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:
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Deputy Chief Executive Officer: National Research Infrastructure Platforms.
Group Executive: Finance and Business Systems and (CFO)
Deputy CEO: Research and Innovation Support and Advancement (RISA)
Group Executive: Science Engagement and Corporate Relations
Group Executive: Strategy Planning and Partnerships
Group Executive: Human Resources and Legal Services
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Collaborative Funding Call
NRF BRICS Call Guideline
DSI-NRF Postgraduate Student Funding for the 2023 Academic Year
Announcement of Successful Applications for the DSI-NRF general masters scholarships for 2022 academic year
Successful Applications for the DSI-NRF Postgraduate Scholarships for 2022 Academic Year
PHILA Awards 2022
2022 JWO Research Grant Applications Now Open
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.
August is Women’s Month, and this year the NRF is celebrating the Women of the NRF who are Advancing Knowledge, Transforming Lives and Inspiring a Nation. We thank all participants for sharing their stories with us and we hope that you are inspired by the amazing women who are affiliated with the NRF through their work or studies.
Dr Desiree Petersen is a South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) Specialist Scientist based at the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Biomedical Tuberculosis Research, SAMRC Centre for Tuberculosis Research (CTR), Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics within the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University.
This is her story…
I developed an interest in Genetics during high school and decided to pursue a BSc degree in Biological Sciences at Stellenbosch University. I continued with a BSc Hons degree in Human Genetics as well as an MSc and PhD degree in the fields of Human Genetics and Medical Virology, which were all obtained from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University.
After graduating in 2006 with a PhD in Health Sciences, I was offered a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Sydney, Australia at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in the Cancer Genetics Group. The research team relocated a year later to the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia in Sydney, where I held a position as a Research Officer. Thereafter, I accepted a Staff Scientist position in Genomic Medicine at the J. Craig Venter Institute in San Diego, U.S.A. I later returned to the Garvan Institute as a Senior Research Officer in the Human Comparative and Prostate Cancer Genomics Group and, in addition, held a Conjoint Senior Lecturer position at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.
After working abroad for more than 10 years at internationally recognised research institutes, I returned to South Africa in 2017 and was offered the Senior Research Officer position at the Centre for Proteomic and Genomic Research (CPGR). In June 2021, I started in my current role as an SAMRC Specialist Scientist and I am a joint staff member of Stellenbosch University.
What role has the NRF played in your studies/career?
I have a current affiliation (since 1 June 2021) with the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Tuberculosis Research.
What is your research focus on/what is your area of expertise?
My expertise spans across the areas of human genomics, population genetics, genetic diseases and genomic technologies. My research has focused on studying genetic diversity amongst human populations and understanding the role of host genetic factors in determining susceptibility to and progression of various common diseases, including cancer and infectious diseases.
How can your research/work advance knowledge, transform lives and inspire a nation?
I have contributed to research investigating the genetic diversity within various Southern African populations, which has proven to be significant in tracking human origins as well as uncovering the genetic basis of common complex diseases.
I was part of the international collaborative research team that first reported the complete sequencing of human genomes from Southern Africa. My research contributions have further included defining the genetic substructure of Southern African admixed populations and addressing their significance for identifying new genetic markers associated with the risk for developing specific diseases, which differs largely between populations. These unique Southern African populations display extensive genetic diversity and hold great potential for advancing precision medicine in the future.
I was also the Genomics Coordinator/Domain Expert for the Distributed Platform in Omics (DIPLOMICS) research infrastructure program funded by the DSI and I was involved in the development of the ‘Be Happy To Be You’ local ancestry platform, which is a direct-to-consumer service offering by Artisan Biomed, a subsidiary of the CPGR.
What is the most enjoyable part of your work/studies?
I enjoy Interacting with local and international researchers and collaborating on projects that address important aspects of innovative research that are impactful and relevant for Southern Africa. Both networking and learning more about various research efforts further promotes opportunities to establish collaborations across South African institutions.
What is the funniest or most memorable thing that has happened to you during your studies/career?
There have been many memorable experiences over the years, including spending time at various laboratories in South Africa and abroad, which has provided me with the knowledge, skills and training to achieve current and future research goals. However, I did experience a funny moment when recently returning to Stellenbosch University’s Tygerberg Campus where I was given my new staff card with a photograph taken during my time as a PhD student. Seeing how young I looked back then certainly made me laugh, although it also brought back some good memories of how my scientific career started many years ago. This further reminded me of the many exciting opportunities I have had over the years before returning to the place where my journey began.
How do you balance work and life responsibilities?
Finding a work-life balance is often easier said than done, however, it is especially needed during more recent times with many still staying indoors or working remotely. When working long hours, as many researchers do, it is important to take the time to relax and recharge. Taking a break from intensive reading and critical thinking after a day of work assists with refreshing my mind, which also improves my focus when continuing with work tasks.
Having a need for more women role models in STEM is something that is often talked about, as it could help young girls foster an interest in science-related careers. In your opinion, what makes someone a good role model?
A good role model is someone with a positive attitude who is passionate about what they are doing and has achieved their success through hard work and dedication. There are many inspiring female researchers that have contributed in significant ways to ground-breaking research that many across the world continue to benefit from.
Women’s Month 2021: Daniëlle Seymour
Women’s Month 2021: Eden Keyster
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