The NIHSS collaborates annually with the South African Humanities Deans Association (SAHUDA) to extend 150 scholarships per annum to full-time PhD students based at South African universities. The main objective of this programme is to promote scholarship and address inequities in the humanities and social sciences. To ensure that successful applicants are provided with structured intellectual and mentorship support, the NIHSS-SAHUDA cooperation has created an ambitious national doctoral programme for the humanities and social sciences. The NIHSS Strategic Plan for 2015 - 2020 sets a target of 900 South African students partaking in Doctoral Schools by 2020. The NIHSS Doctoral Programme thus serves to advance postgraduate scholarship through a variety of innovations, including:
- Providing scholarships for postgraduate students studying in the humanities and social sciences;
- Strengthening a student-centred culture in the higher education system and helping to create an environment where the critical, analytical and normative capacities of students are enhanced;
- Ensuring collaborative supervision of doctoral students by two or more universities, which could include South African universities collaborating with universities outside the borders of South Africa; and
- Addressing inequities with regard to the demographic composition of PhD holders.