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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CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR EVALUATION AND RATING – 2024
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Bi-annual Progress Reports: Postgraduate Scholarships 2022 – Mid-Year Reports
1ANNOUNCEMENT OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATIONS FOR THE DSI-NRF FIRST-TIME GRANT HOLDER-LINKED MASTERS SCHOLARSHIPS FOR FUNDING IN 2024 ACADEMIC YEAR
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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 working towards achieving the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. We thank all participants for sharing their stories with us and we hope that you are inspired by the young NRF-affiliated researchers who are helping to ensure a sustainable planet for all.
Dr Lorato Mokwena is a Linguistics Lecturer and Researcher at the University of the Western Cape. She is an NRF Thuthuka grantholder and also received NRF grantholder-linked support for her PhD studies.
This is her story…
I was born in Kimberley, Northern Cape, and I am the first born of my parents’ four children. I come from a working-class family – a family that predominantly holds jobs that involve menial labour but values education. I am the only PhD holder in my family and probably one of the few that have attended a tertiary institution.
I could have never imagined that I would be a Doctor of Philosophy because of the working-class environment I was raised in. Growing up, I wanted to become a social worker because I yearned to be of service to humanity. I am from a rural area and in 2007, the Northern Cape did not have a university and access to the internet was extremely limited, which meant information about universities and their application processes was not “at my fingertips”.
After a late yet successful application to the University of the Western Cape, I relocated to pursue a BA after I declined an offer to study Law at Stellenbosch University due to lack of funding. I completed all my degrees at UWC.
I do not regret the decision to become a researcher – it is in perfect alignment with the reality that I am a nerd. Creative writing, reading and storytelling have always been strengths I possess and the privilege of being a researcher enables me to advantageously draw on these skills.
Did you have to overcome any obstacles to be where you are today, and what did you learn from it?
My parents could never afford my tertiary education. After I registered for my first year at UWC, my dad gave me R3.50 to see me through January. That was all they could give me. I quickly realised that I was granted an opportunity very few children in my community got – a chance to obtain a degree – and that education would provide me with a chance to get out of poverty. Although NSFAS gave me a loan for my first year (2008), they randomly stopped funding me at the beginning of my second year – from that year onwards, I juggled work and studies until I completed my PhD (2017).
Irrespective of these financial troubles, I obtained my BA summa cum laude with 22 distinctions and I was awarded various fellowships and bursaries during my postgraduate trajectory.
I received my basic education in Afrikaans and my home languages were Afrikaans and Setswana – I only spoke English during the English period in high school. As a result, I was not confident in my English writing and speaking skills when I entered the tertiary education space. However, I didn’t allow that to hinder my academic success – I read English texts, intentionally spoke English to my peers and practised my English writing skills. Eventually, my English writing and talking skills improved and continue to do so.
I learned three lessons throughout my undergraduate and postgraduate studies:
I recently reflected on my PhD journey and this conversation is available on YouTube here.
What is your research focus/area of expertise?
I am a Social Semiotician whose research focuses on the linguistic landscape of sparsely populated areas. I am specifically interested in the relation between (toponymic) inscriptions and orality; the prevalence of multilingualism in toponymic ambiguity and plural toponymies, and the spatial navigation practices in sparsely populated environments.
The United Nations identified 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure “…a better and more sustainable future for all…” by 2030. Which of these goals are you addressing through your research, or in your personal life?
My research, community engagement endeavours and personal life primarily address the following SDGs.
Goal 3: Good Health & Well-being and Goal 5: Gender Equality
I am the author of Giving Birth to Death – an online series and yet-to-be-published book that narrates the experience of giving birth to a stillborn child. Giving Birth to Death shines a spotlight on a taboo topic in the South African society – pregnancy loss. It provides readers with a personal account of how a grieving mother grappled with the loss of her son. I also produced a YouTube interview titled How do you Deal with a Pregnancy Loss in a bid to a) problematise the association between womanhood and the ability to bear children; b) assist bereaved parents and families; and c) help women in dealing with the guilt associated with losing a child.
Goal 4: Quality Education
Dit is ‘n Noord-Kaap Ding colloquium is a platform that invites interested parties from various sectors to partake in the production and consumption of knowledge related to the Northern Cape. As the founder of the colloquium, I strongly believe that the creation of knowledge should not be reserved for certain sectors and that communities should be involved in constructing narratives about their places. The colloquium thus serves as an example of a platform that provides quality education – education that is holistic and collaborative in nature.
There is a dearth of knowledge related to the Northern Cape’s semiotic landscape and research of the Northern Cape’s linguistic practices. In producing publications about these study areas, I contribute to increased knowledge about the Northern Cape and such information can be used in various contexts (schools, government, tourism sector). In doing so, my research adds to quality education.
The inaugural colloquium was held in September 2021 at Sol Plaatje University. The 2022 instalment is scheduled to take place in October 2022.
Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
A portion of the research I do in the Northern Cape focuses on written signage (including road traffic signage and street name signage) and, recently, the implications that non-existent written signage and the lack of unambiguous physical addresses hold for the delivery of services such as policing. As I write up my conclusions and findings, I can furnish local municipalities with this report which could assist them with the betterment of toponymic inscriptions in cities and villages. Ultimately, such an endeavour will enhance service delivery to communities and improve spatial navigation.
Goal 10: Reduced Inequality, Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions and Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals
The documentary film, The Broken String, provides an undiluted account of a people in South Africa that continue to be marginalised and forgotten – the Bushmen. Such conversations are rarely explored in mainstream media and this documentary film challenges this status quo. It ‘reinserts’ the Bushmen back into the South African society and joins the Bushmen in their call for their history, values and language to be recognised. The film is a collaboration between myself, Dr Jacob Cloete (the film’s director and owner of Abrasive Media) and two Bushmen based in Upington, Hans Springbok and !Aru|’Khuisi Piet Berendse.
The Broken String is a documentary film that offers a sombre reflection of past and current injustices endured by the Bushmen in South Africa. By producing this film and making it available to audiences, we raise awareness about the plight of the Bushmen. Subsequently, this film aims to reduce social inequality and advocate for justice for the Bushmen and all other Khoi groups in South Africa – justice in the form of legal recognition of their existence and enabling laws that are aligned to their traditional practices and values.
The Broken String was born out of the research I am currently conducting in the Northern Cape – the research is supported by the NRF Thuthuka grant I hold. During my research trips, as I interacted with individuals from various Khoi and Bushman groupings, there was one recurrent theme – The need for healing, recognition and acceptance. The first screening took place on 25 May 2022.
What are some of your proudest achievements?
To date, three of my greatest achievements in my career are:
Also, in less than five years after obtaining my PhD
12. What are your career aspirations for the future?
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