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)
Group Executive: Human Resources and Legal Services
Deputy CEO: Research and Innovation Support and Advancement (RISA)
Global Knowledge Partnerships Programme Implementation Framework for the 2024 Academic Year
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Pilot Call for Full Proposals
DSI-NRF Postgraduate Student Funding for the 2024 Academic Year
Invitation for Nominations for Professional Development Programme (PDP) Postdoctoral Fellowships for 2023
2023 iThemba Labs Physics Summer School Call for Applications
Bi-annual Progress Reports: Postgraduate Scholarships 2022 – Mid-Year Reports
Announcement of Successful Applications for Scarce Skills Honours Scholarships 2023
Announcement of Successful Applications for the DSI-NRF Honours Scholarships In 2023
HFSP funding opportunity announcement
Risk and Uncertainty in Finance and Economics Conference
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.
Ms Eden Keyster is an NRF-funded Master’s student in Biotechnology at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).
This is her story…
My passion for science was created by my inquisitive personality and thirst for understanding the complexity of life. I always wanted to be a medical doctor though, but little did I know that my dream would come true, just in a different field of study.
A spark was ignited as I was privileged to have visited the laboratories at UWC as a youngster and I got to see what Biotechnology was actually about. I was drawn into Plant Science while I job-shadowed at the Environmental Biotechnology Laboratories (EBL). I also had the opportunity to do a voluntary internship in my final year of undergrad studies. It was during this time that I gained more knowledge regarding the field and improved on basic laboratory skills.
I completed both my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at UWC. I also spent my free time doing community service under a non-profit organisation called Surplus People Project (SPP). I was part of the youth group and I had the opportunity to engage and tell people about my knowledge in Plant Biotechnology as well as my experiences. I am currently using some of my time giving career advice and helping people apply to universities.
What role has the NRF played in your studies/career?
The NRF has been funding me since 2020 (for my Honours degree) and I am currently funded for my Master’s degree. I am truly blessed to have the privilege of being funded as it enabled me to pursue my postgraduate studies. Thanks to the NRF, I had the opportunity to join a data science course in which they taught python. The course was published on the NRF page and I was fortunate to be part of the thousands who joined.
What is your research focus on/what is your area of expertise?
I am working in the Plant Biotechnology Research Group (PBRG) run by Prof Ndiko Ludidi. My research focuses on biotic/abiotic stress and the effect it has on crop plants. I focus on the effect of endophytic microorganisms on the plant and whether it has the ability to alleviate any stress.
How can your research/work advance knowledge, transform lives and inspire a nation?
My research aims to improve food insecurity and find different methods for providing sustainable agriculture. This is important because we are currently experiencing the effects of climate change. Not only does this cause severe damage to our soil but direct damage to crop plants and the way it is produced. My work includes sharing the endless possibilities of improving lives in general, as well as in my profession.
I believe it is part of my calling to help people through my pursuit of science. To be able to see life in different forms (microbes, plants etc.) really gives another perspective to life and I would really love to share it with everyone. This includes my peers, family and anyone I come across. I would like to inspire by showing people how they can grow and find their calling through learning.
Science is the type of field that people are intimidated by because everyone expects us to have all the answers. I really want everyone to see that scientists are artists, as they require the ability to have innovative thoughts and to fill gaps. Anyone can be a scientist, all that is required is patience and the willingness to devote time. I would like to share that with people through my work and my actions.
What is the most enjoyable part of your work/studies?
I get to work with people who have different personalities and backgrounds. I learn a lot from them and I have the opportunity of working alongside individuals who are driven. I admire the hard work and it is fun having to work with people who will become doctors or professors. I also get to grow my network and learn from other people’s experiences. I also get to work with plants, fungi or bacteria. It’s fun seeing how different life forms interact.
What is the funniest or most memorable thing that has happened to you during your studies/career?
One time, I had just finished running a 7,5% acrylamide gel, I was waiting very long and I was very exhausted. As I was preparing the gel to be lifted, it tore through the middle (containing the product). Thereafter, it tore more and I was just sitting there in disbelief. My PI and some of my colleagues tried their best to make me feel better. They continued to tell me that it had happened to them as well. That day, I learned that science is truly not for the fainthearted! But that is only one of the many memorable moments I have had.
How do you balance work and life responsibilities?
Time management is very important. I try to prioritise everything accordingly so that I don’t feel too stressed at the end of the day. Everything needs balance, so I really try to maintain it.
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?
Personally, a role model should have all the qualities that consist of a person with good and true intentions. Someone who is willing to be the change they wish to see in the world. I look up to these types of people, they give up their time willingly to be active and inspire good change. I also think the type of role model differs from person to person because we all see different attributes in someone we look up to. I have been privileged to work with amazing women, especially in science. Their stories and experiences excite me. I love seeing women succeed in general – we all have a story to tell and goals to achieve. More women are also joining different fields of agriculture – this is truly amazing because everyone, despite their gender, should be able to do anything they wish to do.
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). Please view the terms for republishing here.
Women’s Month 2021: Dr Desiree Petersen
New Study finds mangroves among the most vulnerable ecosystems on the planet
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