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The NRF was established through the National Research Foundation Act (Act No 23 of 1998), following a system-wide review conducted for the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (DACST). The new entity incorporated the functions of the research funding agencies that were previously servicing various sections of the research community, namely the former Centre for Science Development (CSD) of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the former Foundation for Research Development (FRD) that included several National Research Facilities.


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Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (SA-JINR) Collaboration 2018

In 2005 the Republic of South Africa (RSA) and the Russian Federation (RF) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) that led to South Africa becoming an Associate Member of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR). The JINR is an independent, multinational research agency located in Dubna, the Russian Federation...

Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) 2019

Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) has been a cross cutting theme of the 10 Year Plan of the Department of Science and Technology’s 10-Year Innovation Plan. Reaffirming its commitment to mainstream IKS in South Africa, the South African government envisages IKS as contributing towards sustainable economic development...

Support for Unrated and Rated Researchers 2019

The Competitive Support for Unrated Researchers is a discipline-based funding instrument which supports principally basic research as the foundation of knowledge production in the disciplines of the Humanities, Social and Natural Sciences. The Competitive Programme for Rated Researchers (CPRR) is a highly competitive...

Human and Social Dynamics Funding Instrument 2019

The Human and Social Dynamics funding instrument is a discipline-specific funding instrument which supports basic research in Social Science and the Humanities. The Human and Social Dynamics Funding Instrument is theme driven and will support new or existing research initiatives.

Research Development Grants for Y-Rated Researchers 2019

The Research Development Grants for Y-Rated Researchers is a ring-fenced, once-off grants and competitive discipline-based funding instrument aimed at enhancing the efficiency of the NRF to drive our transformation consistently and strategically through supporting primarily basic research as the foundation of...

DST – NRF Fellowships for Early Career Researchers from the United Kingdom 2019

The National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) in partnership with the United Kingdom Academies (under the United Kingdom-South Africa Newton Fund) are pleased to announce the Call for applications for DST-NRF Fellowships for Early Career Researchers from the United Kingdom.

NRF Freestanding, Innovation and Scarce Skills Postdoctoral Fellowships 2019

The National Research Foundation (NRF) in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) are pleased to announce the call for fellowship applications for 2019 in the following categories: DST- NRF- Freestanding Postdoctoral Fellowships; DST-...

National Equipment Programme (NEP) 2019

The development and retention of high-end scientific and technological competencies is essential for South Africa to transform into a knowledge-based economy wherein the generation of new knowledge and scientific and technological innovations can bring about economic development, job creation and an improvement in the...

South Africa / Norway Cooperation on Oceans Research including Blue Economy, Climate Change, the Environment and Sustainable Energy (SANOCEAN) 2018

South Africa and Norway have had a long standing partnership supporting joint research focusing on climate change, environment and sustainable energy (known as SANCOOP). Three SANCOOP calls (2001 – 2006, 2006 – 2011, and 2013 – 2017) have been launched since the inception of this partnership. Late last year we...

NRF/FAPESP Joint Science and Technology Research Collaboration 2019

In October 2015, the NRF and the State of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) signed an inter-agency agreement to support research and development activities between South African researchers and researchers from the State of São Paulo in Brazil through the funding of joint research activities in specified research...

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Thuthuka 2019

The Thuthuka Funding Instrument is a key intervention of the National Research Foundation (NRF) aimed at supporting emerging researchers. Thuthuka research grants are awarded to academics and researchers that hold academic and/or joint academic and administrative professional appointments, at NRF recognised public...

SASAC (South African System Analysis Capacity) 2018

The integrated approach of systems analysis allows investigation at the nexus of global challenges, enabling synergies and trade-off among potential solutions to be considered and implemented. Applied systems analysis takes into account the interconnectedness of multiple development goals. It offers the best chance of...

NRF-FRF Sabbatical Grant 2019

The National Research Foundation (NRF) and the FirstRand Foundation (FRF) have partnered to pursue the goal of increasing the proportion of suitably qualified Black (especially African Black) academic staff and academic staff with disabilities, at South African public universities, by establishing the NRF-FRF...

Knowledge Interchange & Collaboration (KIC) 2018

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...

DST-NRF Conference Fund 2019

The DST-NRF Conference Fund is intended to support the hosting of international conferences focused on excellent scientific research that has potential for socio-economic impact. The funding platform makes provision for strategic, large events of an international nature, hosted in South Africa, or on behalf of South...

NRF/ERC 2018

The South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) entered into an agreement with the European Commission (EC), appointing the NRF and the European Research Council (ERC) as implementing agencies for this partnership.

South Africa/Austria Science and Technology Joint Call for Research Proposals 2019

The programme for Scientific & Technological Cooperation is carried out in the frame of the bilateral “Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Science and Technology of the Republic of South Africa and the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy of the Republic of Austria on Scientific and...

NRF/BELSPO Joint Call for Networking Activities 2019

In line with the Science and Technology Agreement that was signed in January 2017 between South Africa and Belgium, the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO) agreed to launch the first joint call for supporting joint networking research activities between South...

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