NRF Conducts Targeted Engagements with the Universities of Venda and Limpopo

NRF Conducts Targeted Engagements with the Universities of Venda and Limpopo

The National Research Foundation (NRF) visited the University of Venda (UNIVEN) and University of Limpopo (UL) from 11 to 12 June 2024 as part of the NRF-RIISA’s planned targeted engagements for the 2024 academic year for postgraduate students, postdoctoral Fellows as well as emerging/early career researchers.

Led by Dr Sello Manoto, Manager in the Next Generation and Emerging Researcher Department, the team consisted of Ms Nontokozo Kunene, Ms Nthabeleng Makhetha, Ms Tshepiso Masemola, and Mr Lehlogonolo Phaahla. The visit demonstrated the NRF’s commitment to fully support historically disadvantaged institutions (HDIs) as well as its grantholders participating in NRF funding instruments.

In his opening remarks, Prof Jabulani Makhubela, Director of Research from UNIVEN expressed the highest honour to NRF team and attendees and highlighted the NRF’s commitment to supporting UNIVEN. This was echoed by one of the university’s Deans who described himself as an emerging researcher and a beneficiary of the Thuthuka programme, and expressed gratitude for the NRF’s ongoing contributions and support.

At UL, the NRF delegates received a warm welcome from the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof Jesika Singh, who expressed her appreciation of the NRF for making time to engage with the institution and bettering the support for postgraduates and researchers. Prof Singh introduced the university’s emerging and established researchers who were part of the meeting, as well as the Research Office staff. Concerns regarding funding releases were discussed and addressed, with the NRF committed to the improvement of all challenges experienced by the institution. Dr Manoto highlighted the commitment from the NRF to provide the necessary support and guidance to next generation and the emerging researcher cohort to submit fundable proposals to the NRF through training and workshops.

The engagement by the NRF focussed on how best the NRF can support the institutions, the grantholders, and emerging researchers through the development of proposals and applications for emerging researcher programmes. The NRF team also emphasised the importance of science engagement and engaged research that shows purposeful collaborative inquiry, and results in the creation of knowledge that positively impacts the public good.

Furthermore, the NRF highlighted the Next Generation and Emerging Researcher Symposium scheduled to take place in October 2024. The Symposium is expected to provide a platform that offers varied opportunities for networking, creating local and global workforce connections, knowledge exchange, sharing the latest groundbreaking insights on topics of their interest and thought-provoking research projects in relation to the NRF’s 2030 vision “research for a better society” and aligned to the thematic areas in the DSI decal plan. The engagements were successfully received and the respective DVCs and Research Offices are hopeful that the support from the NRF will continue.

The National Research Foundation (NRF) and University of Venda (UNIVEN) delegation.

The National Research Foundation and University of Limpopo delegation.

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