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
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2023 iThemba Labs Physics Summer School Call for Applications
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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.
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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.
Ms Betty Sebati is a PhD candidate in Public Health at the SA Medical Research Council/University of Johannesburg Pan African Centre for Epidemics Research (PACER) Extra Mural Unit. She received funding from the NRF for her BSc Honours (2016) and her MSc degrees (2017 to 2019).
How did your journey start?
I grew up in a village called Ga-Lekgothoane, Ga-Molepo in Limpopo with my mother and father (both of which I am still blessed to have in my life) and my three siblings. I grew up in a loving, respectful, and respectable family where I witnessed my parents breaking their backs to provide for us – and they did a beautiful job. My parents always loved the idea of education even though they never got the opportunity to pursue it fully in their youth. Hence, they always have and still do, encourage us to get as far as possible because learning does not have a finish line. I am blessed to have such an amazingly supportive family.
I attended Tshebela High School at Ga-Molepo and that is where my journey became clear. I loved Life Sciences and I was good at it, so I knew I had to pursue something related to it. While I was there, I was selected to be part of the Targeting Talent Programme facilitated by Wits University from 2010 to 2012. The programme exposed me to different careers in science and prepared me for varsity life. I then applied to the University of Limpopo and got accepted for a BSc degree in Life Sciences which was my first choice.
After my BSc (majoring in Physiology and Biochemistry), I then continued with a BSc Honours degree and then an MSc degree in Physiology – both at the University of Limpopo. I am currently doing my PhD in Public Health at the University of Johannesburg.
Indeed, my current path is what I envisioned for myself, and more. Being introduced to health research was the best part of it all because I found where I belonged and I am running with it.
How has your affiliation with the NRF impacted your studies/career?
My affiliation with the NRF has, without a doubt, empowered and enabled me to be where I am today. It gave me a chance at furthering my studies without owing the university tuition funds and being concerned about accommodation and food expenses. It truly allowed me to focus on my studies and excel. It supported my dreams, and here I am today.
Did you have to overcome any obstacles to be where you are today, and what did you learn from it?
The obstacle I overcame was at times having to choose between a job offer and furthering my studies and having to take gap years unintentionally between my MSc and PhD degrees. What I learnt from these obstacles is that everything happens at the right time and when it’s meant to, whether we understand it in the moment or not. I have learnt not to question God’s plans and the Universe but to always be ready to take on my path when the moment comes. The waiting helped me to come across the right opportunities at the right time – it shaped me and continues to do so, enabling me to become the best version of myself in my career journey.
What is your research focus on/what is your area of expertise?
I have expertise in non-communicable disease research and have recently (since 2022) ventured into infectious disease and pandemic research to expand my areas of expertise. My current PhD research project is focused on Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on HIV Care Continuum Among Men Who Have Sex With Men in South Africa: An implementation science study’.
Therefore, my focus is on the HIV epidemic in the country, and evaluating the contribution by the key populations, i.e. the populations that are under-researched, under-served and often overlooked in the HIV response while having high HIV acquisition and transmission rates due to risky sexual behaviours.
How can your work/studies advance knowledge, transform lives, and inspire a nation?
Given that South Africa must nearly quadruple the number of persons living with HIV on anti-retroviral therapy (ART) to achieve the second 95% of the UNAIDS goals, the study aligns with the UNAIDS 95-95-95 goals by assessing interventions and identifying barriers to HIV treatment access and ensuring that those who test HIV positive are successfully linked to care even in the midst of a pandemic.
Treatment adherence is also required to reach the third 95%. According to modelling, one of the most important strategies for reducing HIV prevalence in South Africa over the next 20 years is adherence support. This is because, as the number of people on treatment increases, maintaining viral suppression in treated patients will become more important for preventing HIV transmission. Hence, the study will generate more knowledge regarding the above and recommend solutions to keep HIV services on track during COVID-19 and potentially other future pandemics.
Moreover, the scope of this study aligns with the South African National Strategic Plans; Goal 2 on increasing access to treatment, care, and adherence support for HIV and Goal 3 which is about reaching vulnerable populations, including key populations. A framework for improving HIV treatment services will be developed and this will provide knowledge to help stakeholders target people for whom HIV treatment is needed. Additionally, the framework of improvement that will be developed in this study will serve as a legitimate institutional tool for training to increase the provision and utilisation of HIV treatment among MSM in South Africa.
In the process of achieving the above, the community will be educated about key populations in order to reduce the stigma and discrimination that can prevent key populations from accessing HIV services.
What are some of your proudest achievements?
My latest greatest achievement is being selected to be part of the top nine young South African scientists to attend the 72nd Lindau Nobel Laureates 2023 meeting in June 2023. Furthermore, my first PhD manuscript got accepted for publication this May (to be published in June 2023). I am proud to have publications from all my postgraduate research projects since Honours, with a current total of 12 peer-reviewed publications, including the recently accepted manuscript that I mentioned
What are your career aspirations for the future?
Yes, indeed in the future I aspire and would be honoured to be an NRF-rated researcher and I plan to continue with postdoctoral studies and explore the business side of science while doing impactful research projects that will contribute positively to the health and quality of life for South Africans.
I have realised the importance of working hard and having good guidance and support from people who have travelled the journey you wish to embark on. Therefore, I would like to express my greatest gratitude to Prof Refilwe Phaswana-Mafuya (University of Johannesburg), Dr Edith Phalane (University of Johannesburg) and Prof Kotsedi Monyeki (University of Limpopo) for all the lessons and selfless support they have and continue to show me.
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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