Lifetime Achievement Award

This accolade is awarded to individuals considered to have made extraordinary contributions, of international standard and impact, to the development of science in and for South Africa over an extended period of time, and for the manner in which their work has touched and shaped the lives and views of many
South Africans.

Award Categories

The NRF provides funding to postgraduate students in order to address the skills shortages in the fields of science, engineering, technology, humanities and social sciences by increasing the possibility of retaining suitably qualified young scientists, thereby increasing the pool of researchers and knowledge workers in the National System of Innovation. This award recognises outstanding academic performance by final-year doctoral students.

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The NRF aspires to develop and enhance the research stature of Early Career/ Emerging Researchers, prioritising black, female and people with disabilities as part of its transformation agenda which, among others, aims to redress historical imbalances in the South African researcher cohort. This award recognises outstanding research performance by current Early Career/Emerging Researchers in any discipline, who are NRF grant holders.

The Public Engagement with Research Award recognises outstanding contributions to public engagement with science and encourages academics to make their work, and science and technology in general, more accessible to the public.

This category recognises individuals within the research community who contribute to the transformation, and thus diversity, of South Africa’s science cohort through the research students they supervise.

Named after the self-taught surgeon who trained generations of medical students in surgical techniques, the Hamilton Naki Award honours individuals for achieving world-class research performance despite considerable challenges.

Derived from the words “excellence” and “acceleration”, the Excelleration Award acknowledges South African research institutions for achieving the most improved research performance over recent years as evaluated by independent parties, and measured against a selection of critical indicators.

Presented to a South African research institution which has previously won the NRF Excelleration Award for SA Research Institutions, this award recognises the institution’s continued progress and commitment to excellence in research performance as measured against a selection of critical indicators.

In recognition of the contributions, creativity and achievements of a science team towards extending the boundaries of scientific research in Africa, producing science outcomes which have positively impacted society and for the role they played in raising South Africa’s international stature as a world-class research destination.

A-rated researchers are unequivocally recognised by their peers as leading international scholars in their respective fields, for the high quality and impact of recent research outputs. They play a significant role in developing the next generation of researchers. Acquiring an NRF rating generates considerable acknowledgement and respect for the individual researchers as well as their institutions.

This award recognises an individual who has made significant contributions in enabling the growth and performance of the South African National System of Innovation.