Nrf call for Proposals competitive support for unrated researchers (csur)

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NRF Call for Proposals



Please direct all queries to Bronwen Cloete at (; Tel 021 650 5110).


UCTs internal closing date: Monday, 25 April 2016 at 09h00


The Competitive Support Programme for Unrated Researchers (CSUR) is a highly competitive discipline-based funding instrument that supports principally basic research as the foundation of knowledge production, in the disciplines of the Humanities, Social and Natural Sciences.


As a competitive funding instrument, the CSUR provides support to established researchers who do not hold a valid NRF rating at the time of submitting (either they may have lost their rating due to various circumstances or have never subjected themselves to the rating system).



UCT researchers with no NRF rating can apply for this funding as the principal investigator provided that they are:


Permanent UCT employees (including joint staff, but excluding registrars)


On contract at UCT, but on condition that their appointment at UCT is for (at least) the duration of the project applied for in the submission.  The length of the contract should be stated in the application form.  Salaries must be paid by UCT and the primary employment of the individual concerned must be at UCT. 


Retired academics / researchers provided that they meet all set criteria below:

    • Hold a current and valid NRF rating;

    • Are resident in SA;

    • Are formally affiliated to UCT (e.g. appointed as an emeritus professor, honorary research associate / professor);

    • Are active researchers with a distinguished track record in research and postgraduate student supervision;

    • Are actively mentoring / training postgraduate students / young research staff; and

    • The institution ensures that a minimum of reasonable time (6 months minimum) is spent at UCT for the purpose of research and research capacity development.


In addition,

  • CSUR grantholders will only qualify for ONE CSUR grant cycle (3 years). Thereafter, they will be expected to enter the rated stream and/or apply for funding to other NRF instruments that do not necessarily require an applicant to hold a rating. Current or previous CSUR grantholders are ineligible for further CSUR funding.

  • Existing or previous CSUR or existing Thuthuka, research development or staff development grant holders may not submit an application in this call

  • Each new PI may ONLY submit one CSUR application to this call.

Although the funding instrument ostensibly has a broad and non-directed theme and/or structure, proposals which are closely linked to and/or address similar problems through other National Research Foundation (NRF) funding instruments will not be prioritised as part of this funding instrument. Rather, the emphasis will be on basic and as appropriate, applied research in disciplinary fields, and will allow some scope for multidisciplinary and trans-disciplinary enquiry along the basic-applied research continuum.



Funding in this round will support successful applications for a maximum period of 3 years, 2017-2019.


Funding will accommodate the following items:

  • Grant holder-linked student support;

  • Staff development grants;

  • Research-related operating costs, including:

    • Sabbaticals;

    • Materials and supplies;

    • Travel and subsistence;

    • Research / Technical / Ad hoc assistants; and

    • Research equipment.



Applications must be submitted through an online application process, via

  • Register / Login using your ID number and password;

  • Select ‘create new application’ from the list of existing calls;

  • Select ‘Competitive Support for Unrated Researchers 2017’;

  • Complete application and attach all necessary supporting documentation;

  • Ensure that your online CV is updated. All outputs entered into the NRF Online system were migrated to the current NRF Submission System.  When logging onto the NRF Submission system, researchers are requested to verify their outputs on the Landing Page by selecting the type of output under the heading “To Be Reviewed” and verifying each output individually until there are none to be reviewed.  These Curriculum Vitae inputs will be used in all the detailed assessment processes.


UCT’s internal closing date is Monday, 25 April 2016 at 09h00. The NRF system will close on 6 May 2016, and no applications can be submitted after this date.


Application guidelines and screenshots of the application are available by clicking this link. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that they adhere to these guidelines in order to ensure a strong application submission. Please note that this document is for information purposes only and you will have to complete the application online by logging into the NRF system using the instructions indicated above.

Please be advised that the UCT Research Office will not review and provide feedback for any applications which are not submitted by UCT’s internal closing date i.e. Monday 25 April at 09h00.
It is of utmost importance that you consult the call guide for more information: (Click the + sign next to ‘Competitive Support for Unrated Researchers 2017’ under Open Calls.)

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