Source and purpose of bursary funds

The Crouch Bursary Fund receives income mainly in the form of royalties on the various editions of the textbook “Occupational Therapy in Psychiatry and Mental Health”, as well as interest on its invested monies. 

It provides funds in the form of modest bursaries to assist with the costs of individual or collaborative research by occupational therapists in the fields of psychiatry and mental health. 

Typically, two bursaries are awarded per year and the average amount is R5,000 per applicant.  However, the awards are at the discretion of the Board and depend on the availability of funds at any given time. Higher amounts (not likely to exceed R10,000) may be awarded for particularly innovative and potentially impactful research, if the funds are available.

The Crouch Bursary Fund reserves the right not to make any awards, if no suitable applications are received in a particular year. It may at times divert funds to ancillary research support activities, such as running courses for would-be researchers; offering mentoring and writing support to researchers preparing theses, dissertations or manuscripts; or providing skills training on research dissemination and media engagement. 

Bursary criteria
  • Applicants must be qualified occupational therapists who were trained at a centre recognized by the World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT). They must also be current members of the Occupational Therapy Association of South Africa (OTASA).

  • The proposed research must be in the fields of psychiatry or mental health, which includes a focus on intellectual disability and all forms of psychosocial rehabilitation.

  • The research must be carried out wholly or partly in South Africa.

  • The research may be for degree or non-degree purposes and must be approved by a recognized research ethics committee.

  • In the case of collaborative or group research, the main applicant must be an occupational therapist belonging to the research network or group concerned. In the case of multidisciplinary groups, it is expected that members of other disciplines will have appropriate professional registration within their own fields and that this has been properly established by the occupational therapist applicant.

Application process

The application form may be requested via an email to

Applications should include a summary of the proposed research and details of the applicant/s, as specified on the form.  Supporting documents are required in the form of certified copies of the applicant’s occupational therapy qualification and professional registration. If ethical clearance has already been obtained the relevant certificate should be provided, and if it has not been obtained an explanation must be furnished (*).

Note: no bursary will be paid out without the Crouch Bursary Fund being furnished with either an ethics clearance certificate or a waiver from an appropriate ethics committee.

Application forms and supporting documents must be sent as pdf attachments via email to

Applicants may apply twice to the Crouch Bursary Fund, but first-time applicants are likely to receive preference.  Priority will also be given to research studies which address the most significant needs in the South African context and are most likely to have a real-life impact on clients, occupational therapy services and/or the population at large.

Applications are reviewed by the Board of the Crouch Bursary Fund and the Board’s written decisions are final.

Obligations of bursary recipients

Recipients are expected to submit progress and completion reports, as appropriate for their particular situation and research study.  These requirements will be conveyed to them by the Board of the Crouch Bursary Fund.

Completed research should be presented at a relevant professional congress, symposium or other event, with due acknowledgement of the Crouch Bursary Fund.

Results of the research must also be written up and submitted for publication in at least one  peer reviewed journal and/or in a professional newsletter such as the FOCUS newsletter of the Occupational Therapy Association of South Africa (OTASA).  Funds received from the Crouch Bursary Fund must be duly acknowledged in all publications as well as in conference presentations and other research outputs. 

Dissemination of the research by other means is strongly encouraged, to maximise the potential impact of the findings.  This can include media engagements like radio or television interviews, publishing in the print media and/or publishing on electronic platforms.

If the research is abandonedor discontinued for any reason it may be necessary for the recipient to repay monies received to the Crouch Bursary Fund within a within a negotiated time period. Decisions regarding this will be at the discretion of the Board, based on an exploration of the merits of each situation.