SASA 2017 MSc Plant Science Bursaries

Original Text: To promote innovation in South African sugarcane agriculture, the South African Sugarcane Research Institute (SASRI) hosts a dynamic post-graduate programme on the SASRI campus in Mount Edgecome, KwaZulu-Natal. The research is conducted under the supervision of SASRI scientists who are affiliated with several leading South African universities, including the University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Pretoria, and University of the Free State and Stellenbosch University.

Project Details

NovaCane is a tissue culture process used to micropropagate sugarcane by shoot multiplication in vitro. There is some evidence to suggest that the plants have thinner stalks and tiller more profusely when planted in the field. Various factors in the in vitro culture process may cause the altered phenotype e.g. build-up of ethylene in vessels and the effect of a novel class of plant hormones, strigalactones, which have been observed to cause high tillering in the cereals. The project will involve production of sugarcane plants in vitro using modifications to the current protocol and subsequent evaluation of stalk phenotype in the field.

The Candidate

  • The ideal candidate must hold aBSc Hons in Plant Sciences/Plant Biotechnology
  • This is a team-orientated project and the ability work within a team is essential.

NB: Applicants are advised to submit a one page motivation highlighting reasons for their interest in the research study they have selected, along with a full curriculum vitae.

This post-graduate bursary offers tuition fees and board and lodging on site at our Sugarcane Research Institute in Mount Edgecombe. The successful candidate will be based at SASRI (Mount Edgecombe) and will register with one of the South African Universities.

Although not an essential requirement, candidates who are securing free-standing NRF funding are strongly encouraged to apply.

Please apply on-line via the job portal on the SASA website (

Closing date for applications is 17 October 2016 SASA reserves the right to consider applications received after this date but will not be obliged to do so.

The ideal candidate will have the following competencies:


  • analyse and interpret scientific literature
  • present research and findings
  • work indepedently as well as in a team
  • enter data in relevant database/s
  • write in a scientific manner


  • conducting research


  • basics of the laboratory
  • Honours level understanding and interpretation of content
About The Employer

The South African Sugar Association (SASA) provides a diverse range of highly specialised services to the South African sugar industry and our activities are funded in the main by the sugarcane growers and sugar milling companies. Our mission is to provide specialist services that enhance the profitability, global competitiveness and sustainability of the South African sugar industry.

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