In a globalised world, the internationalisation of research is imperative for the competitiveness of any country. While international collaboration has always been an intrinsic part of the research and innovation (R&I) endeavour, the forces of competitiveness and globalisation are accelerating the scope, pace and importance of cross-border R&I, strengthened by directed partnerships both within and outside of South Africa. Stakeholders around the world are working to internationalise their R&I efforts, driven by the need to establish a global reputation, to access global knowledge and expertise, and to mobilise new resources.
Striving towards an internationally competitive science, technology and innovation system is one of the strategic performance goals of the National Research Foundation’s (NRF) Vision. The essential purpose of this intervention is to build and maintain excellence in South African research, rather than to only facilitate international collaboration. The promotion of international collaboration through the support of travel opportunities and participation in scientific events, enriched by national learning opportunities and engagements, are important mechanisms towards this goal.
The Knowledge, Interchange and Collaboration (KIC) instrument was therefore established to contribute to the following objectives:
- Internationalising South Africa’s research platform;
- Enhancing networking within the global science system;
- Fostering collaboration in order to improve the quality of research outputs by researchers.
Within the NRF funding context, the internationalisation of research is an intrinsic part of the current funding instruments, built into research grants awarded through programmes such as Competitive Funding for Rated Researchers, the South African Research Chairs Initiatives (SARChI), and the Centres of Excellence (CoE) Programme. Therefore, funding for KIC support is prioritised for those researchers who have not already been allocated travel support through any other current NRF grant awards.
TYPES OF SUPPORT
The investment in support for travel and participation in scientific events are focused in four categories:
Travel Grants for Individual Researchers: The applicants in this category are the individual South Africa-based researchers (young or established researchers) travelling either locally or internationally. The funding requested will be to support local and international travel related to research activities such as presentations of keynote lectures or papers and/or posters at conferences, seminars, symposia, workshops, etc. Advanced PhD students can apply (through their supervisors), and be recognised as young researchers.
Visiting Foreign Researchers: The applicants in this category are South Africa-based researchers requesting funding to host research leaders from abroad for a short period (up to three weeks) in South Africa in order to enrich local expertise in their field.
Africa Interaction: The applicants in this category are South Africa-based researchers intending to visit universities or research organisations in African countries in order to build capacity and to promote future collaboration, and/or to strengthen existing collaborations.
Support for Local Scientific Events: The applicants in this category are South Africa-based researchers requesting financial support to organise or host scientific events.
WHO MAY APPLY
PhD students (through their supervisors) registered at public South African institutions, and all researchers who are full-time employees or on a fixed-term contract at any of the following institutions are eligible to apply:
- South African universities /universities of technology;
- Recognised national research institutions such as the national facilities;
- Science councils.
The applicants must be in possession of at least a PhD degree.
PhD students (through their supervisors) who cannot apply for a travel grant through their NRF Scholarships and Fellowships award, and who are registered at a South African statutory university. These students can only apply for travel grants for individuals.
Student involvement in local events is highly encouraged.
Postdoctoral Fellows are not eligible to apply.
Students and researchers from private/commercial institutions are not eligible to apply.
WHICH ACTIVITIES MAY I APPLY FOR?
Travel Grants for Individual Researchers
Visiting Foreign Researcher
Applications must be submitted electronically on the NRF Online Submission System at https://nrfsubmission.nrf.ac.za: Knowledge, Interchange and Collaboration (KIC) 2018
Call opens : 03 April 2018
Call closes : 17 April 2018
Please note that applications submitted outside the NRF Submission system will not be accepted.
WHO TO CONTACT
Knowledge Advancement and Support (KAS)
Tel: +27 12 481 4028
Grants Management and System Administration GMSA
Tel: +27 12 481 4157
Grants Management and System Administration
Tel : +27 481 4029
E-mail : Tebatso.Leduka@nrf.ac.za