Research

PAST offers funding for research, bursaries and technical capacity to postgraduate students and senior researchers working on African excavations, at African museums or studying at African universities within the origin sciences

Research Project Support

Funding for cutting edge research – in museums, laboratories or in the field – conducted by senior scientists affiliated with African institutions

We explore and discover the origins of humanity
In order to do that, we fund small exploratory projects as well as well-established, interdisciplinary projects that are collaborations of international teams at both little- and well-known fossil sites.

We push the boundaries of research
We do this so that Africa’s talented young scientists can afford to remain in Africa, investing their knowledge back into our communities.

And we preserve Africa as the frontrunner in palaeontology
Through our Human Heritage Hubs — Sterkfontein Caves, Olduvai Gorge, the Turkana Basin and the Afar Rift.

>> APPLY FOR RESEARCH FUNDING

Support for Students at African Universities

We invest in the future leaders. Apply for financial support for postgraduate degrees and fellowships at established, African origin sciences field schools and universities

Degree Support for Students at African Universities
PAST provides bursaries for postgraduate students pursuing Honours, Masters and Doctorate degrees. PAST also awards fellowships for postdoctoral students.

We invest in the future leaders
By providing talented, determined postgraduate students from all parts of Africa with multiple years of funding.

And we’re proud of our contribution to the continent’s scientific capacity
PAST has funded hundreds of bursaries. South Africa’s first two black female Ph.D.s in palaeoanthropology received major support for their postgraduate studies from PAST’s bursary programme. We also help fund postgraduate students to participate in established field schools in southern and East Africa.

Because we believe in opportunity
We’ve seen that these opportunities provide students with first-hand training, in the field at rich fossil sites and at leading museums and universities.

Young African Scientist Development

Keep learning and growing as an African origin science leader even after you complete your postgraduate studies with PAST’s technical and financial support

We invest in young African scientists
PAST provides basic research support and funding for recent Masters and Doctoral degree recipients in the origin sciences at African universities and museums.

And help them to develop African science
We do this so that Africa’s talented young scientists can afford to remain in Africa, investing their knowledge back into our communities.

>> APPLY FOR DEVELOPMENT FUNDING

Technical Training and Capacity Support.

Improve your skill as a technician by honing your surveying, excavating, casting and curating skills in the field and laboratory with PAST’s funds for technical training

We need to be hands-on.
Technicians play a crucial role in research projects and in protecting and preserving Africa’s fossil heritage. Skilled technicians are vital in the field for fossil surveys and excavations, in the laboratory for fossil cleaning, reconstruction and casting, and for curating fossil collections.

In our support and praise.
We support and develop these skills through multi-year mentorship programmes in cleaning, reconstructing and casting fossils at the National Museum in Bloemfontein, South Africa, and in other museums around Africa. PAST’s funding has facilitated young technicians to be trained under world-class fossil preparators. We also support workshops where technicians across Africa exchange knowledge and best practices in their specialties. We also supported a conference entitled “The Unsung Heroes of African Prehistory,” which celebrated and rewarded active and retired technicians from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa.

And in the resources we share.
It’s not only about skills – PAST also supplies materials and equipment for African institutions responsible for preserving and curating fossil and prehistoric archaeological remains. Because these collections are the only records of our prehistoric past, the facilities housing the fossils are as important to our heritage as the most famous art museums.

>> APPLY FOR TECHNICAL TRAINING

Conferences & Events

We provide funding for several origin sciences conferences in Africa and grants for African-based scientists to attend and present their research

PAST supports research from beginning to end.
We provide funding for several origin sciences conferences in Africa and grants for African-based scientists to attend and present their research. We do this to ensure African postgraduate students and senior scientists have publication outlets dedicated to their work.

>> APPLY FOR FUNDING

Origins Sciences Publications

PAST supports research from beginning to end

We support Africa’s two major origin science journals, Palaeontologica Africana and the South African Archaeological Bulletin. We welcome funding applications for monographs and other special publications on African paleontology.

>> APPLY FOR FUNDING

Be a part of the exploration