Home » RISA Directorates » Funding » Africa-UK Trilateral Call 2018
Opening Date: 
Tuesday, 12 June, 2018
Closing Date: 
Friday, 20 July, 2018

The National Research Foundation (NRF) and the British Council are pleased to announce the Africa-UK Trilateral Call. Proposals are invited from eligible applicants for the DST-NRF/Newton Fund Africa-UK Trilateral Chair

The SARChI Bilateral and Trilateral Research Chairs activity is supported by the Department of Science and Technology through the National Research Foundation (NRF) and through the Newton Fund (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, UK) and is intended to support collaboration between research and academic centres of excellence in SA-UK and across Africa.

This Trilateral Chair call builds on the strengths and successes of the SARChI and SA-UK Bilateral Research Chairs Programme and seeks to extend the positive impacts and outcomes of this initiative to other leading and established researchers and research centres of excellence across Africa. The aim is to build long term research collaborations with established researchers in the 3 countries, whilst also providing opportunities for mentoring and mobility of Early-Career and Emerging Researchers who are mentored and supervised by the Research Chairs and/or Leading and Established Researchers. The core team, made up of Principals Investigators (PI’s) from each country, should be able to split their research time between the UK (20 %), South Africa (20 %) and country C (10% approx.), over the duration of the project.

The Call

With the rapid transformation of technology, the world finds itself in the 4th Industrialisation era. The era is characterised by the intuitive use of technology and human beings to achieve sustainable economic development. The era requires the combination of elements such as the internet, robotics, machines, biotechnology, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence to bring about smart solutions for societal benefit. It is within this context and era, which has prompted society to rethink how production can be improved using technology. It is expected that the chair will encompass an innovative approach in addressing societal problems in order to meet the social and economic needs of a growing global population. Grants are intended to support areas relevant to the economic development and social welfare of partner countries and should demonstrate how they will benefit the wider research and innovation community in South Africa, the wider African continent and the UK.

Funding period: 5 years at Tier Level 1.

Application process

Guidelines for Application

First Step (to be completed by applicant)

  • Register on NRF submission system if not registered before at (https://nrfsubmission.nrf.ac.za/nrfmkii/)
  • Log in with username and password
  • Go to My Applications – Create Application
  • Click on the Apply button on the right of the relevant call
  • Please read the NRF Call Information Documents before you start with the application
  • Complete the CV sections, Details of Proposals Submitted for Hosting of Research Chairs, Host University and University support sections.
  • Upon saving the University Support section, the system will send an e-mail to the DVC/Head of Department who has been listed.

Second step (to be completed by DVC/Head of Department)

  • The DVC/Head of Department will receive an e-mail with a link to complete some sections of the application.
  • Once the above mentioned sections have been completed, the Final Submit button will be activated.
  • Click on Final Submit.
  • This information will then be displayed in the application.

Note: The following documents should be obtained from the DVC/Head of Department for uploading on the system by the applicant for the South African Principal Investigator:

  • University Research Strategy.
  • Programme and Qualification Mix.
  • Details of Research Outputs – full details of the research outputs in support of the DVC/Head of Department’s numbers should be provided.
  • Details of Students - full details of the students in support of the DVC/Head of Department’s numbers should be provided.
  • DVC endorsement – Letter in support of the application.

Third step (to be completed by applicant)

  • The applicant will then be able to complete the rest of the proposal.
  • Applicants should upload the documents received from the DVC/Head of Department under Attachments.
  • Complete the Declaration section.
  • Once all the compulsory fields have been completed, the Final Submit button will be activated.
  • Press final submit.


  • It is important to note that the applicant will not be able to click on the final submit button at the end of the application if the DVC/Head of Department has not completed the 2nd step of the application.
  • In the case where the DVC/Head of Department needs to amend the relevant section in step 2, the applicant needs to resubmit the “University Support” section to re-initiate the process (by editing and saving the section without changing anything).

Each university may only submit three applications in this call, and will be permitted to nominate up to three candidates under the thematic areas who must then each submit separate full proposals on the NRF Online Submission System. Preference will be given to Female, Black and Colored candidates.  The successful Institution will be required to sign a memorandum of cooperation with the institutions form the UK and the second African Country.

The Newton Fund Grant Agreement Template is attached to this call for information purpose. The contract is only applicable to the UK-funded Partners and will have to be entered into by successful applicants.

All applications should be submitted no later than 20 July 2018 on the NRF Online Submission System (https://nrfsubmission.nrf.ac.za), by the nominated candidates.

NRF Contact Person:

Promise Shabangu

E-mail: promise.shabangu@nrf.ac.za

Tel: (012) 481-4386