Programme 2023/25 call is now open.

Who can apply?

To be eligible, interns MUST meet the following minimum requirements: 

  • 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 and 35 years of age or younger at the time of appointment to the internship programme; A 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.

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. 
  • Candidates who are past beneficiaries of the DSI-NRF or DSI-HSRC Internship programme 

How to set up a graduate application:

Are you a host institution wanting to apply?

Click here to apply

Are you a graduate interested in applying for an intern position?

For more information about the DSI-HSRC Internship Programme 2023/25 Call, click here .

Consult our frequently asked questions on the User FAQs tab on this link http://interns.hsrc.ac.za/.

Call open date: 05 May 2023

Call close date: 26 May 2023


For any programme or application-related inquiries, please get in touch with us by E-mail: DSI_HSRC_Internship.queries@hsrc.ac.za.

For more information regarding the Graduate call and Host call please click on the links below:

Host Call

Graduate Call