Geosynthetics Interest Group of South Africa: Bursary Programme 2024

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The Geosynthetics Interest Group of South Africa (GIGSA) invites applications for the 2024 Bursary Programme.

Closing date: 23 November 2023

The GIGSA Bursary aims to support the growth of the appropriate knowledge of geosynthetics in South Africa.

Please note that while the initial Geosynthetics Interest Group South Africa’s call for bursary applications for the year 2024 had a deadline of 31 October, the deadline has actually now been extended to the 23rd November 2023.

A final decision and feedback to be given on the 30th November 2023. Please read through this post for further details and guidance.


GIGSA, the Geosynthetics Interest Group of South Africa, is a non-profit organization dedicated to the scientific and engineering development of geosynthetics and associated technologies in South Africa.

GIGSA was founded in 1994 by a group of suppliers, installers, consultants, a regulator and an academic at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of the Witwatersrand.

The founding of GIGSA coincided with the publication of the first edition of the Minimum Requirements Series by the then Department of Water Affairs and Forestry.

The intention of the Minimum Requirements was to regulate waste management as a whole, but also waste disposal by landfill in South Africa, which made the use of geomembranes mandatory.

This reinforced the need for an organization like GIGSA, as geosynthetics were largely unknown construction materials at that time.


The GIGSA Bursary is open to Masters or PhD students studying at a South African Tertiary Education Institution, who are conducting research in line with the Mission of GIGSA, which includes promoting the appropriate use of geosynthetics, advancing geosynthetics knowledge or developing new geosynthetic technologies.

Applicants must be GIGSA members. The research project may not be specifically developed with the aim of providing commercial advantages to a specific product or company.


The GIGSA Bursary supports applicants financially in South African Rand (ZAR). The amount for the 2024 Bursary is fixed at R 75.000,00 (seventy-five thousand Rand).

Funds may be used for tuition fees, travel, conferences, labour, consumables and specialist equipment relevant to the research topic.

Approval of applications and allocation of funds will be at the sole discretion of the GIGSA Bursary Committee.

The voting is confidential, and it will not be disclosed to any applicants. Funding may not meet the applicant’s full funding requirements.

The funds are available to the awardee until the 31st December 2024 unless requested in writing by the applicant and approved by the Treasurer of GIGSA.

Funds will be allocated quarterly in advance based on a quarterly forecast and detailed reconciliation including proof of expenditure. GIGSA reserves the right to  terminate funding subject to progress compared  to the project schedule and milestones.

Funds will preferably be transferred to the institution account or will be paid against invoices signed by the institution Supervisor.



Applications are required to be submitted no later than the 23rd of November 2023. Applicants will be informed on the outcome of their applications by no later than the 15th of November 2023 (extended to 30th of November 2023).


Applications should comprise the following documentation:

  1. Cover letter of application to the GIGSA Bursary (1 page);
  2. Topic of the research;
  3. Scope of the research / proposal (1 page);
  4. Letter of motivation by the proposed institution Supervisor;
  5. Overall budget forecast;
  6. Project schedule and clear milestones;
  7. Copy of ID or Passport;
  8. Proof of residence;
  9. Academic record;
  10. Proof of GIGSA membership;
  11. Details of any other funding received or allocated to the student.

Should the student applying  receive news of any other funding allocated to them following the submission of their application, GIGSA must be informed immediately.

If the student is not registered at the time of application, the funds will only be made available after proof of registration.

GIGSA bursary applications shall be e-mailed to [email protected] and copied to [email protected] by 17H00 on the 31st October 2023 (extended to 17H00 on the 23rd of November 2023).


The recipient is required to publish the results of the research project in an International peer reviewed Journal, or in peer reviewed conference proceedings.

In addition, a short summary shall be published in the GIGSA newsletter and on the GIGSA social media page within 12 months from completion or requested by the Board.


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