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)
Group Executive: Finance and Business Systems and (CFO)
Acting DCEO: National Research Infrastructure Platforms
Group Executive: Corporate Services
Group Executve: Digital Transformation Acting DCEO: Research, Innovation and Impact Support and Advancement
Deputy CEO: Research and Innovation Support and Advancement (RISA)
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR EVALUATION AND RATING – 2024
Announcement: Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP) call on Democracy, Governance and Trust (DGT)
Call for Applications: Globalink Research Award Thematic Call
DSI-NRF Postgraduate Student Funding for the 2024 Academic Year
Invitation for Nominations for Professional Development Programme (PDP) Postdoctoral Fellowships for 2023
2023 iThemba Labs Physics Summer School Call for Applications
Bi-annual Progress Reports: Postgraduate Scholarships 2022 – Mid-Year Reports
1ANNOUNCEMENT OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATIONS FOR THE DSI-NRF FIRST-TIME GRANT HOLDER-LINKED MASTERS SCHOLARSHIPS FOR FUNDING IN 2024 ACADEMIC YEAR
ANNOUNCEMENT OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATIONS FOR THE DSI-NRF FIRST-TIME GRANT HOLDER-LINKED DOCTORAL SCHOLARSHIPS FOR FUNDING IN 2024 ACADEMIC YEAR
Call for applications: Summer schools 2024 in Germany for DAAD In-Country/In-Region scholarship holders
Open Calls for Scholarship Applications: Hungary, China, Russia, Mauritius, Sweden and Switzerland
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.
At Science Forum South Africa on 07 December 2023, the Department of Science and Innovation held a talk titled Future Implications of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science which explored the 2021 adoption by 193 UNESCO members of the organisation’s Recommendation on Open Science and the implications that it has for the future of the science landscape in sub-Saharan Africa.
The UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science is the first international standard setting instrument on open science. It promotes:
Open Science can be defined as a knowledge sharing movement to make knowledge, particularly scientific knowledge, accessible to all levels of society. Its aim is to make science and scientific research more transparent and to allow it to be freely disseminated, inclusive and useable to whoever wants it.
The keynote address was presented by Professor Geoffrey Boulton, Regus Professor of Geology Emeritus at the University of Edinburgh and member of the International Science Council Committee for Science Planning. He spoke of the three stages in history that have led to Open Science – the first being the advent of moveable type in China and Europe which opened the door to greater literacy and the spread of book-based knowledge; the second being the formation of science communities and science journals which drastically reduced the distance between those with scientific knowledge; and the third was the digital revolution of the last 30 years which enabled knowledge to transcend cultural and physical barriers, leading into the era of truly Open Science.
One of the most important objectives of Open Science is to address the problem of misinformation; to render Science immune to commercial or political interests. The UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science is a major step in ensuring that science become more accessible. Prof Boulton also believes that universities have a critical role to play in facilitating this accessibility as they exist as huge storehouses of knowledge. Unfortunately universities tend to maintain a narrow perspectives with the commoditisation of ideas by focusing mainly on the production of research papers. In this scenario, the only winners are the journal publishers who stick to their historical barriers to knowledge access. According to Prof Boulton, this stranglehold falls short of what science needs. This problem intensified with the huge increase (around 47%) in papers published from 2016 to 2022.
Prof Boulton believes that Africa could become a leader in the Open Science movement but that it would take a large number, if not all, of the continent’s universities to adopt it.
Dr Adrian Tiplady, Deputy Managing Director: Strategy and Partnerships at South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRF-SARAO), talked about how Open Science policy an can act as a mechanism for change in the science landscape. According to him, a good example of this was the speed of response to the COVID-19 pandemic which lowered many of the barriers of knowledge access.
Dr Tiplady stated that it was important to note that knowledge should be as open as possible and as closed as necessary, that is knowledge should be accessible as much as possible without infringing on factors such as statutory regulations or intellectual property among others. He also stressed the importance of flexibility in Open Science policy so that it can be adapted to the needs of each university as well as policy sustainability, and the ability to monitor and evaluate the implementation and impact of policy.
Dr Tiplady also outlined the intents of Open Science, i.e. open data; education and skills; rewards and incentives (rewards for researchers who practice Open Science and incentives for private sector companies investing in R&D and Open Science projects); research data infrastructure as the backbone of Open Science and a major component in breaking down barriers to access; and citizen science where members of society become active participants in areas such as data collection and monitoring.
Professor Madara Ogot, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nairobi and CEO of the UbuntuNet Alliance spoke about how his organisation facilitates Open Science through the provision of infrastructure in three areas – AfricRxiv, which streamlines the process of archiving the work of individual researchers and grant-funded collections through the provision of a cloud-based repository; Innovation Sandbox, which provides high-level computing resources for researchers in East and Southern Africa through the use of virtual machines, eliminating the need for universities and other institutions to invest in their own computing hardware and software systems; and Utafiti Africa, which curates funding opportunities for scientists looking to engage in research projects in their particular regions and fields of study. The final speaker, Mr Lazarus Matizirofa, Associate Director: Research, Scholarly Communication, Digital Systems & Services at the University of the Witwatersrand, looked at the state of Open Science and Open Access in Africa, maintaining that it remains fragmented with many African countries not having achieved the same level as South Africa in these areas. He emphasised the need for academics and academic libraries to unite in order to increase the visibility and impact of Open Science and Open Access.
Policy Hackathon on the Co-creation of Policy Solutions for Transformative Innovation
NRF Discussion on South Africa’s Just Energy Transition Highlights Need for Collaboration
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