Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation (CSSFF) and SAMRC Scholarship Programme 2022 | APPLY NOW

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The Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation (CSSFF) and the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) have announced a five-year collaboration to initiate a skills development programme that aims to train a cohort of young African candidates to build a skilled workforce to manufacture vaccines on the African continent.

This programme will be achieved through a mixture of virtual, online, in-person lectures and, most importantly, hands-on lab-based training by awarding Studentships, Scholarships and Fellowships in vaccine-related disciplines in the health, life and allied sciences.

Over R110 million will be invested in the programme, which seeks to build collaborations and partnerships with industry and global funders.

A call for CSSFF-SAMRC Studentships and Scholarships is being launched today with a call for post doctorial Fellowships in early 2023. The Studentship awardees will enroll in an intensive 3-month laboratory based-training programme at the SAMRC and key partner institutions.

There is the potential for promising candidates to be offered an industry internship or advanced studies on completion of the Studentship programme. We seek to make 50 studentship awards in two cohorts during 2023, with the first cohort starting in February 2023.

For the Scholarships awards, we are seeking proposals for Master and PhD research projects that will focus on key elements of vaccine production, analysis, purification, formulation, regulatory, pharmacy etc.  

The CSSFF-SAMRC capacity development programme will grow the next generation of vaccine professionals, researchers, and technical experts, build much needed capacity and infrastructure, and establish a network through which vaccine R&D and innovation can be nurtured and thrive. Ultimately, the next generation of vaccine scientists, technicians and professionals will help to grow and drive the industry and contribute to the economy.

Application timelines:

The following is a guideline for the process:

Launch of Call31 August 2022
Closing date for CSSFF-SAMRC Studentships30 September 2022
Closing date for CSSFF-SAMRC Scholarships15 October 2022
Peer review of applications and interviews of shortlisted candidatesOctober – November 2022
Announcement of awardsDecember 2022
Commencement of Studentship trainingFebruary 2023
Commencement of Scholarship awardsFebruary 2023

All proposals received will be screened for eligibility, responsiveness and compliance with the grant and submission criteria. Proposals that do not meet the criteria will not be processed further.

Eligibility Criteria:

This is an open call for proposals from researchers based at South African Institutions, Science Councils (including the SAMRC) and other public research organizations, including South African registered not-for-profit research organizations whose primary purpose is to conduct vaccine related research and/or product development. Such entities should preferably have at least one local university or science council collaborator. The goal is to expand the eligibility criteria after enrollment of the first cohort of scientists.

Applications between Academia-private sector projects will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Selection criteria:


  • Academic transcript of studies to date. (Final results transcript if studies are already complete.)
  • Submission of Motivation form
  • Submission of academic reference
  • Relevance of Scientific discipline

The final awards will be conditional on the recipient suppling of a final University transcript.


Each responsive and complete application received by the due date will be reviewed by local and international reviewers who are experts in the RFA priority areas. Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in determining scientific and technical merit and provide an overall score for the proposal.

  • Significance:
    • Is the research project relevant to the vaccine field? Can the research be applied to the production, purification, formulation or analysis of biopharmaceuticals?
    • Is the research novel?
  • Environment
    • Will the scientific environment in which the research will be conducted contribute to the probability of success?
    • Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the proposed project?
    • Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, patient populations, existing research programmes, collaborative arrangements or other resources?
  • Impact
    • Does the proposed project challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms?
    • Can this project facilitate training a larger cohort of scientists in Africa?
  • Methodology and approach
    • Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project?
    • Are the milestones and deliverables clearly thought through and articulated?
    • Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented?Has sufficient preliminary or pilot work been done to inform the design and feasibility of the study? • Is the proposed approach relevant to the socio-political, cultural, legislative and economic contexts of the study settings?
    • Are the plans feasible, with realistic timelines?
    • Is there credible supporting data on which the study is based (applicants must supply this). Are all of the necessary components for product development in place and/or available to the investigators?
  • Translation
    • How will this programme contribute to development of new skilled individuals in Africa
    • How scalable is the potential project?

Important documents

Application and Further information

For more information, visit

Contact details

All enquiries for the programme should be addressed to Dr Marlon Cerf: [email protected]


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