The National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) is pleased to invite suitably qualified researchers and academics based at South Africa’s public Higher Education Institutions as well as research institutes to submit their applications for an expression of interest for the South African BRICS Think Tank (SABTT).


The role of the SABTT is to act as a dynamic broker between the worlds of knowledge and policy action. Its vision, mission, and strategic objectives also reflect its intention to influence policy and promote knowledge production. This objective is informed by the BRICS’ central ideals of pursuing economic and development and building an international economic and political order that is just.

The SABTT provides a platform for the NIHSS to pursue its mandate of developing initiatives that contribute towards a better and safer world order through peaceful diplomacy and multilateralism. One of the programmes of the SABTT is the BRICS clusters, which allows the NIHSS to play a vital role in organising joint-research, networking, and exchange programs with a view of addressing the five research focus areas outlined in the BRICS Long Term Strategy, namely:

  • Promoting cooperation for economic growth and development;
  • The maintenance of peace and security;
  • Social justice, sustainable development, and quality of life;
  • Political and economic governance; and
  • Achieving progress by sharing knowledge and innovation.

In particular, the SABTT looks forward to establishing a research cluster that promotes cooperation within and among BRICS countries on economic growth and development issues. Suitable South African specialists are invited to submit expressions of interest and proposals that address the thematic areas:

  • The Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership;
  • Post-Covid-19 economic recovery;
  • Promotion of intra-BRICS trade and investment, specifically manufacturing, agriculture, energy security, e-commerce, resilient supply chains;
  • BRICS cooperation on economic growth, the multilateral trading system;
  • Adaptation of agriculture to climate change;
  • Sustainability of South African mining sector;
  • The advancement of labour-intensive supply (achieve inclusive growth); and
  • Sustainable entrepreneurship development.

Funding under this programme will support South African academics and researchers who undertake research endeavours within the aforementioned thematic areas, through holding seminars and workshops, publishing books and journal articles and policy briefs, and fostering research networks at non-South African universities across the African continent and BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China).


  • Only South African academics and researchers based in Higher Education Institutions, or at South African research institutes, or those involved in collaborative BRICS projects, may apply.


  • A maximum of R500 000.00 will be awarded to successful research clusters.


  • Applications will be considered based on the following criteria:
  • Collaboration that would be established by the project with relevant institutions and universities;
  • Coherency and feasibility of the project;
  • Contribution of the project to the body of knowledge in the field;
  • Innovative use of the thematic rubric and methodologies;
  • Capacity building;
  • The project must be completed within twelve months, with quarterly reports and a final report to be submitted to the NIHSS.
  • Only proposals not exceeding R500 000.00 will be considered.

To apply, kindly submit the following documentation online:

  1. Applications should be submitted at
  2. For assistance with the application process, please read the GUIDELINES
  3. Certified copy of South African ID/Passport
  4. Motivation letter
  5. A comprehensive Curriculum Vitae/Resume
  6. A proposal describing the project’s goal and expected outcomes/outputs, as well as the project’s timetable, work outline, and itemised budget

For more information visit and Enquiries may be directed to Dr Babalwa Siswana at For technical queries only, please call 011 480 2328.

CLOSING DATE: 22 September 2021 at 18h00

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. If you do not hear from us within three months, please consider your application unsuccessful. The NIHSS reserves the right to extend the closing date or withdraw the call before the closing date based on the volume of applications received.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *