South Africa and Germany Renew Science & Technology Agreement

South Africa and Germany Renew Science & Technology Agreement

The National Research Foundation (NRF) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) renewed their science and technology cooperation agreement at a signing ceremony at the NRF in Pretoria on Wednesday, 15 December 2021.

The two countries originally signed the cooperative agreement in 1996, and have, over the years, supported research and development projects in agricultural sciences, life sciences, earth sciences, mathematical sciences, engineering, physical sciences and health sciences. The top 10 areas of joint research output between the two countries are Physics and Astronomy, Medicine, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Agricultural and Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, Environmental Science, Engineering, Social Sciences, Immunology and Microbiology and Multidisciplinary Research.

The partnership with DAAD promotes academic, scientific and technological cooperation to jointly supports and implements the “NRF-DAAD Joint Scholarship Programme” for South African postgraduate Master’s and Doctoral students registered at South African public universities. The NRF-DAAD Joint Scholarship Programme is part of the overall DAAD In-Country/In-Region Scholarship Programme. The NRF and DAAD concluded an agreement for postgraduate student support in 2014 to fund a new intake of 50 Master’s and 50 Doctoral students per annum for two years, i.e. the 2015 and 2016 academic years. A renewal agreement was signed in 2016 for a further intake of 60 Master’s and 60 Doctoral students for two years during 2017 and 2018. This agreement was amended in February 2021 to align funding for the 2021 cohort to the new scholarship values as per the DSI-NRF Postgraduate Funding Policy.

Over the years this support has significantly increased the quantity and quality of Master’s and Doctorate production in the country. The NRF and DAAD award 80% of the scholarships to students in STEM disciplines and 20% in Social Studies and Humanities.

Says Dr Fulufhelo Nelwamondo, CEO of the NRF, “There is need to develop effective funding opportunities that promote international mobility. For instance, the NRF Global Knowledge Partnership Programme aims to support early career researchers funded by the NRF to spend 3-18 months at international universities or research institutions. It is anticipated that this in turn will result in, accelerated career pathways through improved academic rigour and competitiveness; enhanced international partnerships for emerging researchers, including secondary networks introduced by the international partner; and increased mentorship/supervision capacity for emerging researchers.”

“A combination of global and regional networks such as those supported by DAAD, provide an enabling opportunity framework for the programme. I am delighted that this discussion between the NRF and DAAD is ongoing.”

Related Posts