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)
Acting Group Executive: Strategy, Planning and Partnerships
Group Executive: Science Engagement and Corporate Relations
Group Executive: Human Resources and Legal Services
Deputy CEO: Research and Innovation Support and Advancement (RISA)
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Collaborative Funding Call
NRF BRICS Call Guideline
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
DSI-NRF Postgraduate Student Funding for the 2023 Academic Year
Announcement of Successful SARChI Masters Scholarships Applicants for 2023_Final
Announcement of Successful SARChI Doctoral Scholarships Applicants for 2023_Final
Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Faculty of Law, North-West University, South Africa
Fulbright Foreign Student Program 2024-2025
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.
June is Youth Month, and this year the NRF is celebrating the Youth 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 young dreamers and achievers who are affiliated with the NRF through their work or studies.
Dr Zakeera Docrat is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Forensic Linguistics/Language and Law at the University of the Western Cape.
Dr Docrat has received NRF funding in the form of scholarships and bursaries for the following degrees: Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in African Languages; Master of Arts Degree in African Languages with a focus on Language and Law; PhD in African Languages with a focus on Forensic Linguistics/Language and Law, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2020. These bursaries were awarded via the DSI-NRF South African Research Chair (SARChI) in the Intellectualisation of African Languages, Multilingualism and Education at Rhodes University. All of the conferences she attended during her postgraduate studies were sponsored by the NRF.
This is her story…
I was born and grew up in Makhanda, formerly Grahamstown, in the Eastern Cape Province. I grew up in a family that could speak isiXhosa (the language of the province of my birthplace) fluently. I used to communicate with customers in my mom’s business in isiXhosa. I attended the Diocesan School for Girls in Grahamstown where I matriculated. I then enrolled at Rhodes University where I completed the following degrees over a ten year period [BA; BA Hons (cum laude); LLB; MA (cum laude); PhD].
I had a passion for isiXhosa as a child, and I found it fascinating that I could communicate with and understand people who spoke the language. Our late housekeeper and gardener would speak to me in isiXhosa. I was extremely fortunate in that my mom encouraged me to speak isiXhosa to her customers in her business. I began learning the language more formally at primary school (St Andrews Preparatory School, Grahamstown) and then I continued with it throughout junior and high school. I matriculated with isiXhosa as a first additional language and received a distinction for it. I absolutely loved the subject at school and I continued to be encouraged to speak the language. My senior school teacher, Shelly Roodt, always reminded me that language has the ability to break down social and cultural barriers and the importance of speaking to people directly in their mother tongue. I ended up registering for a BA degree at Rhodes University in 2010 where I majored in isiXhosa and Legal Theory.
My intention was to go to university, obtain my BA and LLB, and then enter legal practice. In my final year of my BA degree, I wrote an essay focusing on language legislation for my now current mentor, Prof Russell Kaschula (former DSI-NRF SARChI Chairholder). That essay was so well received that I realised I could pursue the research area of language and law and combine both of my passions. I then opted to do my BA Honours degree in African Languages which was awarded with distinction and academic colours. I wrote a mini-thesis where I extended the definition and application of the socio-economic rights tool, Meaningful Engagement, to be used in language planning and policy processes. This was the basis for my first journal publication and op-ed piece. My research was used in developing the Rhodes University Language Policy.
I proceeded to do my LLB degree. I realised more and more the important role of language in the legal system, especially the unfairness and inequality for the majority of persons accessing courts and police stations and having to communicate in English or be reliant on interpretation services, which are, in most instances, unreliable, unavailable, or of poor quality.
With this passion now ignited, I decided to research further at a Master’s level where my MA thesis, awarded with distinction, focussed on the role of African languages in the South African legal system as a transformative tool.
I then registered for a PhD, knowing that I could contribute to the field of forensic linguistics/language and law by focussing on the exclusionary language of record policy of courts in South Africa and how monolingual university language policies support a monolingual English-only legal system. The issue for me was that the majority of our people are excluded on the basis of language, yet we live in a multilingual country. My PhD was completed in two years.
I was then awarded the postdoctoral research Fellowship for the year (2020) at Rhodes University under the mentorship of my supervisor and mentor, Prof Russell Kaschula. I continued to publish and attend conferences and work on converting my PhD into a book publication (see further details below).
So in actuality, growing up I never imagined I would have achieved so much and I would have completed my university education with a PhD. The journey has been incredible – I am so glad I continued on this path.
Did you have to overcome any obstacles to be where you are today, and what did you learn from it?
Yes, I encountered numerous obstacles along the way at university. There was a lot of racism from certain individuals and lecturers. Institutional patriarchy was a massive obstacle that I continue to deal with. In a sense, you are up against a system while completing your research and you have to constantly deal with individuals who undermine your ability, your research and attempt to divert you from your path. I have learned that if you are focused, work hard and believe in yourself, no one can deter you.
What is your research focus on/what is your area of expertise?
My research focuses on the use of language in the legal system (including the SAPS). I specifically focus on the nine official African languages and Afrikaans and how these languages are marginalised in courtroom discourse and the legal profession. My area of expertise is Language and Law/Forensic Linguistics. I am a forensic linguist by profession, which includes language in law; legal interpretation and translation; textual status and analysis, and plagiarism.
How can your research/work advance knowledge, transform lives and inspire a nation?
My research, when implemented, will create a linguistically transformed legal profession, court system and university system. It will enable the following:
What are some of your proudest achievements?
Winning the following awards and having my research recognised on the national stage and highlighting the importance of language in the legal system:
A highlight is the publication of my book, A Handbook on Legal Languages and the Quest for Linguistic Equality in South Africa and Beyond (June 2021). This is an adaptation of my PhD thesis.
Also, travelling abroad to present at international conferences in Australia, Portugal and Morocco.
Did the COVID-19 pandemic (and national lockdown) change the way you work/study? How did you adapt to the “new normal”?
Given that forensic linguistics is in its infancy in South Africa and Africa more broadly, it is vital for me to attend conferences abroad; engage at these conferences with fellow researchers in the field; and contribute new knowledge from the African continent. Many conferences were cancelled and others were moved online, removing the possibility of engagement for research collaborative purposes. It was about trying to network after Zoom conferences via email and Twitter. It was also difficult for me in terms of internet accessibility and the cost of data.
What is the best advice you have ever received (and from whom)?
Work hard, persevere and give a 100% of yourself and you will reap the rewards. The important thing is to make a difference in at least one other person’s life and you would have achieved something worthwhile. This is what my mom, Glenda Docrat, continues to tell me.
What, in your opinion, are some of the best ways to get youngsters interested in science-related careers?
Encouraging careers in research from an early age at school. Careers as researchers are never highlighted at school and often, when you get to university after completing your undergraduate degree, you will discover the interesting world of research.
What are your career aspirations for the future?
My goal for next year is to apply for an NRF rating. I am raising awareness of the importance of the discipline of forensic linguistics in South Africa while continuing with my research. My aim is to apply my research in real-life contexts as a forensic linguist.
Green light given for construction of world’s largest radio telescope arrays
FIAS Call for Applications 2022 – 2023
Hit enter to search or ESC to close