Researchers honoured for their work

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RESEARCHERS from two universities in Gauteng and the Western Cape shone at this year’s National Research Foundation (NRF) Awards.

The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) came up among the top institutions in terms of research output.

The NRF awards are seen as the benchmark for research excellence. Five Wits researchers were awarded NRF A-ratings and four received special awards, while four researchers at UCT received A-ratings as well as a special Hamilton Naki Award to Prof Lungisile Ntsebeza of the university’s centre for African studies.

The awards focused on the role of knowledge creation in supporting and enabling South Africa’s sustainable development as envisaged by the National Development Plan. There are 3 392 NRF rated researchers, with the number of black researchers increasing by 70% from 2013-17 and female researchers by 51% over the same period. Prof Adam Habib vice-chancellor and principal of Wits, has congratulated the nine researchers from Wits who the NRF recognised.

“Congratulations to all finalists and winners, especially my Wits colleagues. You are all pioneers in your respective fields and your contribution towards creating new knowledge and finding solutions to the challenges of the 21st century will benefit our country and beyond,” Habib said.

“Your commitment to research excellence at the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is essential for enabling an equitable global academy that benefits all of humankind.

“On behalf of its, I extend my appreciation to all researchers who excelled this year.”