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The website is part of a larger and ever-growing resource that seeks to support South(ern) Africans looking to undertake a PhD in architecture or the related spatial practice fields associated with the built environment – both on the continent as well as abroad.

This platform is by no means exhaustive & has been built more as a network collection than a comprehensive source. At present the resource carries certain biases to South & South(ern) Africa and their adjacent cross-national links, but we hope as involvement grows this will change.

These resources are put together, shared by volunteers and will be updated as regularly as possible. Please feel free to join the contributors to expand and change this, as well as message us with any additional contributions, resources or to suggest points to add/edit/re-consider.


How do I start?

Multiple Points. There is no one way to start (or any part of the PhD), you may start through an invitation from a supervisor, a department or a call – or you may start by pursing a particular course, institution or program.

Start Small. A small abstract/summary/outline of what you would like to study or ask is an easy and helpful way to start.

What does Proposal Writing look like?

Spend time on your application. Funding bodies receive lots of applications, so it is important that you take time to communicate your skills, interests and qualifications properly. If you are making multiple applications do not just copy and paste the same content into every application form – make sure you tailor applications accordingly.


Different Streams. Some universities will give you funding upon acceptance, while others will require you to attain your own funding externally.

Living vs Tuition. Some programs/institutes/funding scheme offer tuition+living costs (worth checking) while others may just offer to cover tuition.

Check eligibility criteria. This may seem obvious, but most funding bodies have strict criteria for the allocation of funding. Contact the funder if you are unsure.

International Fees. Most universities have a different (higher ) fee structure for international students.

Finding a Supervisor?

Academic Tinder. Unless your funding or application process is pre-structured (and comes with a supervisor), you will need to find a supervisor to support your application – this can be a bit tiring, but it is best to reach out to particular supervisors (most universities will advertise on their websites) and be open with them if you are doing multiple applications.

How do I navigate the references

Find a suitable reference. Start contacting potential references now, in case you are required to submit a reference with your application.

Reference Overload. You will need to find people to support your applications. Sometimes this will require them to fill out long forms. It is worth finding the forms/headings and preparing a draft for your reference to work from (this is very common practice)

What Time periods are we talking about?

Multiple Years. Typically there is a long time period from when you apply, to when you are accepted, to when you start. This is more difficult if you are applying to multiple institutions.

Prepare in advance. You should start looking for funding around 10-12 months before you intend to start your studies. If the deadline for an award has passed, it is unlikely that the funding body will accept late applications.

General Tips

Contingency plan. It is important to be realistic about the chances of receiving funding and you should always look for alternative sources of funding for your studies.

Masters Route. Sometimes doing a masters is an easier way to get into PhD than directly applying

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