Invitation to Cover the 2023 National Research Foundation Awards

Invitation to Cover the 2023 National Research Foundation Awards

The prestigious National Research Foundation (NRF) Awards will take place on 31 August 2023 at The Capital Zimbali Resort in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Members of the media are invited to cover the awards ceremony, held annually to celebrate South Africa’s research excellence. In addition to the winners, the event hosts the who’s who of local and international academia. Keynote speakers will include Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande; and NRF CEO, Dr Fulufhelo Nelwamondo.

The NRF Awards honour prolific scientists behind some of the outstanding research done at South Africa’s higher education institutions and are presented across two categories – the Special Awards and NRF ratings-based Awards.

The ratings-based awards are centred on a peer review system that looks at the research impact of the nominee over a sustained period of time. The nominees for the special awards also go through an independent peer evaluation structured on a set of criteria.

One of the special awards is the Lifetime Achievement Award, which honours a South African or permanent resident above the age 60 whose scientific or innovative work and/or achievements have made extraordinary contributions to the country over the years.

Event details
Venue: The Capital Zimbali Resort in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
Date: 31 August 2023
Time: 17:00 (Registration will start earlier)

Journalists assigned to cover the awards ceremony in person should contact NRF Media Relations Officer, Bongani Nkosi, on or 061 477 3064, for accreditation and/or any requests. The awards ceremony will also be livestreamed on the NRF YouTube and Facebook accounts.

Details of awards categories
The Special Awards Categories

  • Lifetime Achievement Award (includes a R500 000 grant)
  • Research Excellence Award for Next Generation Researchers (includes a R50 000 travel grant for international conference attendance)
  • Research Excellence Award for Early Career/Emerging Researchers (includes a R50 000 travel grant for international conference attendance)
  • Hamilton Naki Award (includes R200 000 research grant)
  • Champion of Research Capacity Development and Transformation at South African Higher Education Institutions Award (includes R300 000 research grant)
  • Public Engagement with Research Award (includes attendance at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Conference)
  • Science Team Award
  • NRF Excelleration Award for SA Research Institutions, in recognition of a South African institution for achieving the most improved research performance over recent years.
  • NRF CEO Special Recognition Award

Ratings-based Awards Categories

Each year a number of researchers whose research output has been peer-reviewed are given ratings by the NRF. These ratings are fall under the categories of A, B, C, P or Y. These ratings recognise the excellence shown by these researchers, highlighting not only their standing as leaders in their fields but also the world-leading nature of their work as assessed by their peers. Researchers who have received the A ratings will be acknowledged at the NRF Awards. To obtain an A rating, a researcher must be recognised by their peers as a leading international scholar in their field. The recognition for an A-rated researcher must be based on the high quality and high impact of their recent research output.

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