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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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)
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 Yolanda Mbalentle Mngcongo is a Master’s candidate in Environmental Health (Nanomedicine) under the DSI-Mandela Nanomedicine Platform and the Department of Environmental Health at Nelson Mandela University (NMU). She is currently funded by the NRF for her Master’s.
What impact did the NRF have on your studies/career?
I was fortunate enough to be awarded an NRF Master’s scholarship. This has been one of my greatest achievements, considering the fact that the scholarship has enabled me to pursue my Master’s degree and granted me an opportunity to engage in research that will contribute towards ensuring the reduction of communicable diseases. This will ultimately contribute towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 3 which advocates for ensuring healthy lives at all ages.
What has been your study/career journey?
When I was doing Grade 12 in 2017, I read a poem in the IsiXhosa class called ‘Inyibiba’, otherwise known as a lily in English. As I analysed this poem, it described how the lily grows beautifully and blossoms despite the rocky grounds it grows in. I personalised it as I felt it was telling a story of my circumstances. Coming from KwaZakhele, a black township in Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape with a low socio-economic status, I decided to further my studies so that I could be a good role model and motivate others to raise the standard of their homes and communities.
As a first-generation university student who was raised by a single mother, I went from being a tutor, sales assistant and a computer lab assistant to help maintain our home. Throughout my four years of study, I was able to obtain my Bachelor’s in Environmental Health with an overall aggregate of 77% and 23 distinctions. During the COVID-19 pandemic, my mother was among the millions of people who were left unemployed. Subsequently, I managed to get a one-year community service internship to be the sole breadwinner of the family.
Despite the circumstances I experienced, I have been consistent with my performance as is reflected in my academic results, and I continue to strive for more. In primary and high school, I was an overall school and grade top achiever and was recognised in the 2017 Top 20 Herald-Continental Matric of the Year in the Eastern Cape and Southern Cape. I continued working hard at university and I was recognised by the Golden Key International Honour Society as one of the top university performers throughout my university years. In 2020, I was honoured with the Great Star Award in recognition of my academic performance as well as skills, talents, and qualities that I exhibited and I was provided with workshops to network with potential employers.
This year, I am pursuing my Master’s degree in Environmental Health (majoring in Nanotechnology) to develop innovative ways to improve healthcare settings and ensure the public health and safety prevention of environmental conditions that may constitute health hazards, as well as sustainability and environmental preservation, focusing more on the prevention of nosocomial infections.
I presented my research at the 2023 Falling Walls Lab Event in Johannesburg and was awarded third place in the category of innovative ideas that can contribute to changing the world and making it a better place. Subsequently, I was interviewed by Mpuma Kapa TV, the Eastern Cape’s Commercial Community Television Channel, here and NMU also published an article here.
I am proud to say that this work is being supported by the NRF.
What is your research focus on/what is your area of expertise?
I am currently working on the application of nanotechnology for one of the major public health concerns of nosocomial (healthcare-associated) infections in healthcare settings, and on developing a robot that will vacuum the airborne pathogens from the air and clean them off the surfaces.
Nosocomial infections are those infections that were not present during the time of a person’s admission and may occur in healthcare settings, such as in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and ambulance settings, and may also appear after the patient is discharged.
In this research, I am focusing on an environmentally friendly and sustainable approach known as green synthesis which is the use of natural products with antibacterial properties to formulate nanoparticles (very tiny particles that you cannot see with your naked eye) which will have the ability to target the bacteria in healthcare settings which may be harmful to human health.
Why is your research/work important?
The existence of organisms that are pathogenic to health is inevitable as they keep emerging in the environment. This contributes to the increased burden of disease and the deterioration of the state of human health and the environment because of bacteria-induced diseases.
There are opportunistic pathogens that are commonly associated with most nosocomial infections in healthcare settings, and they affect vulnerable hosts such as the elderly and immunocompromised individuals. Approximately one-seventh of South African patients are infected with those nosocomial infections. It is crucial to establish efficient and sustainable control and preventive strategies for these pathogens. By doing so, the transmission of pathogenic bacteria in the environment can be reduced, leading to a decline in the overall disease burden and the promotion of good health and well-being for individuals of all age groups. Ultimately, the approach applied in this research can contribute to the improvement of air quality in healthcare settings and public health.
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?
It is clear as I have joined the sphere of research. Although I come from a previously disadvantaged background, in my research I am searching for a solution to combat healthcare-acquired infections in healthcare settings. This can help the public to feel safe in healthcare settings and to improve the communities that I am coming from. That is how I am making a mark and taking up the space.
What advice do you have for girls who are interested in STEM-related careers?
Every journey has its peaks and valleys, but the golden rule is in staying resilient in times of doubt and challenges. As I continue to further my studies, I came to a realisation that I have to stay curious and keep learning because STEM fields are dynamic, they are always evolving and there is no one that will carry you by hand and spoon-feed you. Instead, you have to advocate for yourself, and always stay proactive in seeking out new challenges that will help you grow personally and professionally.
Also, nothing holds a strong lady back, not even the stereotypes about which gender STEM careers are for. As girls, we ought to participate in changing and improving the world so that we make it a beautiful place to live in for us and for future generations to come.
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.
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