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)
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.
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.
Dr Lethula Mofokeng is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Chemistry at the University of Pretoria. He received NRF funding for his Honours studies and was supported by the NRF Professional Development Programme (PDP) at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for his PhD studies. He received NRF-SASOL postdoctoral funding for 2023/24.
How did your journey start?
I grew up in the small township of Ngwathe in the Free State with my four siblings, my mother, and my father who was working in Gauteng. We grew up in a low-income household which we could not use as an excuse for not excelling at school. Our parents were very strict and were very influential on who our friends were. Somehow, they guided me to the right company during my early childhood until I left our community to further my tertiary studies. After I left, I started to join church choirs in 2008 until today in different provinces and towns based on my academic institution. I started to undertake volunteering at church during weekends and sometimes I will coach our departmental sports club during our friendly games.
I never thought I would end up where I am today because I thought after my undergraduate degree, I would go into industry and work. Unfortunately, I could not secure a job but, luckily, I was accepted for an Honours degree at the University of Limpopo in 2014. My supervisor at that time inspired my love for Chemistry. He would take field trips to mining areas to collect and analyse soil and crops in those areas. His environmental projects were of interest to me. Since then, I started exploring research fields in Chemistry. So far, I have expertise in food chemistry, water analysis, sensors, material science and hydrogen production.
I completed a Master’s of Science in Nanoscience at the University of Johannesburg in conjunction with the University of the Western Cape (2016). I then pursued a PhD in Chemistry at the University of the Witwatersrand through the NRF-PDP from CSIR. Currently, I am enjoying a postdoctoral position at the University of Pretoria.
Today, I can attest that all those fields I’ve mentioned above gave me a strong foundation to lead and assist our postgraduate students with their research work and teach our undergraduate students.
How has your affiliation with the NRF impacted your studies/career?
I am grateful for the NRF’s financial support. My funding did not have to come out of my parents’ budget, which relieved our family’s financial constraints. Besides that, I met great supervisors, mentors, technicians, and engineers and visited state-of-the-art facilities during my studies. I gained more knowledge from working with different institutions and collaborators. Without the NRF, I don’t think I could have accessed all those characterisation facilities and laboratories or carried the costs associated with research.
Did you have to overcome any obstacles to be where you are today, and what did you learn from it?
Academic obstacles are not an easy hurdle, but with continuous support from family, friends, supervisors and the institutions (departments and student counselling), I managed to overcome mental health problems, procrastination, financial stress and research activities. I remember one time my PhD supervisor had to pay for my accommodation in Johannesburg so that we could move forward with our research. Furthermore, I had friends who became my research partners so that I could complete my research. Basically, different people played crucial roles in the many challenges that I had. I have learned that you cannot work alone in research, you need collaborators and mentors and you also need to keep your family and loved ones close to you, especially during tough times.
What is your research focus on/what is your area of expertise?
My current research focuses on hydrogen production using water and artificial sunlight. Due to the current energy crisis in the world, we decided to embark on the journey to discover efficient materials that could split water into hydrogen and oxygen gas. Moreover, we also develop active materials that can eradicate toxic pollutants from water using modified membranes and powdered catalysts. Finally, we also develop pressure sensors that could monitor human motions for health purposes and gas sensors for the detection of volatile compounds and air quality monitoring.
How can your work/studies advance knowledge, transform lives, and inspire a nation?
Currently, we are anticipating creating clean energy and water pollution awareness at rural area schools, industries and the surrounding communities so that they can gain knowledge, training and hands-on experience on alternative ways to treat polluted water, especially using our membrane filters at home.
We aim to educate and change societal behaviour towards clean energy and water pollution in general. We will also demonstrate the utilisation and installation of our membrane filters. Our membrane filters are cheap, easy to use and can reduce the burden of the water crisis and improve water recyclability of high quality at home.
Currently, along with my research team, we embarked on a journey to utilise waste materials, such as papers, cardboard, etc, and re-utilise them as active materials for water treatment. Mostly, we modify and decorate them to meet certain properties of the material we want for photocatalysis or membrane filters.
What are some of your proudest achievements?
One of my proudest moments is when I obtained my PhD degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2022. Also, winning the Best Poster Award at the South African Chemical Institute (SACI) that was held at the University of Venda in 2019.
What are your career aspirations for the future?
In the near future, I would like to work together with scientific water bodies so that I can assist them in designing effective water treatment systems, reactors and improving groundwater quality for disadvantaged communities. My previous research activities have been mainly based on designing reactors and the quality of groundwater.
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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