Research is a critical tool to build knowledge and facilitate learning and is essential to advancements in virtually all disciplines. The annual National Research Foundation (NRF) Awards recognise and celebrate excellence amongst top South African researchers. Sabinet honoured the worthy recipients at a ceremony held at the Boardwalk Hotel and Convention Centre in Port Elizabeth this year.
Sabinet aids research across all disciplines through providing access to a broad spectrum of high-quality and credible information sources and as such supports the NRF’s drive to encourage the continuing culture of advancing South Africa’s knowledge economy.
Researchers are assessed and rated according to various criteria – including their contribution to their field of study, focusing on quality and impact. The awards are based on peer evaluation and are allocated according to international best practice. This NRF Rating System is globally respected and recipients are researchers who have distinguished themselves in their fields. For individual researchers and their institutions, an NRF rating is synonymous with respect.
Awards are presented in two categories: ratings based and special recognition awards. The ratings-based awards are given to those who have qualified for an A or P rating. P-rated researchers are considered likely to become future leaders in their respective fields, while A-rated researchers have been recognised by their peers as leading international scholars in their respective fields. The special recognition awards, such as the NRF Lifetime Achievement Award, provide a platform to honour researchers for career achievements and contributions to knowledge creation and dissemination, as well as capacity development and transformation.
Problem-solving, inventions and new developments are the results of research and scientific thinking. This allows individuals, industries and countries to test information by transforming abstract theories into practical learning. The reward: knowledge. Dr Molapo Qhobela, CEO of the NRF, pointed out that the men and women being recognised through these awards are helping to transform South Africa into a knowledge-intensive society where all derive equitable benefit from science and technology.