Home » RISA Directorates » Funding » Call for Proposals to host the Southern African Systems Analysis Centre (SASAC) 2015
Opening Date: 
Thursday, 6 August, 2015
Closing Date: 
Tuesday, 15 September, 2015

Call for Proposals

to host the

Southern African Systems Analysis Centre (SASAC)


Closing Date: 15 September 2015


South Africa joined the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in 2007, with the National Research Foundation (NRF) as its National Member Organisation (NMO), supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). Since becoming a member, a range of research and capacity building activities have been developed by South African research partners and IIASA. The most notable activity is the Southern African Young Scientists Summer Program (SA-YSSP) that was launched by the Minister of Science and Technology in November 2011. The SA-YSSP was conceptually based on the Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP) that has been hosted annually at IIASA since 1977.


The SA-YSSP initiative has contributed to the establishment, growth and enhancement of high level strategic research networks internationally, whilst at the same time developing capacity in systems analysis at the PhD, postdoctoral and supervisory levels through research conducted in the areas of the DST’s grand challenges. The SA-YSSP has targeted advanced doctoral candidates from South Africa, Southern Africa and IIASA member nations to ensure a rich international mix of participants. Since its inception, the SA-YSSP has developed systems analysis research skills among over 80 doctoral students from 30 countries including 35 young scholars from South Africa. Using applied systems analysis approaches, participants conducted research in areas related to environment, energy, risk, population, food, water, and climate change, linked to policy studies.

A revised model has been conceptualised, taking cognisance of a wider framework of engagement, additional and multi-level systems analysis capacity interventions, and a comprehensive approach to policy-related activities in South- and Southern Africa – now known as the Southern African Systems Analysis Centre (SASAC). The new model will take into consideration various contextual factors in South Africa and the region, including:

  • Maximising the return on investment for DST/NRF within the South African context,
  • An approach aimed at increasing the participation of students in the South African context (policy related as well as practical institutional considerations), and
  • A more considered education, training and research program to strengthen systems analysis capacity.


The NRF is pleased to announce a Call for Proposals for a South African consortium of up to three institutions to host SASAC for 2016 - 2018. The lead institution will be liable for the overall coordination and reporting of the program to the NRF. Responsibilities for lead and co-host institution(s) should be clearly stated in the proposal. The successful institutions will host SASAC as per the criteria, guidelines and requirements listed below (focusing on activities 1 – 3 above) and as may be determined in consultation with the DST and the NRF.

A next Call for Proposals will be published in 2018 for the next hosting institutions of SASAC during 2019 to 2021.

The following are requirements to be met by the hosting institutions:

Expected requirements during the SASAC 2016 – 2018 period

  • Serve as a co-administrative hub for SASAC, supporting the NRF and the DST in advertising for the SASAC and ensuring the participation of high quality doctoral candidates – details as per Submission Form below.
  • Offer discounted rates for accommodation (single rooms), meals and other consumables for the 20 candidates participating in the two-month Systems Analysis Capacity Development program – details as per Submission Form below.
  • Offer discounted rates for accommodation, meals and other consumables for the 10-20 supervisors who will be in attendance of the two-month Systems Analysis Capacity Development program at any one time during the two months.
  • Advertise for and administer 10 PhD bursaries based on NRF PhD rates. Students should be enrolled at a range of South African institutions.
  • Provide computer facilities with access to broadband to candidates and researchers, supervisors and mentors.
  • Where possible, provide high speed computing time for running IIASA models where necessary.
  • Provide telephone and video conferencing facilities.
  • Provide lecture and seminar rooms -– details as per Submission Form.
  • Provide for heritage, cultural and field-trip events which will enhance the SASAC program.
  • Provide for interaction with the broader public, local academics, public figures and community leaders which will enhance the overall program.
  • Submit, in accordance with the above, a draft Implementation Plan for the full period, including suggestions for extra-mural activities.
  • Submit, in accordance with the above, a costing estimate at current rates. For the years 2017/18 and 2018/19 an inflationary adjustment of 6% may be applied. This would include estimates for the extra-mural activities.

Call opens : 06 August 2015

Call closes : 15 September 2015


Dr Sepo Hachigonta

Director: International Relations and Cooperation

Tel: +27 12 481 4180

Email: sepo.hachigonta@nrf.ac.za