Professional Development Programme ​


The Agricultural Research Council (ARC) is a premier science institution that conducts research with partners, develops human capital, and fosters innovation to support and develop the agricultural sector. The ARC strives to nurture and stimulate agricultural research skills of future scientists and researchers, who will in turn fill the scarce and critical skills gaps that exist within the sector.

To meet this challenge, the ARC launched the Professional Development Programme (PDP) in 1996 with the purpose of attracting interest from young graduates from previously disadvantaged communities in South Africa into the agricultural sector, including agricultural engineering. The PDP has become a talent pipeline in which the ARC and the Sector at larger recruit qualified and well-groomed professionals (scientists, economists, engineers, researchers, etc).  

The ARC has partnered with various industry players to support the development of the young graduates, who are paired with experts in the industry to gain practical knowledge, workplace experience, and exposure to various research methodologies, which they in turn use in their studies and careeARC Offers academically deserving students the following bursary opportunities in the field of Agricultural Sciences and Engineering:​

  • Masters Students (fully funded for a maximum of 2 years)

  • Doctoral Students (fully funded for a maximum of 3 years)

  • Postdoctoral Students (fully funded for a maximum of two years)

  • Internship and graduate development programme (fully funded for the duration of one to two years, depending on the funding modality) 


Academically deserving students in possession of the following qualifications or are studying towards the following: ​

  • BSc: BSc (Engineering); BVSc; BSc Hons, in Natural Sciences e.g., Botany; Biochemistry; Biology; Microbiology; Mathematics; Statistics; Physiology; Zoology and Agricultural Economics.

  • MSc: in Natural Science e.g., Botany, Biochemistry, Biology, Microbiology, Mathematics, Statistics, Physiology, Zoology, Pathology, Agricultural Economics, etc.

  • Ph.D.: candidates must be studying Natural Science e.g., Botany, Biochemistry, Biology, Microbiology, Mathematics, Statistics, Physiology, Zoology, Agricultural Economics, etc.

  • Postdoc: candidates must have studied Agricultural Science specialising in one of the fields, Botany, Biochemistry, Biology, Microbiology, Mathematics, Statistics, Physiology, Zoology, Agricultural Economics, etc. ​

Contact Person & Details

Interested students/parties may contact the Human Capital Development Office on the following details:​

Tel: (0)12 427 9700, Email:

Corporate Manager: Human Capital Development,

Agricultural Research Council, PO Box 8783, PRETORIA, ​



This opportunity is for recently qualified graduates who require working experience in line with their curriculum in order to obtain the necessary qualifications. The graduate will be paired with a mentor who will impart business knowledge, support, and further training on research capabilities. ​


​New graduates wanting to gain work experience in the following fields: Agricultural Science, Engineering, Economics, Microbiology,Aanimal Science, Crop Sciences, Plant Protection, and Support staff (HCM, ICT, and Facilities).

CriteriaA National Diploma, Advanced Diploma, BSc, BEng or BSc Honours degree, Masters and Ph.D. in Agricultural Science and Engineering.
Internship covers
Financial support
  • Monthly stipend; and 

  • Informal training (short courses).

No​n-financial support
  • Mentorship; and 

  • Working on projects ​​​​that contribute to the improvement of the agricultural sector.​

How to apply

​Look out for opportunities through our website and apply accordingly. 

Contact details

​For more information on the Internship and Graduate Programmes, please email Mr. Ndikho Mbuce at  ​​