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:
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Announcement: Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP) call on Democracy, Governance and Trust (DGT)
Global Knowledge Partnerships Programme Implementation Framework for the 2024 Academic Year
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 General Honours Scholarships 2023_July
Announcement of Successful Applications for the 2023 NRF Scarce Skills Post-Doctoral Fellowship
Take Charge of your Future: Apply for a Pan-African University Scholarship today!
Call for Proposals: Japan Science and Technology Agency / Japan International Cooperation Agency Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development
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 National Research Foundation (NRF) is celebrating the remarkable contributions that have been made by women researchers for the betterment of humanity. We thank all participants for sharing their stories with us.
Ms Anela Fixi is a Research Assistant at the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and a part-time tutor in Geography at the University of South Africa (UNISA). She received funding from the NRF for her Honours studies in 2017.
What impact did the NRF have on your studies/career?
I was awarded the NRF Honours and Final Year B-Tech Scholarship in 2017. The scholarship had a significant positive impact on my studies and provided a strong foundation for my future career by offering financial support and various opportunities for personal and professional growth. The scholarship relieved my burden of tuition fees, living expenses, and other educational costs by allowing me to focus more on my studies without worrying about financial constraints
What has been your study/career journey?
I grew up in rural areas of the Eastern Cape and was raised by traditional women who had a good relationship with Nature. Our grandmothers interacted with nature in a very inspiring manner. They used their indigenous knowledge to identify which plants to use for almost everything – medicine, food, fire, etc. Experiencing the gradual extinction of these plants is almost equivalent to the extinction of this indigenous knowledge, meaning the resources that were provided by Nature to sustain our livelihoods will not be there to sustain the needs of future generations.
I joined Walter Sisulu University to pursue a degree in Environmental Studies which aligned with my nature conservation interests. Environmental studies played a crucial role in understanding and addressing the complex environmental challenges facing our planet, including biological invasions. Environmental studies equipped me with the knowledge and skills to conserve and protect natural resources, biodiversity, and ecosystems. This understanding of environmental issues is essential for promoting sustainable practices and ensuring a balanced relationship between human activities and nature.
I advanced my career in the Environmental field by pursuing an Honours and Master’s degree in Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand where I deepened my expertise and knowledge in environmental conservation.
My personal interest in nature conservation led me to a role at SANBI where I contribute to the early detection and rapid response of invasive alien species, and conduct research that can influence policy decisions and advocacy for environmentally friendly practices.
What is your research focus on/what is your area of expertise?
I am currently working at SANBI as a Research Assistant.
I am responsible for contributing to the early detection of the emerging alien invasive species that are a target for eradication at SANBI’s Directorate on Biodiversity Evidence (SANBI-DBE). Additionally, I am responsible for conducting research and risk assessment on alien invasive species, compiling findings, and producing a risk assessment report in order to provide suitable management strategies for listing the particular species in a suitable category.
Finally, I am responsible for contributing to alien invasive species awareness where we educate the community about the impact of alien invasive species on their livelihoods, economy, and the environment at large, and also seek their assistance in spotting our targeted species while still emerging.
Why is your research/work important?
Biological invasions are considered to be one of the major drivers of biodiversity loss in South Africa. The increase and geographic redistribution of invasive alien plant species have diverse societal, economic and environmental negative impacts. These species cause the decline or elimination of native species through competition for water, ecosystem functions, and agricultural systems by reducing crop and animal health.
In South Africa, invasive alien plant species have no natural enemies such as insects, animals and diseases that would have controlled them naturally in their native countries. Without natural enemies, these plants reproduce and spread quickly, taking valuable water and space from our indigenous plants. Many alien plants consume more water than local plants, depleting our valuable water resources. Invasive alien plant species cost South Africa tens of billions of rand annually in lost agricultural productivity and resources spent on removing or managing them. With developing countries being the most susceptible to biological invasions, these countries have high levels of subsistence and smallholder farming and often lack the capacity to prevent and manage biological invasions.
In view of the above, and given the fact that South Africa is a water-scarce country and invasive alien plant species consume a great deal of water, SANBI-DBE leads research relating to biological invasion and policy while promoting the conservation of South African biodiversity. Biological invasion and policy provide effective management strategies the South African government needs to implement in protecting and conserving our biodiversity as South African people depend on biodiversity for water, food, wood, clean air, medicine and much more. SANBI-DBE leads cutting-edge research that investigates cost-efficient and the most effective control and management strategies that can be used to clear emerging invasive alien plant species in South Africa.
Additionally, SANBI-DBE reviews the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act 10 of 2004 regulations that inform biosecurity measures to be implemented to prevent the introduction of invasive alien plant species to South Africa from other countries, and include rapid response measures to monitor and eradicate invasive alien plant species and publish the findings for easy access to the public.
There is still a long way to go to truly achieve equity and a sense of belonging for women, be it within the research community or society in general. How do you envision yourself contributing to this space?
Women are underrepresented in the conservation world. Women in indigenous communities are in direct contact with natural resources and are directly dependent on them to nurture their households. For this reason, women are among the first to experience devastating impacts of environmental degradation and they are Nature’s first responders in searching for a cure to remedy the environmental crisis engulfing their communities. Biodiversity loss forces women and girls to spend more time and travel greater distances to collect water, wood for fuel, and animals and plants for food and medicine. This, in turn, sets them further back in receiving an education and generating a liveable income, making it harder for them to have a say in the conservation and management of their communities’ natural resources.
I want to use my conservation career and knowledge to give women power and a voice in contributing to the decision-making that concerns natural resource management. I want to conduct awareness and educate indigenous women about smart food production approaches and natural resource management strategies that they can adopt that promote the sustainable use of natural resources while meeting the needs of the present and conserving other resources for future generations.
What advice do you have for girls who are interested in STEM-related careers?
I would advise young girls who are interested in STEM-related careers to embrace it wholeheartedly. Follow your curiosity and pursue subjects that genuinely excite you. Passion is a driving force that will keep you motivated throughout your studies and career. Additionally, look for educational institutions and workplaces that foster inclusivity and support for women in STEM. Surround yourself with mentors, peers, and colleagues who encourage and uplift you. Lastly, don’t hesitate to speak up and advocate for opportunities and recognition. Know your worth and be confident in expressing your ideas and contributions.
This work is licenced under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 South Africa (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 ZA) license. Please view the terms for republishing here.
Women’s Month 2023: Dr Edina Amponsah-Dacosta
NRF/CORP EM RFQ 02B/2023
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