The generous support received from sponsors, donors and over 4,000 registered delegates resulted in a financial surplus after the 35th International Geological Congress that was held in Cape Town during 2016. These funds have been invested and are administered by the Board of 35IGC Legacy Fund to ensure that the legacy of this successful event will benefit the South African geoscience community long into the future.

Annual grants are advertised to promote geoheritage projects or activities in support of deserving geoscience students and researchers. An annual thematic focus or dedicated conference support funding will be identified every year. The level of funding available annually for disbursement varies in relation to investment income and the need to maintain or grow capital from which sustainable support can be provided.


One of the main mandates of the Legacy Fund is the support of young southern African earth science students wishing to attend future International Geological Congresses to present the results of their current research. The 37th International Geological Congress will be held in Busan, South Korea from 25 – 30 August 2024.

The 35IGC Legacy Fund would like to provide financial support for deserving students to attend the event.   This notice serves as an official invitation to full-time, MSc and PhD students in the earth sciences, registered at South African universities, to apply for financial assistance.

The following conditions will apply:

  • Applicants must be registered full-time for a MSc or PhD in earth sciences at a South African university at the time of the 37th IGC. Proof of University registration is required;
  • Applicants must be under the age of 35 at the time of application;
  • A letter of support from the university supervisor is required;
  • The research results presented in the abstract should focus on aspects of African geology;
  • Financial support will be limited to a maximum of R50,000 which should cover most of the costs of a return air ticket to South Korea, the Early Bird Student conference registration fee and accommodation;
  • Proof of submission and acceptance of a presentation or poster by the Organizing Committee of the 37th IGC must be provided before any funds can be made available;
  • Sources of other financial support must be declared.  Financial support from 37th IGC or other sources to cover travel and registration costs is not acceptable and duplication will result in the cancellation of the application to the 35IGC Legacy Fund.
  • In the case of a multi-author abstract the applicant must be the presenter of the paper (oral or poster) at 37th IGC.

The following dates stipulated by the organizing committee of the 37th IGC must be adhered to;

  • Abstracts must be submitted using the 37th IGC online platform by 16 February 2024 deadline ( );
  • Abstract submission requires payment of a US$20 application fee which is non-refundable.
  • Acceptance of an abstract will be communicated by the congress organizers on 5 April 2024.
  • The Early Bird Student registration must be completed by the cutoff date of 24 April 2024. The increased registration rate of regular registration will have to be borne by the applicant.

Successful recipients must provide proof of expenditure associated with grant that supported attendance of the 37th IGC.

As the quantum of available funds available is limited, compliance with the above conditions does not guarantee acceptance of the application or the award of a grant.

All provisionally successful applications will be reviewed and evaluated by the Management Committee/Board of the Legacy Fund and their decision with respect to the quantum of finance provided is final.

Applications must be made on the prescribed form and submitted to Peter Stiff at  before 1 March 2024.

The annual call for applications in respect of funding for the chosen theme or scope of projects to receive support during any year will be advertised by the Geological Society of South Africa (GSSA) on their Web site, and in other appropriate media.


Legacy projects of 35IGC are based largely on activities which were initiated and developed specifically for the event and which can be perpetuated for the benefit of Geoscience in South Africa:

  • Field Guidebooks
    Over 40 Field Guidebooks were prepared for the various field trips which took 35 IGC delegates to many parts of South Africa as well as several parts of the continent. Most of the Guidebooks have been updated with regard to text and illustrations and represent a valuable asset and basis for the production of virtual field trips and UTube and website presentations. The Field Guides provide excellent material for further development and research.
  • Publications
    “Africa’s Top Geological Sites’ a publication highlighting areas of outstanding Geoheritage importance, mainly in South Africa, was specially prepared for 35 IGC.” The Great Mineral Fields of Africa” a second publication prepared for 35 IGC and published in Episodes, the IUGS publication draws attention to the importance of Africa’s mineral deposits. The remarkable mining heritage of the African continent, particularly with regard to some of South Africa’s iconic mineral fields, is outlined.
  • Current Initiatives
    Comprehensive descriptions of some of the important geosites and particularly those in one or other of South Africa’s ten World Heritage sites are being prepared. Brochures and display boards have and are currently being prepared for selected geosites, particularly in the Western Cape.A geological reference map with fifty geosites and Geoheritage/Geotourism destinations plotted in relation to the country’s major road network has been prepared. Short descriptions for each site/destination have been compiled. Further work is required on virtually all these sites and those who are in a position to assist by providing more detailed information and insights should contact the fund administration for further information.