The National Research Foundation was established as an independant government agency, through the National Research Foundation Act [Act No.23 of 1998].
The NRF receives its mandate from the National Research Foundation Act (Act No 23 of 1998, as amended). According to Section 3 of the Act, the object of the NRF is to contribute to national development by:
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Deputy Chief Executive Officer: National Research Infrastructure Platforms.
Group Executive: Finance and Business Systems and (CFO)
Acting Group Executive: Strategy, Planning and Partnerships
Group Executive: Science Engagement and Corporate Relations
Group Executive: Human Resources and Legal Services
Deputy CEO: Research and Innovation Support and Advancement (RISA)
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Collaborative Funding Call
NRF BRICS Call Guideline
2023 iThemba Labs Physics Summer School Call for Applications
Bi-annual Progress Reports: Postgraduate Scholarships 2022 – Mid-Year Reports
DSI-NRF Postgraduate Student Funding for the 2023 Academic Year
Announcement of Successful Applications for the DSI-NRF general masters scholarships for 2022 academic year
Successful Applications for the DSI-NRF Postgraduate Scholarships for 2022 Academic Year
Post-Doctoral Position AM2022
Post-Doctoral Position MS2022
Africa’s leading research facility for accelerator based science. Probing fundamental structure and the origins of matter; Advancing the understanding of condensed matter; Impacting the Societal need through provision for the health and environmental sector
The iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences is the continents' biggest facility for particle and nuclear research.
The SAAO is a national facility of the NRF and the national centre for optical and infrared astronomy in South Africa.
SAEON is a national platform for detecting, translating and predicting environmental change.
SAIAB provides unique skills and infrastructure support in marine, estuarine and freshwater ecosystems research, molecular research, collections and bioinformatics.
SARAO is a national facility of the NRF and incorporates radio astronomy instruments and programmes such as MeerKAT and KAT-7 telescopes in the Karoo, (HartRAO) in Gauteng...
South Africa’s innovation revolution must assist in solving our society’s deep and pressing socio-economic challenges. Global competitiveness, shrinking resource availability, and the requirements of a skilled labour force mean that, increasingly, an awareness and understanding of why science and research are critical to our lives is essential for developing an innovation culture.
Within the next five years, the aim is to begin to more fully embed engagement in and with science in the core NRF missions of supporting and promoting new knowledge and growing new knowledge workers. This is led by the formulation of an acceptable NRF position on engaged research which will guide the NRF approach…
NRF | SAASTA is the NRF business division tasked with leading and coordinating the science engagement programme across the NRF and beyond. The NRF is equally committed to ensuring that the science engagement leadership and national coordination role…
The NRF provides leading-edge research infrastructure platforms that ensure that the national research enterprise has the requisite infrastructure to undertake globally competitive discovery science, train the next generation of researchers, support engagement with science by and with the public and promote innovation that positively impacts society, the environment, the economy.
The annual NRF Awards recognize and celebrate South African research excellence. The awards presented to researchers are in two categories, the ratings linked awards and special recognition awards.
The National Research Foundation (NRF) conducts its procurement of goods, services, and works in accordance with its Supply Chain Management Policy in a manner that is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive, and cost-effective
The National Research Foundation (NRF) is guided by its Supply Chain Management Policy in its procurement of goods and services. The Policy sets out the prescripts issued by National Treasury with the exact note referenced in the footnotes. The Supply Chain Management policy adheres to the National Treasury’s prescribed supply chain system framework.
The NRF’s Supply Chain Management Policy and the conduct of supply chain management at the NRF seeks to give effect to section 217 of the South African Constitution which requires that all procurement of goods and services must be done in a manner that is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective.
The National Research Foundation bid awards and contracts. Below is the latest award.
An international team of scientists has used high-powered X-rays to show how an extinct dinosaur breathed. The team, led by South African PhD student Viktor Radermacher, were able to virtually reconstruct a new skeleton of the plant-eating dinosaur Heterodontosaurus tucki in unprecedented detail. They found surprising features of its ribs and pelvis that point to a strange style of breathing, where a muscle attached to the hips pulled on the lungs to expand and contract them.
“This new Heterodontosaurus specimen represents a turning point in understanding how dinosaurs evolved” said Radermacher, from the Evolutionary Studies Institute, Wits University. Radermacher and two other team members, Dr Kimberley Chapelle, and Professor Jonah Choiniere, were supported by grants from the National Research Foundation (NRF) through the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences, NRF African Origins Platform, and the Palaeontological Scientific Trust.
Surprisingly, mammals, birds, and reptiles all move air through their lungs in different ways. For example, mammals (like us) use a diaphragm, where lizards use rib movements, and birds rely on rocking of their breastbone. However, it has been a mystery to scientists how herbivorous dinosaurs known as Ornithischians moved air through the lungs, since they have very different anatomy to other dinosaurs. Heterodontosaurus is the most primitive of Ornithischians, the group that includes favourites like Triceratops, Stegosaurus, and duck-billed dinosaurs.
“We’ve long known that the skeletons of ornithischian dinosaurs were radically different from those of other dinosaurs,” said Prof Richard Butler, “This amazing new fossil helps us understand why ornithischians were so distinctive and successful”.
The study found that Heterodontosaurus was using its oddly shaped ribs connected to its sternum to breathe, but that it also showed the first steps towards a muscle attached to the hips that would inflate the lung – similar to how crocodiles breathe.
The fossil was found in 2009 in the Eastern Cape of South Africa by study co-author, Dr Billy de Klerk of the Albany Museum, Makhanda. “I knew we had something special when we found this cutie.” said de Klerk.
This study is the result of a long-standing collaboration between palaeontologists based in South Africa and at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), which maintains a partnership agreement with the NRF, where non-invasive techniques have been developed specifically for palaeontological studies. “You could only do this study with a synchrotron” says Dr Vincent Fernandez, scientist at the Natural History Museum in London, UK, co-author of the study and former ESRF scientist. “The characteristics of the ESRF’s X-rays, combined with its high energy beamline configuration, made scanning this complete turkey-sized dinosaur possible”.
“Studies like this highlight how South Africa’s fossil record contextualizes decades of international findings” said senior author Prof Jonah Choiniere.
This is an instance where the respiratory diversity in the life around us shows that there isn’t a single solution to what may seem like a simple problem. There are many ways to ventilate the lungs, and this species appears to have evolved a potentially unique and specialized strategy to achieve this” said Dr. Emma Schachner.
DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences
The DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences is a global hub for the study of the origins of species, using cutting-edge research techniques to understand South Africa’s unique fossil and archaeological record. It is part of the Department of Science and Innovation’s Centre of Excellence (CoE) programme, managed by the National Research Foundation. CoEs are physical or virtual centres of research that concentrate existing research excellence and capacity and resources to enable researchers to collaborate across disciplines and institutions on long-term projects that are locally relevant and internationally competitive in order to enhance the pursuit of research excellence and capacity development.
The African Origins Platform (AOP)
The African Origins Platform (AOP) is a highly competitive, discipline-specific funding instrument of the National Research Foundation which supports research, skills development and infrastructure in the palaeosciences.
European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
The National Research Foundation maintains a partnership agreement with the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France, along with 18 other countries from the broader European region. This relationship facilitates the access of South African scientists to the ESRF research facility, and also the access of European scientists to South African expertise and research opportunities.
Impact of Science: The Transformative Power of Research
Women’s Month 2021: Daniëlle Seymour
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