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DUT holds NRF Information Session

DUT holds NRF Information Session

The Research and Postgraduate Support Directorate at DUT recently held a National Research Foundation (NRF) Information Session where presentations on the NRF’s mandate of promoting and supporting research through funding, human resource development and the provision of necessary research facilities for the support of knowledge creation, innovation and development in all fields of science and technology, including indigenous, were made.

Overall, the session aimed to bring awareness to students and staff about various available scholarships and funding support for researchers.

All the presentations were made by NRF employees.

Thashni Pillay led the discussions also speaking about postgraduate funding opportunities available for students and fellows to apply for in 2016.

Pamela Mteto presented on the established researchers’ programmes, which include rated and unrated researchers. She highlighted the existence of Competitive Support for Unrated Researchers (CSUR) which supports researchers specialising in any research field. These researchers would normally, for a variety of reasons, not hold a current NRF rating nor grant in any of the NRF capacity development funding instruments. Mteto also presented on the competitive programme for rated researchers, which is a discipline-based funding instrument that supports mainly basic research as the foundation of knowledge production in the humanities, social and natural sciences, however adding that there are restrictions regarding holding multiple NRF grants.

Judith Mahlanya spoke on Sabbatical, Thuthuka and SARChI grants. Her presentation also touched on the duration and funding of Research Chairs, including the process that should be followed before and after a Research Chair is vacated.

Vireshni Moonsamy presented on the Strategic Platforms Programme (SPP), SPP Funding programmes, Strategic Platforms Programme Overview and Equipment Database.  She also elaborated further on the Strategic Platforms Programme, which aims to support a knowledge economy through the acquisition, up-grade and development of state of the art research equipment, facilitate access to research equipment and provide competitive research grants in the area of nanotechnology.

Some of the challenges highlighted during the presentation were:

  • Confusion about the use of the grant deposit between the Institutional Research Finance Office and Research and Postgraduate Support Directorate.
  • Limited number of NRF Block Freestanding Masters scholarships awarded each year.
  • Funding announcements made late in the year and grant holders being unable to utilise the funding due to the late allocations.

 – Raluswinga Funanani Innocentia

Pictured: DUT staff at the recent National Research Foundation (NRF) Information Session.

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