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Mandela Rhodes Foundation (MRF) Shaun Johnson Memorial Scholarships 2021 for MRF Alumni

Applications are open for the Mandela Rhodes Foundation (MRF) Shaun Johnson Memorial Scholarships 2021 for MRF Alumni

The central purpose of The Mandela Rhodes Foundation is to build exceptional leadership capacity in Africa. The Mandela Rhodes programmes aim to develop leadership and vocational capacity across African society, to help the continent achieve success and prosperity and full equal participation in the global world.

Beyond the flagship Scholarships Programme, the MRF sees potential in partnering with like-minded organisations to further enhance its purpose and impact. In 2016, the Foundation partnered with the Leverhulme Trust to create a new Doctoral Scholarship offering. This opportunity is only available to Alumni of the MRF, making it a very compelling supplementary offering to the Mandela Rhodes experience. The Shaun Johnson Memorial Scholarships were known as the Leverhulme Mandela Rhodes Doctoral
Scholarships until March 2020, when they were renamed in honour of Shaun Johnson, the MRF’s Founding Executive Director, after he passed away unexpectedly.

The Shaun Johnson Memorial Scholarships increases vocational capacity by:

  1. Supporting Alumni to further specialise in their chosen disciplines through doctoral study.
  2. Enabling Alumni to access some of the best supervisors and research facilities in those disciplines, which may not necessarily be available in their home countries.

The Shaun Johnson Memorial Scholarships increase leadership capacity by:

  1. Supporting Alumni who have clearly identified and articulated the next phase of their leadership journey and feel that doctoral studies will support that intent.
  2. Increasing Alumni access to international networks of academic and vocational influence via strategic positioning at UK universities.

Table of Content

About Mandela Rhodes Foundation (MRF)

The Mandela Rhodes Foundation is one of Nelson Mandela’s three official legacy organisations, founded in 2003 in partnership with the Rhodes Trust. We find, fund, and empower young Africans who aspire towards the kind of leadership Mr Mandela embodied: leaders who can bridge historic divides and who use their talents for the betterment of their societies and our continent. We do this by providing a postgraduate scholarship for young leaders to study in South Africa, an experience which is accompanied by a residential Leadership Development Programme. We believe that leadership begins with... read more


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MRF Doctoral Scholarship


Aim and Benefits of MRF Doctoral Scholarship

The Shaun Johnson Memorial Scholarship covers your tuition and provides a stipend for your living costs.

The aim of the Shaun Johnson Memorial Scholarships (SJMS) is to increase the impact and effectiveness of Mandela Rhodes Alumni who wish to pursue PhD studies outside the African continent, by connecting them to financial support for doctoral study in the United Kingdom. We believe that this partnership is aligned with our vision to increase leadership
and vocational capacity.


Requirements for MRF Doctoral Scholarship Qualification

  • Candidates must be Mandela Rhodes Scholars
  • Candidates must be beginning a new PhD – the SJMS does not provide support for PhDs which have already been begun

Selection Criteria: The Mandela Rhodes Foundation acknowledges and supports the Leverhulme Trust’s approach to grant giving, which is to use established criteria as a baseline, and from there select on the basis of congruence with the Trust’s values and aims. The primary baseline
criteria for PHD research proposals are: originality, importance, significance, and merit.

The secondary criteria for the Shaun Johnson Memorial Scholarship are designed to meet the aims of the MRF outlined above. Applicants should motivate for the scholarship on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Their research. The research proposal should have a demonstrable potential social impact, that will contribute to the betterment of Africa. The research should meet the criteria of originality, importance, significance and merit.
  2. Their research institution of choice. The applicant should motivate for why it is necessary for this research to be conducted at a UK institution of their choice, making specific mention of potential supervisor/s they have identified, or research units they intend to join. The applicant should be able to articulate how this positioning will advance them in their career, beyond the completion of the doctoral thesis.
  3. Their leadership capacity and potential. The applicant should demonstrate how the MRF values have been threaded through their journey since their time in residence to the present moment, through their academic and non-academic pursuits. They should be able to motivate for why they believe the Shaun Johnson Memorial Scholarship for doctoral study in the UK is an essential next part of their
    leadership journey.

Checkout: How To Write A Scholarship Essay - Scholarship Essay Examples

Application Deadline

April 20, 2021


How to Apply

Mandela Rhodes Alumni who wish to apply to be recommended for the Shaun Johnson Memorial Scholarship can download an application form via MandelaRhodesConnect. Forms will be made available on the 16th of March. Applications will close at 12 noon, SAST, on the 20th of April. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

The application process

  1. All application forms are to be submitted directly to Gigi Edross-Jeppie, via email to [email protected]
  2. Referees must be asked to send reference letters directly to Gigi by the 12noon deadline on the 20th of April. If your references have not been received, your application will not be considered.
  3. Candidates will be contacted by the 30th of April and informed on whether or not they have been shortlisted for interviews.
  4. Panel interviews will take place virtually in the week of the 10th of May.
  5. Candidates will be informed whether their application for the SJMS has been successful by the end of May.

For more details, visit the scholarship programme (pdf)



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