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 knowl-edge production. The SABTT aims to:

  • Provide a platform for researchers and academics to exchange ideas and to generate evidence-based policy recommendations,
  • Shape the strategic vision of South Africa and the wider African region around global financial, economic, and governance issues,
  • Provide research-based technical and institutional support to the South African government in the formulation and re-formulation of relevant BRICS-related public policies and development pro-grammes,
  • Conduct policy analysis aimed at informing the long-term strategy of BRICS, and
  • Conduct broad-based analysis on the relationships between South Africa and the BRICS countries from the perspective of both South Africa’s national interests, the interests of the African continent, and the interest of the BRICS countries.

These objectives are 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 Research Projects programme, 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 thematics 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.

Funding under this programme will support South African academics and researchers who undertake research endeavours within the aforementioned thematic areas in any ONE of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India or China) and in comparison with South Africa, through holding seminars and work-shops, publishing books and journal articles and policy briefs, and fostering research networks at South African public universities and relevant institutions across the African continent and BRIC countries.


  • 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 R5 000 000.00 will be awarded to successful applications over the period of two years (renewable).


  • Applications will be considered based on the following criteria:
  1. – Collaboration that would be established by the project with relevant institutions and universities;
  2. – Coherency and feasibility of the project;
  3. – Contribution of the project to the body of knowledge in the field;
  4. – Innovative use of the thematic rubric and methodologies;
  5. – Capacity building;
  • The project must be completed within twenty-four months, with quarterly reports and a final report to be submitted to the NIHSS.
  • Only proposals not exceeding R5 000 000.00 will be considered.


  1. Application forms should be accessed at
  2. For assistance with the application process, please read the GUIDELINES
  3. Certified copy of South African ID/Passport
  4. Motivation letter (maximum 1000 words)
  5. A comprehensive Curriculum Vitae/Resumes of principal project leader and co-project leader/s
  6. Profile of lead research entity/center/institute
  7. 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 also
Enquiries may be directed to Dr Babalwa Siswana ( For technical queries only, please call 011 480 2328

Closing Date: 19 August 2022 at 16h00

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.