The Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa is currently inviting applications from final year BEng/BSc students for its prestigious PMSA Bursary for Masters in Chemical Engineering students.

This two-year, full-time program offers a unique opportunity to engage in groundbreaking projects at various participating universities, focusing on the beneficiation of wood fiber, recycled fiber, process waste, and enhancing resource efficiency.

Applicants interested in the PAMSA bursary program have the potential to secure a position as an engineer-in-training at one of the PAMSA member companies post-graduation. This could significantly jumpstart a promising career in the industry.

Eligibility Criteria for the PAMSA Bursary

To be considered for the PAMSA Bursary, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Citizenship: Preference is given to South African citizens, though exceptional international candidates may also be considered.
  • Academic Record: A minimum 60% average in the final year of a BEng or BSc in Chemical Engineering from a recognized South African university.
  • Study Progress: Completion of the undergraduate degree within five years or less.
  • Degree Program: Must be enrolled in a Master’s program in Chemical Engineering at one of the participating universities, including the University of Pretoria, Stellenbosch University, University of the Witwatersrand, or North-West University.
  • Research Focus: Applicants must be willing to undertake research in areas aligned with PAMSA’s strategic interests, such as fiber beneficiation, recycling, or resource management.

Required Documentation for Application

To apply for the PMSA Bursary, candidates must prepare and submit the following documents:

  • A comprehensive Curriculum Vitae.
  • Full academic record/transcripts for all university years, on the institution’s letterhead.
  • A one-page motivational letter detailing why the bursary should be awarded to the candidate (check our guide on crafting a compelling bursary motivational letter).
  • A letter of reference from a university lecturer, including contact details (see our tips on obtaining a strong reference letter for your application).

For the latest application details and access to the application form, potential applicants are encouraged to visit the PAMSA website.

Application Process and Timeline

  • The closing date for the last application cycle was on June 9, 2023.
  • For general inquiries, PAMSA can be contacted by phone at 011 803 5063 or via email at
  • For specific questions regarding the bursary program, applicants should contact the bursary department through the details provided on the PAMSA website during the application period.

Desired Skills and competencies

Desired skills and competencies for PAMSA bursary recipients are critical in ensuring that the candidates selected not only excel academically but also demonstrate the potential to significantly contribute to the pulp and paper industry.

  • Mastery in engineering, chemistry, or environmental science.
  • Ability to apply technical knowledge to industry-specific challenges.
  • Skill in identifying problems and devising effective solutions.
  • Capability to use analytical tools for process and product improvements.
  • Proficiency in articulating complex ideas clearly and persuasively.
  • Skill in collaborating with teams and engaging with diverse stakeholders.

Responsibilities for PMSA Bursary Recipients

  • Maintain High Academic Standards: Consistently achieve excellent grades and demonstrate a strong academic performance throughout the bursary period.
  • Compliance with Bursary Terms: Adhere to all conditions and requirements as outlined in the bursary agreement.
  • Professional Representation: Act as a positive ambassador for both themselves and PAMSA, maintaining integrity in all academic and professional endeavors.
  • Submit Regular Progress Reports: Provide detailed updates on academic and research progress as per the schedule specified by PAMSA.
  • Participate in Required Events: Attend meetings, workshops, and any events deemed necessary by PAMSA to enhance professional development and network building.

Career Development Opportunities

  • Mentorship: Receive guidance and support from experienced professionals within the pulp and paper industry.
  • Industry Conferences: Gain access to national and international conferences to learn about the latest industry trends and innovations.
  • Networking Events: Participate in events that provide opportunities to connect with industry leaders and peers.
  • Internships and Co-op Placements: Engage in practical work experiences with PAMSA member companies to apply academic knowledge in real-world settings and enhance job readiness.

In summary, the PAMSA bursary for 2025 aims to nurture and develop the next generation of leaders in the pulp and paper industry, supporting students who demonstrate academic excellence and a commitment to making a positive impact on the industry.

By providing this financial aid and developmental opportunities, PAMSA is investing in a sustainable future for the industry and its practitioners.