Home » RISA Directorates » Funding » DHET-DST/NRF SARChI in Post-School Education and Training (PSET)
Opening Date: 
Wednesday, 23 May, 2018
Closing Date: 
Thursday, 21 June, 2018

The National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Department for Higher Education and Training (DHET)  seek to fill three Research Chairs in the area of Post-School Education and Training Post School Education and Training (PSET). Proposals are invited from eligible applicants in the following thematic areas:

  1. African Languages Teaching
  2. Entrepreneurship in Post-School Education and Training
  3. Community Education and Training

Proposed Research Chair


Alignment with DHET research priority areas

African Languages Teaching

The White Paper on Post School Education and Training indicates that the ‘demise of African languages in the academic sphere poses a serious threat to linguistic diversity in South Africa’ and that ‘a cross-disciplinary approach to a renewed focus on developing African languages in universities is necessary…’ (Department of Higher Education and Training, 2013, p. 38). An approach is required which develops African languages as languages of literature, science and academia, and as established languages for teaching and learning. It is envisaged that this chair will focus on a linguistically related set of African languages and that it works to provides the research base for the development and strengthening of the languages as languages of learning and teaching at multiple layers of the education system. 

Development and provisioning of African languages are identified as a key theme in the Curriculum, Programmes and Qualifications focus area of the DHET's research agenda 2017-2020.

Entrepreneurship in Post-School Education and Training

South Africa is experiencing high unemployment, and entrepreneurship is seen as one part of the holistic response required to address this challenge. In this regard, PSET education institutions and their graduates represent a valuable resource. However, entrepreneurship historically has not been a strong focus area for PSET institutions. A theoretical and practical knowledge base to inform entrepreneurship in PSET needs to be developed, and a number of focus areas bear further investigation, including student entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship curricula and programmes, and entrepreneurial institutions.

The focus area of Education and Work is part of the DHET’s 2017-2020 Research Agenda, and entrepreneurship is a key dimension of the education-work continuum.

Community Education and Training

The White Paper on Post School Education and Training (DHET, 2013) proposed the establishment of community education and training colleges. The research chair will focus on the investigating the role of community education and training in addressing the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality facing the country, with a particular focus on rural, urban poor and other marginalised communities through the provision of education and skills development opportunities. Some of the key research areas for the chair could include the following:

  • Pedagogies for community education and training
  • skills for sustainable livelihoods
  • adult education
  • worker education

The focus area of Education and Work is part of the DHET’s 2017-2020 Research Agenda, and key themes associated with the focus area include:

  • The impact of Post School Education and Training Education;
  • Society and work, in the context of a developmental state; and
  • Community Education and the world of work.

The Call

The core objective of this initiative is to contribute to the access of high quality and relevant PSET by ordinary South Africans, by building and investing in human capital development that is adequately trained to effectively participate in the economy . The DHET-DST/NRF SARChI Chairs in PSET focuses on the above three listed thematic areas as a response to the DHET’s Research agenda 2020, which inter alia aims to inform the country’s research needs and priorities.  It is envisaged that the chairs will also be a useful resource which can be used by the department to formulate effective responsive policy on the thematic areas. The proposed scope of each Research Chair is intended to support scientific research, development and innovation in the Post School Education and Training Sector.

Funding period: 15 years at Tier Level 1 per chair, 10 years at Tier Level 2, each tenable for a period of 5 years and will be renewed on satisfactory performance of the chair.

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:

  • 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 two applications in this call, and will be permitted to nominate up to two 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, colored and Black candidates.

All applications should be submitted no later than 21 June 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