NRF - National Research Foundation

The National Research Foundation (NRF) was established through the National Research Foundation Act (Act No 23 of 1998), following a system-wide review conducted for the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (DACST). The new entity incorporated the functions of the research funding agencies that were previously servicing various sections of the research community, namely the former Centre for Science Development (CSD) of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the former Foundation for Research Development (FRD) that included several National Research Facilities.

As an entity of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the NRF promotes and supports research through funding, human resource development and the provision of National Research Facilities in all fields of natural and social sciences, humanities and technology. The NRF provides services to the research community especially at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Science Councils, with a view to promote high-level human capital development. The NRF aims to uphold excellence in all its investments in knowledge, people and infrastructure.


The NRF (Directorate for Overseas Collaborative Grants and Initiatives) will mostly be involved in WP2, in particular as a co-Leader of Task 2.1 Dialogues for Action Research (Regional Approach) together with BLE of Germany.


  • Prudence Makhura (F) currently serves as the EU LEAR (Legal Entity Appointed Representative) for the NRF. She will be responsible for the coordination of the project. Ms Makhura joined the NRF as Director for Overseas Collaborative Grants and Initiatives in May 2013. In this capacity she is responsible for advancing and managing all bilateral and multilateral partnerships between South Africa and Europe, Asia, Americas and the Gulf region. Previously she was a Deputy Director for Africa and the Middle East Directorate in the Department of Higher Education and Training where she was responsible for developing and managing South Africa’s higher education bilateral cooperation with other African and Middle Eastern countries; and multilateral cooperation between South Africa and multilateral organisations on the African continent (e.g. AU, SADC, COMEDAF, ADEA, AAU etc.). Ms Makhura has also worked as a Project Manager for Universities South Africa (USAf), Manager for the Council on Higher Education (CHE), Researcher for Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), and Centre for Sociological Research (CSR), at the University of Johannesburg. She holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial Sociology and is currently busy with her PhD in the Management of Science and Technology.
  • Mr Lebogang Mpetle will be assisting part time Prudence Makhura by providing administrative support in LEAP4FNSSA.