The NESP will involve the implementation of activities to communicate about and advocate for the possibility of choosing to follow an academic career.

Emerging scholars are students in their final year of undergraduate study, or are Honours or Master's students or graduates, whose academic performance is strong. The NESP recognises the potential of this group of students or graduates and seeks to actively direct some of that potential towards a career in academia, through making structured, attractive prospects and opportunities visible and available to them.

Universities will be requested to identify high achievers early in their study programmes. These students will be targeted actively to continue with their studies. They will receive regular email correspondence from the DHET, spelling out the advantages and opportunities offered by academic careers, clarifying the processes needed to achieve in this regard, and making known details of national funding opportunities. Students will be encouraged and reminded to stay in touch via the SSAUF website, and will be invited to seminars and presentations on relevant issues.

As far as possible, scholarships will be provided to these students, with appropriate contractual obligations.

As far as possible, too, the emerging scholars will be drawn into structured university tutorship and mentorship programmes as tutors or mentors, and as part of this, will be offered opportunities for development, and exposure to academic life.

They will also be linked into structured mentor programmes through the Staffing South Africa's Universities Development Programme (SSAU-DP), where, as mentees, they will receive support as potential new recruits into academia.

The NESP will assist in creating a viable talent pool from which future academics can be recruited.