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)
Group Executive: Finance and Business Systems and (CFO)
Acting DCEO: National Research Infrastructure Platforms
Group Executive: Corporate Services
Group Executve: Digital Transformation Acting DCEO: Research, Innovation and Impact Support and Advancement
Deputy CEO: Research and Innovation Support and Advancement (RISA)
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR EVALUATION AND RATING – 2024
Announcement: Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP) call on Democracy, Governance and Trust (DGT)
Call for Applications: Globalink Research Award Thematic Call
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
1ANNOUNCEMENT OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATIONS FOR THE DSI-NRF FIRST-TIME GRANT HOLDER-LINKED MASTERS SCHOLARSHIPS FOR FUNDING IN 2024 ACADEMIC YEAR
ANNOUNCEMENT OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATIONS FOR THE DSI-NRF FIRST-TIME GRANT HOLDER-LINKED DOCTORAL SCHOLARSHIPS FOR FUNDING IN 2024 ACADEMIC YEAR
Call for applications: Summer schools 2024 in Germany for DAAD In-Country/In-Region scholarship holders
Open Calls for Scholarship Applications: Hungary, China, Russia, Mauritius, Sweden and Switzerland
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.
Mr Siphosenkosi Mbonani is a PhD candidate at the School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Science at the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS). His journey with the NRF started in 2015/16 as a DSI-NRF intern. Thereafter, he received NRF funding for his Honours and Master’s studies. Currently, his PhD is funded through the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Invasion Biology. He also received an international travel award from the CoE for his PhD work on invasive cactus species in Africa in 2022.
Recently, he was selected as a recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Foreign Exchange Program in 2023/24 (also funded through the NRF) to conduct research on the population genetics of terrestrial invasive species in South Africa at the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, USA.
How did your journey start?
I was born and raised in Soweto where I also did my primary and secondary school. I am forever grateful to my teachers and family members who did not believe in the myth that township schools, no matter how poorly resourced, cannot produce useful and accomplished citizens.
Growing up, I have always been passionate about nature and the environment. I started with my undergraduate BSc degree at Rhodes University in Grahamstown (now Makhanda), and I majored in Biochemistry and Microbiology. Thereafter, I took up an NRF-funded internship in 2015 with the Biological Control Research group at the University of the Witwatersrand under the supervision of Prof Marcus Byrne. This is where my passion and enthusiasm for the biological control of alien invasive plants and scientific research grew; I subsequently completed an Honours degree with the same research group in 2016.
In 2019, I completed my Master’s degree where I was investigating the molecular ecology and population genetics of the invasive Opuntia engelmannii, or small round-leaved prickly pear, a succulent invasive shrub that was introduced to South Africa as an ornamental plant more than 350 years ago.
I have also completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Science education at the University of Johannesburg (with distinction).
How has your affiliation with the NRF impacted your studies/career?
Through my affiliation with the NRF, I have collaborated with some of the brightest minds in my field. I have met internationally renowned scientists and I have contributed to teaching and learning at first-year level, third-year level, and at Honours for numerous undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Science at WITS.
Did you have to overcome any obstacles to be where you are today, and what did you learn from it?
Studying at an institution of higher education requires sacrifice, coupled with hard work. And it doesn’t come cheap. Like any postgraduate student, project and experimental failures, financial constraints and self-doubt are some of the obstacles that I had to overcome. It was only through those obstacles that I learnt that hard times stimulate growth in a way that good times don’t.
What is your research focus on/what is your area of expertise?
My research interests focus on the management of alien invasive species in Africa, specifically South Africa and Kenya. These species cause considerable environmental problems in ecosystems and often lead to socio-economic problems, while also affecting the structure and functioning of the ecosystem. Subsequently, these species are listed as the second largest threat to South African biodiversity.
My study species, Opuntia engelmannii, has invaded pastureland in the Northern Cape, amongst other provinces in South Africa. Dense infestations of Opuntia engelmannii lineagesdisplace native flora, which results in negative ecological impacts in the country. If there are no control measures in place, O. engelmannii could potentially decrease the population size of at least one native species and can reduce the productivity and capacity of commercial and subsistence grazing.
How can your work/studies advance knowledge, transform lives, and inspire a nation?
Through my research, I have provided information that will be useful for agricultural practices by improving the development of control methods for an alien invasive weed classified in Category 1 of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (10/2004) (NEMBA).
Additionally, controlling this weed will improve the conservation of water resources that would otherwise be consumed by the alien invasive plant. In this way, this research seeks to achieve sustainable environmental management of one of the most detrimental weeds not only in South Africa but also Africa. The outcome of my research is of national and global interest as it is aimed at addressing global concerns about invasive species and, subsequently, biodiversity protection.
I have contributed towards extending the boundaries of scientific research beyond South Africa with some of my work having been done on invasive Opuntia populations in Eastern Kenya.
What are some of your proudest achievements?
Obtaining my four qualifications; being recognised in conferences as the best presenter; and being recognised by the Faculty of Science at WITS (two times!) as a teaching assistant for my positive contribution to enthusing interest in biodiversity awareness in budding South African scholars. Also, publishing my research work in international journals and receiving the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship are some of my proudest achievements throughout my academic journey.
What are your career aspirations for the future?
I envision myself as an emerging leader, showing global relevance in invasion biology, and an internationally renowned invasion biologist, thereby putting South Africa on the map in the global fight against invasive species and, subsequently protecting the South African biodiversity.
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.
Youth Month 2023: Lindiwe Mahlangu
Youth Month 2023: Nompumelelo Malatji
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