Deadlines for new round of NRF ratings

22 August 2005

The closing date for the next applications for National Research Foundation evaluation and rating is February 28, 2006. This deadline applies to both first-time applicants and those applying to renew their ratings.

However, UCT's screening processes and internal deadlines commence sooner, beginning with a presentation by the NRF's Evaluation Centre in the Senate Room on September 26, from 10h00 to 12h30 (please RSVP to Joanne Brinkman, e-mail, or Christina Pather, e-mail, if you want to attend).

This session is aimed primarily at new applicants; those researchers with an established research track record who have not applied for a rating before. Researchers who will be renewing their rating status are also welcome to attend.

Why should you be rated? Despite the paper work and preparation required, an NRF rating opens the door to the possibility of five-year research grants as opposed to two-year funding. Ratings are also used as international benchmarks of excellence and are useful for leveraging outside funding, apart from providing access to NRF coffers. UCT also pays out a rating award to successful applicants, both those rated for the first time and those who maintain or improve their rating status.

Applications, accessible from September 15, 2005, should be submitted electronically on NRFOnline at Instructions on how to complete and submit the application are also available at this address.

As the process takes time, applicants are urged to start preparing applications as soon as possible. If you are applying for the first time, you can look through the content of the application at

A brochure on the evaluation and rating system is available at

However, it's important to note that no copies of the application (submitted by e-mail or otherwise) will be accepted by the NRF. The only valid application will be the online versions, signed off by UCT. Applicants are strongly advised to carefully consider the relevant guidelines before completing their submissions.

Applicants who want to apply for NRF funding in focus area programmes for 2007 should note that rating and funding cycles are synchronised. If you'd like to apply for a five-year grant for a programme like this, you should apply for funding in 2006. The call for these applications will open early in 2006.

The internal deadline for first-time applications is November 30, 2005. The Research Office will access an electronic copy of your application via the online system after this closing date. Academics who have been part of the NRF rating panels will review applications, returning these for amendments, where necessary, before December 23, 2005. Final applications must be completed online before February 15, 2006.

The process is similar for re-evaluation applicants, except that the internal deadline is January 16, 2006. Final applications must be completed online before February 15, 2006. Please note that only applicants who have been contacted by the NRF during 2005 need submit documents for re-evaluation.

It can be a laborious and tricky process, so please direct any queries to Christina Pather, ext 2434,, or to Joanne Brinkman, ext 2433,

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