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:
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CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR EVALUATION AND RATING – 2024
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DSI-NRF Postgraduate Student Funding for the 2024 Academic Year
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2023 iThemba Labs Physics Summer School Call for Applications
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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.
Dr Art McDonald, the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics recipient, has stressed the importance of academics choosing their research collaborators well.
Dr McDonald delivered a special National Research Foundation (NRF) Science for Society Lecture at the University of Pretoria’s Future Africa campus on Tuesday, 20 September 2022. The NRF organised the lecture, themed “The Road to a Nobel Prize”, in partnership with the High Commission of Canada and Future Africa.
Dr McDonald was a co-recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics with Japan’s Dr Takaaki Kajita. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the Nobel Prize in Physics, announced at the time that the two veteran academics were recognised for discovery that changed humans’ understanding of the innermost workings of matter and which can prove crucial to our view of the universe.
Dr McDonald led research groups at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO), Canada, that investigated the metamorphosis of the neutrinos. He was a director of the observatory. The long-term study proved that the neutrinos from the Sun do not disappear on their way to Earth, but instead mutate. Neutrinos are one of the smaller, but abundant particles in the universe.
In his special NRF Science for Society lecture, Dr McDonald pointed out that academic collaboration made the discovery by the SNO teams possible. “When students ask me how you do well in science, I say choose your collaborators well,” he said.
“I received a Nobel Prize, but I received it on behalf of 200 or 300 scientists or tactical people who actually did the work on this major experiment. I’m simply representing here as a Nobel Prize winner.”
The research collaboration at the SNO goes back to 1984 when Dr McDonald was one of the 16 founding members of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Collaboration. He was a full Physics professor at the time.
“We started in 1984,” he recalled. “Our results, for which the Nobel was awarded, were in 2002. So, this was an extremely dedicated group of people. In the process, we educated over 200 students as postdocs. Those same students were surveyed later, and only about 25% of them ended up as professors in universities,” he said. “I’m very pleased to be able to say that over 35% of people who have those academic positions are women. That’s not common in Physics these days and I consider it progress.
He added, “The other 75%, were surveyed 10 years after the project was over, and they worked in a wide variety of occupations.”
Dr McDonald posited that his earlier schooling days contributed to his love for education and academic success. He grew up in Sydney. “It was a very industrially oriented town. But then education was emphasised,” he recalled. “… Teachers are very influential in people’s success. My high school Mathematics teacher, Bob Chafe, gave us extra classes after school.” Chafe’s class of 35 learners produced two PhDs in Mathematics and one in Physics. “This feat was just an indication of this gentleman’s skill”, said the Nobel Laureate.
Another key to academic success for Dr McDonald is balancing between one’s first passion and what they are good at. “I went to Dalhousie (University for undergraduate studies in the 1960s) and I discovered Physics. I went there knowing that I love math and I wanted to apply it in some way,” he said. “In fact, the other thing I often say to young people who ask me how you choose a career is ‘well, think about the things you might like to do when you get up in the morning. But then try a variety of things to see what you’re good at.’”
“Lo and behold, I tried physics and I was good at it. So, I put it together, and if you do that, you’ll have fun every day and you’ll also be successful. I discovered that physics really enables you to understand the universe at all levels, from the most microscopic to the furthest reaches,” Dr McDonald added.
Dr Fulufhelo Nelwamondo, the NRF Chief Executive Officer, delivered the welcome address at the lecture and also touched on academic collaborations. He said, “The growing science, technology and innovation network will increasingly play a key role in the facilitation of research collaboration. These collaborations and other partnerships are heavily anchored in a common understanding, mutual trust, and transparency to effectively deliver on the collaboration outcomes. The key aspect again is for all of us to remember that the collaboration must be meaningful because we’re solving similar problems worldwide and we must find ways of making sure that we work together in a meaningful form. These networks and partnerships are going to keep us in good state.”
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