NRF-RIISA Initiates Targeted Engagements by Visiting Unizulu and DUT

NRF-RIISA Initiates Targeted Engagements by Visiting Unizulu and DUT

From 22 – 23 May 2024, the NRF-RIISA Next Generation and Emerging Researcher department visited the University of Zululand (Unizulu) and Durban University of Technology (DUT) as part of the planned targeted engagements for the 2024 academic year for postgraduate students, postdoctoral Fellows as well as emerging/early career researchers at the 26 higher learning institutions in South Africa.

The NRF engaged with the research office staff and discussed the latest developments surrounding postgraduate, postdoctoral and emerging researcher funding and identified areas of improvement in order to ensure efficiency and enhance turnaround time.

This was followed by a session with the NRF funded postgraduate students and emerging researchers, including postdoctoral Fellows, in order to gain insight into their experiences as funded awardees, and to identify and address any challenges that they faced. This also served as an opportunity to capacitate the grantholders on the NRF post-award processes. Prospective postgraduate students were also briefed on the upcoming call for applications for postgraduate funding, call dates, call requirements, and the application process.

The NRF team was led by Dr Sello Manoto, Manager in the Next Generation and Emerging Researcher Department, and also included Ms Nthabeleng Makhetha; Ms Kgaugelo Molepo; Mr Lehlogonolo Phaahla; Ms Celumusa Kunene and Ms Lizeka Ncudu.

The visit highlighted the commitment and intent of the NRF to fully support higher education institutions in striving towards research excellence; and utilising the available NRF funding instruments to advance postgraduate students and emerging researchers support.

The Unizulu delegation was led by the DVC of Research and Innovation, Prof Nokuthula Kunene and the Director of Research, Prof Byron Brown. Prof Brown mentioned that the NRF remains a key strategic partner of the University through its funding instruments for both postgraduate and research support. From the engagement the NRF team was able to determine the successes, challenges and experiences of the university’s research office; the emerging researchers and postgraduate students; as well as provide solutions and methods to build on the successes. The engagement the DUT’s Research Office, emerging researchers and postgraduate students was led by Dr Vaneshree Govender, Director of Research who expressed gratitude for the continuous support and dedication by the NRF to the institution.

The National Research Foundation (NRF) and University of Zululand (Unizulu) delegation
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