Scholarships and Research Grants

The Nestle Nutrition Institute Africa (NNIA) in its core activities supports research around the continent in the areas of nutrition and human health related to nutrition. The scientific board has been supporting research projects over the years with emphasis on those leading to Masters and Doctors of Philosophy degrees in various scientific disciplines. Healthcare professionals are encouraged to apply for postgraduate research funding and scholarship opportunities, to be conducted within the African continent.

In the past research topics were left to the scientist/applicant to choose according to their own field of interest. In early 2014  it was decided that the Board should determine priority research areas based on prevailing African needs within the framework of nutrition and health. The NNIA is of the opinion that the needs of Africa can be effectively through appropriate and innovative research.
Proposed projects can be executed in the clinical (facility-based), community or experimental research environment. Outcomes of a proposed project should benefit the people of Africa. Well-designed proposals, according to sound methodological principles, in any one of these priority areas will be considered for funding by the NNIA for the period 2014-2016:
  • Maternal/Foetal/Infant nutrition in the first 1000days
  • Nutrition & infectious diseases
  • Nutrition in the life cycle 
  • Socio-environmental determinants of nutrition and eating behaviour. 
  • Food and nutrition security
Click here to read more
Scholarships are subject to certain conditions:
Awarded for a maximum of 24 months
Applications should have secured acceptance at an African institutions 
Applicants who study in other African countries have to return to their home countries to put the knowledge and expertise acquired into improving local health care there
Applicants consent to their photograph and a short description to appear on the NNIA website
Research grants are subject to similar conditions although they can be awarded to institutions and not individuals
View the full list of terms and conditions here
Meet some recipients
Alice OjwangAlice Ojwang has been awarded an NNIA Scholarship 2016 & 2017 for her PhD Study on "Dietary and plasma fatty acids in association with          adiposity and obesity-related outcomes in black South African population" at the North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa.
ErnaErna Kemp has been awarded an NNIA Scholarship 2016 & 2017 for her PhD study on ‘Novel Interactions between Fe and n-3 fatty acids: Effects of Maternal Depletion and Repletion on Brain Biochemistry, Cognition and Behaviour in Offspring’
LindaMs Linda Siziba has received sponsorship to participate in the African Nutrition Leadership Programme taking place in March 2016

WonduWondu Garoma Berra was awarded an NNIA scholarship to use towards completing his PhD. His research paper is entitled ‘Designing Improved Complementary Foods from Locally Available Food Items for Children Under 3 in Western Oromia (Ethiopia)’.


Dr Linda Malan was sponsored to attend  the 24th Annual Congress of the Allergy Society of South Africa held in Port Elizabeth. Click here to read a summary on Allergies in Pregnancy and Allergy Prevention of the Offspring and Up to date with coeliac disease and gluten sensitivity

Jennifer OseiJennifer Osei has been awarded an NNIA Scholarship 2015 & 2016 for her PhD Study on ‘Iodine nutrition in mothers and their infants during breastfeeding and complementary feeding’
Mrs MojisolaMrs Mojisola Deborah Kupolati has been awarded a 2015 Scholarship towards her PhD study on “Development and Implementation of a Nutrition Education Programme for Primary School Teachers in Bronkhorstspruit, South Africa

Registered Dietitian Ms Olusola F. Sotunde received sponsorship to attend the Osteoporosis Conference organized by the National Osteoporosis Society, United Kingdom. The conference took place on 30 November to 2 December 2014 at the Birmingham International Conference Center. Click here to read report on Nutrition and bone health

Dietitian Idonette Van Zyl received sponsorship to attend the ALLSA Congress in August 2014. Click here Probiotics in Allergy Prevention and Treatment and The role of Vitamin D in Allergic Disease to read on the key messages from the Congress
NNI Africa Sponsorship for Congresses:
NNI Africa encourages healthcare professionals to apply for support towards presenting (poster or oral) at congresses with a strong nutrition focus. This applies to both local and international congresses and the NNIA is prepared to sponsor partially or fully the costs towards registration, travel, and accommodation up to a maximum of US$2,000.
Requests should be made as follows:
  • Direct the letter of request to the NNIA Scientific Board via email to
  • Submit the request at least 3 months before for a local congress; 6 months for those taking place overseas
  • Include in your request evidence that your abstract has been accepted, the congress program, your resume’, and costs 
Should the request for support be granted, the applicant will be expected to agree in writing to give feedback on the congress proceedings to other health professionals in the form of:
  • A written report to be published on the NNIA website within 2 weeks after the congress.
  • A presentation to other healthcare professionals on key learnings from the congress.
Procedure for granting sponsorships:
  • The applicant submits their request to the NNIA Scientific Board
  • The Board evaluates the application based on the following criteria:
    • Relevance of the Congress in relation to the NNIA’s vision and mission
    • Preference for local versus international meetings when local congresses that cover the similar topics are available
    • Reasonableness of the request.
The NNIA Secretariat will communicate the outcome of the Board’s deliberations to the applicant and to the relevant NNIA Regional Coordinator for follow-up action. 
The applicant will be expected to sign an NNIA sponsorship agreement before any payments can be authorised.
If approved, the Board may grant full or partial sponsorship or it may authorise payment for all or some specific expenses (e.g. registration/travel/accommodation). The following rules and/or guidance will apply:
The applicant is expected to take advantage of the ‘early bird’ registration fee if it is available. The NNIA will pay directly to the organising committee or if not possible, reimburse the applicant once they have submitted an invoice
The NNIA will arrange flights and shuttles based on the Nestle Travel and Expense policy for the region.
If required the NNIA will assist with visa applications as part of the travel arrangements. However should it be more efficient for the applicant to arrange and pay for the visa, the costs are reimbursable to the applicant on submission of the relevant invoice.
NNIA will reserve reasonable accommodation for the duration of the conference, allowing for arrival the day before the conference. Should the conference end by 3pm with flights available on the same day, no additional night will be payable.
For more information contact the NNIA Secretariat at