NRF Rating

The NRF rating system is a key driver in the NRF’s aim to build a globally competitive science system in South Africa. It is a valuable tool for benchmarking the quality of our researchers against the best in the world. NRF ratings are allocated based on a researcher’s recent research outputs and impact as perceived by international peer reviewers. The rating system encourages researchers to publish high quality outputs in high impact journals/outlets. Rated researchers as supervisors will impart cutting-edge skills to the next generation of researchers.

The rating of individuals is based primarily on the quality and impact of their research outputs over the past eight years, taking into consideration the evaluation made by local and international peers. It identifies researchers who count among the leaders in their fields of expertise and gives recognition to those who constantly produce high quality research outputs. Several South African universities use the outcomes of the NRF evaluation and rating process to position themselves as research-intensive institutions, while others provide incentives for their staff members to acquire and maintain a rating and give special recognition to top-rated researchers.

The rating process is coordinated by members of academia who are represented in the following committees:
42 Specialist Committees coordinated by a Convener
10 Chair persons and 10 Assessors
The Executive Evaluation Committee
The Appeals Committee
The ratings that are awarded fall within the following categories:
A – Leading international researchers
B – Internationally acclaimed researchers
C – Established researchers
P – Prestigious Awards
Y – Promising young researchers
NRF Rating Contact
Dr James Meiring

Acting Director Ratings
+27 12 481 4216


Submit your Application

PLEASE NOTE that to submit your application for an NRF Rating electronically, click the Submit button below.

NRF Rating


Appeal Contacts
Ms Boitumelo Radebe

Professional Officer
+27 12 481 4097

When a researcher applies for a National Research Foundation (NRF) rating, an Assessment Panel considers a number of reviewers’ reports on the applicant’s research and research standing based upon the applicant’s research output during the eight (8) years prior to the review, and thereafter assigns a rating to the applicant. The rating reflects the Assessment Panel’s conclusion as to which rating category best represents the opinions that reviewers have expressed in their reports on that applicant. Where Assessment Panels cannot reach consensus, or where in their opinion an applicant might fall within the A or P categories, or should no longer fall within the A category, the application and the reviewers’ reports are referred to the Executive Evaluation Committee (EEC) for further consideration and final decision.

Although the process contains various checks and balances to ensure that rating decisions are consistent and fair, mistakes may nonetheless occur and a process has been established in terms of which applicants who are dissatisfied with the outcome of a rating decision are able to have the matter reviewed. This document sets out the criteria and processes for doing so.