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NRF Launches "I Am A SA Researcher" Initiative

Join the NRF’s #SAresearcher Twitter Initiative

Are you a researcher or PhD/Master's student in/from South Africa?

Do you want to:

  • Get more eyes on your work?
  • Connect with like-minded South African researchers?
  • Make it easier for journalists/science communicators to find you?

Then join the NRF’s #SAresearcher Twitter initiative!


If you don’t already have a Twitter account dedicated to your research/studies, please create one. Twitter is free to use and only requires that you have an email address to sign up.

Tweet to us at @NRF_News. Include the hashtag #SAresearcher and your field of interest. If you have space left in the tweet, tell us something about yourself so people can get an idea of what you are all about. (e.g. where are you working/studying; your motto/passions, etc.)

You can also recommend the Twitter profiles of other South African researchers you follow (just make sure that they are also comfortable with it).

Examples of what your tweet can look like:

If you are a researcher/academic: A #SAresearcher in astronomy at the SKA SA. Teach extra science classes to Gr12 learners in my spare time. @NRF_News

If you are a student: I am a #SAresearcher doing my PhD in industrial psychology at the North-West University. @NRF_News

Then what?

Step 1

We will gather all the Twitter handles and create a permanent, public Twitter List on our own Twitter profile (@NRF_News) that anyone can subscribe to at any time. The name of this list will be “South African Researchers”.

Step 2

From 22 June onwards, the NRF will introduce a “Researcher of the Day”. Every single Twitter handle we receive WILL be featured. This will give you an opportunity to gain some followers of your own and connect with your fellow researchers.

Example of a Tweet: Our #SAresearcher of the day is @Prof123. An astronomer at the SKA SA, he also teaches extra science classes to Gr12 learners.

Step 3

We will check in on our Twitter List on a regular basis and retweet some of your content from time to time. Our aim is to help you get exposure for your work, whether it’s a link to your journal article, a photo of a field trip, or a video clip of your team’s lab experiment.


We have one simple rule: play nice. Bullying behaviour towards the NRF or your fellow participants is not allowed and could result in your Twitter handle being removed from our Twitter List.

We will endeavour to give every user exposure on Twitter and to keep the initiative going as long as we possibly can. We accept that some users are more active on Twitter or in their chosen field than others, which could possibly result in these individuals receiving more retweets over time.

The NRF will show no favouritism to any individual, researcher or student, and thus any accusations of such will be ignored.

Please also note that this isn’t a competition (there are no prizes to be won), and in no way does this initiative have an influence on the funding, rating or employment decisions of the NRF.


Who can join the initiative?

The initiative is open to ALL researchers and PhD/Master’s students who are studying/working in South Africa, as well as South African researchers/students who are working/studying abroad.

When is my content eligible for a retweet?

Our main criterion is that tweets have to relate directly to your studies/work in your particular field of science, technology, engineering or innovation. This can include:

  • Articles/blog posts/videos/presentations that you have produced/co-produced
  • Images/videos of field trips or lab work
  • Info about a conference/workshop/science-related event
  • Helpful tips/advice and academic resources for students and peers

Tweets that won’t be retweeted include:

  • Tweets of a personal or private nature
  • Tweets containing inappropriate language or content that may be deemed abusive or harmful

How long will this initiative last?

The public Twitter List, “South African Researchers”, as well as the practice of retweeting quality content, will remain active indefinitely.

How do I know that I have been added to the list?

The moment we add you to the NRF’s Twitter List, you will receive a notification from Twitter.

You can also double check if you have been added by going to the @NRF_News profile. Click on the tab titled “Lists”, then click on the heading “South African Researchers”, and then click on the tab on the left-hand side titled “List Members”.  You can now scroll through the list to see if your name appears on it.

I have tweeted my details, but I am not the Twitter List

Make sure that you have included the correct hashtag and Twitter handle in your tweet. If you use another spelling or form of our Twitter handle, @NRF_News, we won’t be able to receive your tweet. 

I don’t want to be part of the initiative anymore

No problem. Simply send the NRF an inbox message on Twitter, or contact the NRF’s online engagement officer directly, and we will remove your Twitter handle from the list.

My Twitter handle has changed

Let us know and we will replace your old handle with the new one.

Who are the contact people for this initiative?

Press Release