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NRF strategic knowlege fields

A number of funding instruments are available to established researchers. These opportunities are primarily call-based and are released according to the NRF’s schedule. For more information and to check the call deadlines please visit the Current Funding Opportunities page or contact the Research Office.

African Coelecanth Ecosystem (ACEP)

ACEP is a flagship programme of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the NRF, initiated to provide infrastructure and associated funding support for ecosystem research centred on coelacanths. The project is implemented through the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), a NRF national research facility. Read more on the NRF site or the SAIAB site.  

African Origins Programme (AOP)

The AOP is a discipline-specific funding instrument which supports research and associated human capacity development in the palaeosciences. The AOP seeks, among other things, to achieve world-class research in the palaeosciences. Read more.

 Education research in South Africa

This focuses on the development of new knowledge around teaching and learning so as to improve education practice in South Africa. Read more.

Global Change, Society and Sustainability Research Programme (GCSSRP)

GCSSRP operationalises part of the Global Change Research Plan developed to address the challenges outlined in the Global Change Grand Challenge of the 10-Year Innovation Plan. The instrument primarily addresses ‘Adapting The Way We Live’ and ‘Innovation For Sustainability’; the third and fourth challenges identified in the Global Change Research Plan. Read more

Indigenous Knowledge Systems

This instrument promotes and supports research to deepen our understanding of Indigenous Knowledge Systems and its role in community life. Although both applied and basic (i.e., epistemological studies) research is encouraged, it focuses on basic research which may be used to generate patents and be further developed (i.e. innovation and entrepreneurship). Read more.

Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme (FBIP)

The primary focus of the programme is to generate, mobilise, co-ordinate and make accessible foundational biodiversity knowledge in line with the needs of society, the Department of Science & Technology (DST) Global Change Programme and the bio-economy. Read more

 Knowledge Fields Development Grants 

The Knowledge Fields Development (KFD) directorate contributes to the promotion and support of research by facilitating the advancement of existing and emerging fields of knowledge; and building the necessary associated research capacity in the context of national research, developmental challenges and strategic initiatives. KFD primarily focuses on the knowledge production activities at the basic research stage of the research-innovation-commercialisation value chain. Read more.

 Marine research grants

The DST coordinates a process to develop a single comprehensive national marine research plan. Working groups have been selected to provide theme-specific inputs into a marine research plan. The marine research plan will focus on the specific marine research needs and strengths of the country that will best position South African research within the global context. Read more

South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP)

SANAP’s mission is to increase understanding of the natural environment and life in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean through appropriate science and technology. Read more at NRF site or the SANAP site.